Tuesday, February 9, 2010

#35 - Indie Café With Loimer Riesling & Sparkling Italian Malvasia

I've proselytized from the highest mount about the wonders of Indie Café in Rogers Park before.

In fact, it was just two months ago, our third post here at Food With Wine. Best value in the city and it's not even close.

Last night was no different.

Food: Rangoon, Cucumber, Spicy Tuna, Spring Roll, Sweet Potato, Tilapia in Cashew and more Tuna

Crab Rangoon
Cucumber Salad
Spicy Tuna Appetizer
Vegetable Spring Roll
Sweet Potato Tempura
Tilapia Curry with Cashew Sauce
Spicy Tuna Entrée
Siracha Side
Ginger & Wasabi Side

I'm not going to describe the food and just say what I said last time: Criminally cheap and clean, well-prepared food. On the former, this is how criminally cheap: $60 for the entire meal.

Wine: 2004 Loimer Riesling Langenlois ($13 - WDC) & 2005 Colli Di Parma Sparkling Malvasia (Below $10 - Binny's)

We had no expectations with either wine going in.

Never had a sparkling Italian malvasia. Couldn't find any information on this particular one, probably due to the utter baseness of it all. The label had the producer written in small type but simply said "Malvasia" in big letters, never a particularly good sign; like a Burgundy simply writing "pinot noir" on the label. It's a sign that it was destined for the simplest of markets.

Bubbles were dying, fruit was subdued. A little peach maybe with a touch of apple. Found an old milk quality on its own. Initially hated it but I came around to "that's not terrible" fairly quick. Not good. Just not terrible. Hanging on for dear life but not terrible.

If I drank the 2004 Loimer Riesling blind, I would have swore it was a sauvignon blanc and would have fought you to the death over it. Shows what I know.

A lot of grass at first followed by citrus fruit resembling grapefruit and tangerine. Off-dry. Mrs. Ney nailed it. It tasted like a somewhat well-crafted sauvignon blanc from a region not known for sauvignon blanc. Like the malvasia, I was mildly put off at first and then came around to it.

Pairing: No thanks, but not awful

The malvasia was pretty useless with the food but fun to try. One funny thing did happened. With soy sauce, it tasted like baby diapers. Not like I make a habit of eating baby diapers but you know. Didn't finish the bottle, but I'm not less apt to try another, better sparkling malvasia in the future.

The Loimer, on the other hand, worked well enough. For rieslings and grüner veltliners, Loimer serves a purpose. They're just good enough and cheap enough to feel like you're getting your money's worth - a good entry-level label for both to see if you want to continue in that vein. Then go to Prager because they're magically delicious.

BYO & $60 = great little meal.

Indie's a place where you can try such things without feeling like the pairing ruined the experience.

The food's too good and too cheap to really care.

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