Wednesday, July 25, 2012

#292 - Roasted Chicken, Salsa Verde, Amaranth Leaves & Radishes With NV Pierre Peters "Pour Albane" Brut Rosé

What are amaranth leaves?

We had no idea. Don't even know what species we ate last night but I tell you what. They're delicious! Like Swiss chard but, you know, good (I've never been a fan). Big, cheap bundle at Whole Foods necessitated a purchase.

A Champagne rosé seemed like a good catch-all for chicken, salsa verde, amaranth and radishes (and we wanted to drink it) but this was an example of a wine being too delicate to play the role of herder. And an example of maybe checking the price tag before letting the wine serve as a herder. That's not something one should do in this price range.


Food:  Michael Symon chicken, Michael Symon salsa verde, amaranth leaves, radishes, Seeduction bread, butter and rose petal jam

Symon roasted chicken. It's better chicken. Go here to see the prep. Mrs. Ney turned the oven off from its high cooking temperature 15 minutes before the time allowed to see if that brought about a juicier chicken all around and success! Moisty moistness galore. Lemony, herby, delicious.

Symon salsa verde - it's salsa verde in a different form, loaded with dirty delicious anchovy-caper flavor that's cleaned up in such a new, lifty way by the parsley-mint-olive oil driver (I plagiarized myself from here. Good meal, that. Fond memories).

Amaranth leaves. A big bundle of dark green weeds with dark red accents. A bit of a weedy, chard-y center but with more of a complexity that came off grainy and a refreshing juice from the sauté as opposed to the chard juice that tastes a bit like garbage to me. Keeper.

Farmers' Market radishes unadorned. Palate cleanser.

Seeduction bread, butter. and rose petal jam. That wondrously dense and dark bread full of grains. Unexpected bridge here with the bread and the amaranth leaves. Tasted purposeful and wasn't.

Good meal! Good food. The wine, though kinda great on its own, couldn't keep up.

Wine:  NV Pierre Peters "Pour Albane" Brut Rosé Champagne ($74 - Binny's)

60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Meunier (saignee), all 2008 vintage. Disgorged: December, 2010

We didn't look at how much it cost (we're usually so diligent about such things). Thoughts were in the $35-50 range. For that, good stuff here. For $74, meh.

Pretty, abundant, confident bubbles. Blood orange (stole that from Tanzer - exactly what it was) and a roses-and-white-flowers bunch. Strong and vibrant on its own, showing a small lemon citrus thread mixing with minerals. Long finish. Pretty and delicate were the words. I thought if I were served this at a party, I'd wonder if I was really supposed to be there. Fancy, balanced and well-built stuff. Almost ethereal.

But that was the problem. If I'm served a Champagne to drink on its own at a party clocking in at $74 a bottle, that's a party where I would feel a little weird. I'd drink it and like it and then I would start to wonder about the motivation of such things. Like they're trying to liquor me up and then shove an 'investment' in my face that five years later turns out to be a Madoff-esque pyramid scheme. 'bout with food. With a meal. Well...

With food, it got a beat-down. Just too delicate.

Pairing:  83  The chicken match saved it from plummeting into the Hades of the pairing realm

A chicken bite by itself, no salsa verde and plenty time between other bites of food on the plate, and a sip were quite wonderful stuff. That lemon citrus thread in the Champagne with the lemon in the chicken built the bridge to deliciousness. Great jump, expanding nooks and crannies to explore and a long finish that kept changing. So refreshing.

Everything else was a big, fat NO! A salsa verde bite turned the Champagne into a fat-bottomed mess, flat as all get-out. The amaranth leaves thinned out the core of the wine. A radish bite was just odd, not in the worst way really, just odd. But the kiss of death came with the rose petal jam and bread. I haven't tasted a warm, rotting apple covered in old milk but I now think I've come close.

Bigger flavors in this meal so the wine probably needed something much more subdued, maybe even lil appetizer-type noshes that are also delicate and petite. But gee-whiz. It's $74. That seems like a waste and not how we eat.

Shame. Fancy Champagne rosé here.  

Ate well. That helped.

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