I love Halloween. My little town closes the main business district, and all of the kids (from surrounding towns too) trick or treat the business. Weather was gorgeous, kids were cute, and my office gave out 3300 pieces of candy. Fun, but exhausting (especially in a hunchback costume). Betsy helped, then made it home to get together dinner, a Ming Tsai recipe for broiled miso-citrus salmon (marinade uses sake, ponzu, miso, & ginger). Ming recommended rose bubbly, but my cellar has a total of one bottle of rose Champagne, and I decided to go with a red instead, a Brun Cru Beaujolais. The red went fine with the salmon, although the umeboshi rice that accompanied was a true winekiller (maybe Ming's rose sparkler would have survived). So I made sure to drink seltzer after the rice, and sipped wine after the salmon.
The wine was the 2005 JP Brun (Terres Dorees) Cote de Brouilly. Bitter cherry fruit with a hint of that potted plant/bonemeal thing I sometimes get in gamay. Good acidity, nice finish. Fairly structured, gets better with air. A nice wine, though I think I prefer the 2004 by a hair, I'll get more. B+
Last night was a Marcella Hazan recipe of veal ragu with mixed peppers. I went down to get a Chianti but came up with the 2000 La Magia Brunello di Montalcino. Medium bodied, ripe cherry fruit with a little dried cherry, moderate acidity, modest length. A little floral note and vanilla on the nose. This was only $20, and as a Chianti substitute not too bad, but anyone looking for the power and elegance of a good Brunello will come away wanting. B/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.