Wednesday we had an early dinner before Betsy's performance, a pasta with shrimp and tomatoes. I opened an 2005 Antinori "Campogrande" Orvieto Classico that I got from a Zachys sale for $5.99. Very lemony, crisp, a bit dilute. Not terrible, and probably worth the $6, but even at that price I doubt I would go back for more. B-/C+
Thursday Betsy unexpectedly had the night off, decided to make the Finnish meatballs recipe from Wednesday's NYT food section. Served them over egg noodles and with some green/wax beans (from deli) and a salad. What wine to serve with the meatballs (pretty similar to Swedish meatballs, very allspicey,though it had some cheese)? I thought of postign to ask Otto, but had little time and didn't know if these were authentic. I decided to go with light red, and chose the 2004 Domaine de Belliviere "Le Rouge Gorge" Coteaux du Loir. I believe this is Pineau with some Gamay. Light and lively, with an unusual floral aroma- kind of a combination of pottin soil and pine needles, reminds me of gardening. Raspberry & strawberry fruit, pleasantly sour. I quite enjoy this, but not a wine for everyone- if your tastes run only to fat sweet ripe reds this will have you running screaming from room. Develops quite an herbal note as it gets air. I like, B+/B
Over three nights I also sample the 2001 Ch. de Chambrun (Lalande de Pomerol). If your tastes run to fat sweet ripe reds this is the one for you (I like both wines personally). A little reticent at first , but after an hour (and on succeeding nights) it shows big crushed red berry fruit laced with chocolate and toasted oak. I like better each night, a big ripe low-acid Pomerol imitator with a thick velvety texture. Super-modern,but well done. There's some tannins that could use a little time, though I wouldn't try to age this 10 years. B+
Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.