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Dale Williams

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Compassionate Connoisseur

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Dobbs Ferry, NY (NYC metro)

WTN: Winter wines- IT, DE, US, ES

by Dale Williams » Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:49 am

A few days with me in charge of kitchen, then back to Betsy.

Sunday I made a chicken curry, sauteed spinach, and Indian-styled cauliflower. dinner was served with some leftover mixed grains and the 2012 Zilliken Saarburger Rausch Riesling Kabinett. Limeade and Granny Smiths, slatey finish, this is big with definite sweetness but zippy acids keep it as a tight package. What I’m looking for in Spatlese (well, Kabinett these days). B+/A-

Monday we had spaghetti squash with capers and tomato, blackeyed peas with smoked turkey, and broccoli, but no wine as I was taking a group into city later. Tuesday I made Sicilian tuna (tomato/caper/olive sauce), Brussels sprouts, and brown rice, with the 2003 Calabretta Etna Rosso. You’d think a Sicilian wine from 2003 might show hot or roasted, but this is a nice midweight, red cherries over spice and mushrooms, tannins and acids both nicely integrated. B+

Cooking wine was 2010 Chalone “Limited Release” Chardonnay (Chalone appellation). Midbodied, pretty obvious oak, fig and melon, decent acidity for CalChard. B-/C+

Wednesday Betsy was back at the stove, with a stirfry of pork, Chinese broccoli, oyster mushrooms, sprouts, etc. Wine was the 2010 Karthauserhof Alte Reben Riesling. Big, dry, powerful, good. Nice rocky minerality over a core of white peach and apple fruit. Drinks like a top Wachau or Kremstal Riesling. Could probably age, but I enjoyed nowt. A-

Thursday was mostly about shoveling snow, so I was glad Betsy was doing dinner. Braised chicken with artichokes and mushrooms, and the 2010 CVNE “Cune” Rioja Crianza. Cherry fruit, a little dill-y herb note, soft and friendly. Easy to drink, nothing complex, fine for $10. B-

Overnight there was a thunderstorm that turned to more snow (thundersnow), after shoveling out I went to the office to discover remnants of a flood (rain melted snow, downspouts in our little downtown were mostly frozen, when water came over roof onto cleared sidewalks, mountains of snow meant the water had no place to go but into buildings). Ugh! So a long day Fri, and I really wanted to settle in at home with wine and a book. But we drove north to Cold Spring to meet some friends at a restaurant where another friend had an exhibit. A glass of forgettable Trebbiano (soft, empty) was my reward, but the company was excellent and the food (scallops and prawns) ok.
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.

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