Quick one today.
We could have gone in a lot of directions with this meal. Zinfandel would have been nice and made it all California-y. Maybe a shiraz would have brought the fruit and let it wander into more big and hearty.
But thinking about other choices and what they would have done only made us think of what it might not have been compared to what it already was. Which was pretty darn solid, tasty, refreshing, oddly light and satisfying.
Plus, jerk and French sparkling feels fancy.
Food: Jerk Chicken with hushpuppies and grilled pineapple
A staple in the Ney house, having last had it in December but with a different jerk recipe. Also, this time cooked under a brick from a recipe by Mark Bittman in the New York Times.
The jerk marinade from Saveur using soy sauce, onion, scallion, chiles, cloves, five-spice, allspice berries, nutmeg, S&P, thyme and veg oil. This will be replacing the jerk in our house from now going forward. Great stuff.
Cooking under a brick made for better chicken as well. The skin fell off a bit but the chicken was insanely moist and all the jerk seeped deep into the bird.
Hushpuppies made at home were a new one for us. Outside of the Long John Silver's fare that creates an instant flashback to mid-80s fancy family meals for me, I haven't had many others. Intense cornbread taste with a crispy outside made for a tasty side that wasn't dense in the least. Served with a spicy tomato chutney found in the freezer. Oddly easy to make according to Mrs. Ney so...yes...more in the future.
Grilled pineapple (another staple) and a bed of pea shoots to round out the meal and topped off with a deliciously boozy walnut-chocolate pie made with Maker's Mark.
Just goshdarn delicious and a great Monday night meal.
Wine: NV Domaine Vigneau-Chevreau Demi-Sec Sparkling Vouvray ($18 - Binny's)
I couldn't find a ton on this wine without the disgorgement date listed on the bottle (similar but wrong label above). All I can say is that we've had this one a few times before and this time, it was most definitely a different batch.
Not as many distinctive chenin blanc notes, missing some of the honey and beeswax notes. This one was more yeasty with more delicate fruit showing mostly green apple notes. Came off more like a solid bargain Champagne than a sparkling Vouvray. Nice balance, though with the bread notes constantly changing, mixing well with the small, vibrant bubbles and a more true medium dry than the very dry last bottle we had.
We keep buying it because it keeps being good.
Pairing: 89 In the end, nothing in the house would have been better in the price range
The spice in the jerk killed the fruit a bit in the wine but we were entirely okay with that. The joy came in its refreshing aspects, helped by the medium dryness and fine bubbles, than any individual bite with wine standing out.
We thought about other pairings during the meal but it always came back to what other wines wouldn't have offered that the sparkling Vouvray did.
Nothing in the meal would have came off heavy with another wine but it might not have so oddly light with, say, a zinfandel or shiraz or even a sauvignon blanc or rosé.
Plus, the belches were awesome.