Wednesday, July 18, 2012

#291 - Ratatouille & French Feta With '11 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé

The price on the Tempier rosé shot up sometime in the mid-aughts, from around $30 to the current price of almost $40.

Which raises a question. Is a rosé ever worth $40.

The answer is, of course, yes.

Why would rosé ever be seen as some ersatz version of wine not worth a higher price? That's just silly talk.

Also, when drinking Domaine Tempier's rosé, you're not exactly searching for value. It's a rosé experience, a benchmark, a peek into how one of the masters of the juice and style expressed the grapes in that year.

But let's just say for drops and chuckles you're craving a Tempier rosé and have ratatouille on the docket for dinner. Should be great, right? It was. Very nice grub and juice, separately and together, even if we drank it way too young.

But for $20 we could have drunk another Kermit Lynch import (a wine made by Mr. Lynch himself) the Domaine Les Pallières Au Petit Bonheur Rosé and found very similar pairing love.

Was it $20 flushed down the toilet. No.

It's more like the Missing Floss Incident from this week. I went to Target this week to get the usual Target things. You know, the typical hodgepodge of weirdness that the cashier could easily think might be used to assemble a bomb (foot spray, Scotch tape, toilet paper, Dran-o, things like that.) This trip's impetus was dental floss. I put it on the conveyer belt and somewhere from there to the bag, it got lost. Now, dental floss is a $1.02 at Target. No big whup. But I wasn't making another trip to Target for freakin' dental floss so Walgreen's have to suffice. Same dental floss is $2.19 at Walgreen's. No big whup again. But there's something...annoying...and...inefficient about the entire ordeal.

The Tempier empirically is probably a better, more romantic, benchmark-y rosé than the Pallières. Would we have missed out on something if we thought about the pairing for a second longer, taking into account our love for the Pallières, the baby-like youth of the Tempier and the price tag and simply drank the cheaper option? I don't think we would have known and loved the pairing with the same verve.

We very much liked this pairing. It just felt...inefficient. Cheap Farmers' Market haul of veggies whipped into a ratatouille (Niçoise olives added) with cheap French feta (didn't know that existed) drizzled with honey and topped with pink peppercorns and served with baguette. Served with the 2011 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé ($40 - Binny's). A nice wine with only echoes of white peach and strawberry seeds popping through. Dry (natch). Great rocks at every turn with a subtle citrus spritz. Fancy. Long. Chockablock with integrity. Too young.

The ratatouille had that ratatouille juice that makes good ratatouille so good. Great cheese, especially given its $7/lb price tag, fancied up with good honey and pink peppercorn pop. This was a good meal. This was a good wine. This was a pairing that had some nice weaving, jumping and jiving.  But this was a pairing that felt...inefficient.

Check the bag and take a second to think about the pairing next time. That's the lesson this week.

For cataloguing purposes, a Monday lunch of asparagus and potato tart, a recipe taken from the Palmina website, served with the wine recommended for said recipe, the 2010 Palmina Tocai Friulano ($25 - Winery with shipping). The recipe seemed like it was pared down from a larger recipe and something in the measurements was missed but a delicious tart nonetheless, if a little soupy and A LOT of crème fraiche. The Fruilano showed some nice minty undertones to its peaches-and-pears basket of fruit and a delicate swirl of minerals throughout. Nice stuff. Not something we'd special order or make a special trip for but a wine, if we saw it on the shelf during a random wine-buying trip, we'd buy if under $20. Nice bones and almost memorable. Liked the pairing. Pairing Score:  88

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