Thursday, April 8, 2010

#57 - Chicken Breasts, Sweet Pea Gnocchi & '06 Cassis White

Dinner after the drive back from Cleveland.

Bought some sweet pea gnocchi at West Side Market in Cleveland in the morning and built a dinner around them that night for dinner back home.

Food: Chicken breasts, sweet pea gnocchi and asparagus

Whole Foods chicken breasts stuffed with herbs, olive oil, mustard and hot sauce paste under the skin. Juicy chicken and nice heat made for a welcome change from their the red meat and salt fiesta we experienced in Cleveland.

The sweet pea gnocchi were delicious. Maybe not fluffy pillows but not dense and heavy in the least and certainly tasted handmade and fresh.

A mountain of asparagus was what are bodies were screaming for after the aforementioned bathing in meat and salt.

A good and needed meal.

Wine: 2006 Clos Ste. Magdeleine Cassis White ($15 - WDC)

This is the first time we've had a wine from Cassis, a wine region in Provence.

Most of the wine made in Cassis is white and rarely gets exported. Located right up against the Mediterranean, it's said that the wines take on a salty quality and paired great with seafood dishes.

We didn't do that.

A blend of rousanne, ugni blanc and clairette. Golden color in the glass. No nose. On the palate, a touch of herbs and honey. Muted fruit, some tropical notes. LOW acidity. Some flowers but not a hugely pronounced floral note. Delicate oil and salt finish.

The wine was four years old. I wonder if Cassis wines have a short shelf life. Didn't taste dead but it felt like the flavors were beginning to meld into an undistinguished jumble. Overall, we liked it well enough and might be open to trying another.

We just missed a wee bit more acid and little more nerve.

Might be great with scallops or shrimp, though.

Pairing: 84 Good, fine, nice enough

No complaints. The delicate salt-oil finish helped with the butter and the salt of the food.

More acid and fruit in the wine would have helped the chicken with the mustard and hot sauce, brightening up the party and making me want to reach for the wine after a bite more than I did.

But nothing was bad, nothing became weird and some notes helped.

Just needed more pop.

And maybe seafood.

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