Thursday, February 18, 2010

#39 - Tuna Niçoise With '99 Prager

It was hard to follow what was probably the best meal of our lives two nights ago.

But we did just fine.

Last night's meal was a return to the wine from the very first post here at Food With Wine.

And tuna niçoise is a Ney family favorite that was long overdue.

The Prager came off a bit different this time. Less dying fruit, more relative zip.

Could have been the soy sauce in the wine can chicken glaze from the first meal. We've had some odd (read: awful) experiences with soy sauce and white wine in the past (mostly coming from playing around outside of a traditional Asian pairing with sauvignon blanc and Italian malvasia). Maybe it was the absence of it with this meal that brought a little more life to the Prager this time. Don't know. Possible, I guess.

Food: Tuna Niçoise

"Clean you out!"

Seared rare tuna with cherry tomatoes, black olives, capers, green beans, potatoes on arugula with olive oil drizzled everywhere and two hard-boiled eggs for me.

Just a big mountain of food that never gets old. Acid from tomatoes, bitterness from arugula, brininess and earthiness from the capers and olives, carb hit from the potatoes with great, fresh tuna and lots of it.

We have it six to twelve times a year. Kind of resets the food clock with its mountain of fresh goodness.

Wine: 1999 Prager Riesling Weissenkirchen Smaragd Steinriegl ($16 - WDC)

Not available on the webby webs anymore, which makes me lament the fact that we didn't buy more. Only three left.

On another note, while the Austrian (and German) wine labels can be a tad confusing to say the least, pronunciations can be doubly confusing. Forvo is doing a decent job of trying to rectify that. It helps a wee bit when you're able to at least pronounce the word when you're trying to find out what everything means.

With wine can chicken four months ago, dried fruits seemed to dominate the wine. It was great in that way. Dried peaches, a little spice and a butterscotchy element were the notes at the time. Mineral and flower. Still alive but there was a sense that it didn't have a long time left, even with our relative inexperience with such things.

Not really the case this time, which makes me think some of those predictions may have been influenced by the food. More vigor and zip this meal with the Prager. Tasted younger with peach and nectarine notes, more creamy spice upfront and a more balanced dry element than the last time. More elegance as well with a pleasing floral aspect and a lemon...ish...something.

Maybe we'll put one away for 5-10 years just to see what happens.

Pairing: Nothing Wrong With That

I can't think of anything else that would have been better. It's tuna niçoise. 12,000 things are going on with it so drinking something that simply tries to field everything while not trying to be flashy seems to be the most prudent way to go.

That's two baseball references in two days. Pitchers and catchers just reported. That's where my brain currently lies.

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