Friday was a kale salad with a soft egg and a Pierre Franey recipe for clam sauce and fresh fettucine, and the 2010 Benaza Godello, Really satisfying for the money- sweet peachy fruit, but it’s crisp and dry on palate. Refreshing, minerally, buy again. B+
Saturday we lit the Hannukah candles at sunset, had a glass of the NV Castellroig Cava. Light, refreshing, herb and licorice over lemon. Crisp and light. Good length. B/B+
Then we went to a Nikolaus party (luckily, rain held off and temps were moderate- Roger is a German traditionalist, and the party must be outside!). Mostly cookies and mulled wine, but I carried along a bottle of the 2007 Trimbach Pinot Blanc. Sweet pit fruits, a hint of Riesling-like petrol, citrus, not especially long, but hey it was really cheap! B-
Home for latkes and “Atlanta” brisket (recipe includes Coca-Cola), wine was the
2010 Texier Cotes du Rhone (this is the basic CdR, with the busy/colorful label). Solid red fruits, good acids, light tannins, quite nice. B
Sunday we had chicken breast with soy, lime, and sesame oil, baby bok choy, some assorted leftovers, with the 2011 Terres Dorees (Brun) “Cuvee Premiere” Beaujolais. OK, I believe this is supposed to be a Beaujolais Nouveau, but it doesn’t taste like that. Moderate red fruits, but some light but apparent tannin. The confounding part is it improves on night 2 and 3. Plenty of crunchy red fruits, good acids, herb and earth. Fun stuff. B+
Recently got some corn smut from Oregon Mushrooms, and beans from Rancho Gordo, so invited some friends for meatless Monday- huitlacoche/mushroom quesadillas, vegetarian tacos (cheese, guacamole, kale). roast kabocha squash, and a vegetarian chili with Sangre de Toro beans.
NV Pinon Vouvray Brut
Sweet apples, good acids, fine mousse, beautiful for $20 bubbly. B++
2009 Descendientes de Palacios "Petalos" (Bierzo)
Red fruits, a little vanilla edge, not bad but would prefer more sense of a place than good internationally styled wine. B-
2010 Baudry Chinon
excellent length, black cherry and raspberry, earthy, good. B/B+
2009 Wind Gap Pinot Gris
Skin contact (orange) wine I assume, looks like a rose - a darker rose at that. I really didn’t like this at first- seemed austere and overly herby. But improved a lot with air - smoky, cranberry and red plum. full, long. B-/C+ day one, B on day 2.
Tuesday we had leftovers- brisket (over egg noodles that weren’t leftover), a kale stew, kabocha squash. Wine was a half bottle of the 2006 Havens Bourriquot. From 375ml this is fully mature, no real tannins left, dark slightly horsey fruit with some red kirschy stuff after some air. a bit dull. I’ve enjoyed other bottles and half-bottles of this much more. B-/C+
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.