Monday, February 8, 2010

#34 - Super Bowl Cassoulet, Brussels Sprouts & '07 Loire Rosé

To start, this meal was much better than the bloated commercial extravaganza that yet again was the Super Bowl. I've never wanted Bud Light and Doritoes less in my life.

No Browns = Don't Care.

Food: Duck confit and veal sausage cassoulet with Brussels sprouts

Again, I can't overstate the loveliness of the Cook's Illustrated version of cassoulet. My experience with cassoulet in the past has always been one of fatty, oily mediocrity; my own fault for having bad cassoulets.

Veal sausage from Gene's, duck confit from Paulina Meat Market and whipped-up Brussels sprout goodness.

In mid-December, we had this same cassoulet (with more meat) and we're shocked by the unexpected lightness of it. Mrs. Ney halved the meat this time and it was even better. More herbal and probably more balanced with a less flurry of 87,000 different kinds of meat. The cannellini beans and herby bread became more of the experience.

Brussels sprouts mixed with a touch of parmigiano-reggiano and mustard. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Brussels sprouts, even with the gastrointestinal distress, are glorious, like cabbage without the cabbaginess. Wee hint of nuttiness from the cheese was perfect.

Wine: 2007 Domaine de la Petite Mairie Bourgueil Rosé ($15 WDC)

Had the Argyle Rosé with the last one and it was good stuff. Nothing great but fine enough.

Not chockablock with utter nuance, this Cabernet Franc-based rosé nonetheless has a suffficient complexity with mostly light strawberry and orange touches with a very subtle floral note always playing in the background. Mostly, I was struck by the fact that there was nothing to detract from its medium-bodied purity. No astringency. No alcoholic finish. Just a nice dry-ish rosé with enough acidity that went down smooth.

Pairing: Held up, didn't detract and served admirably

Went beautifully with Brussels sprouts! Never would have thought that.

As I said, it held its own in every facet. No funkiness, no "what the hell was that?" Pretty.

Sure, you want the wine to enhance the food, but there are times when just little enhancements are perfectly fine and even welcome.

For $15, this one's a keeper.

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