Simple meal, Wednesday meal. Something about some meals we eat on Wednesday tastes like we're eating on Wednesday.
This tasted like Wednesday, a early-to-bed day that gives a nod to fancy while keeping the cooking agony to a minimum.
Drink more fancy wine with it and boom! Fancified.
Food: Gazpacho, chorizo-stuffed date "brisket," potato-kale cake, mayo and manchego
Cherry, beet, tomato and the smallest bit of onion gazpacho to start. Best gazpacho this house has made. Balanced as all get-out.
I'm calling the chorizo dates "brisket." Well...it was kinda like brisket and ropa vieja had a baby. Standard chorizo-stuffed dates in a whipped-up smoked paprika and tomato sauce, then ovened to get it sticky-delicious but not heavy. Great smoked paprika ooze. Made-up, on the fly, good stuff here.
Potato-kale cake-hash. A house standard. Recipe from The New Spanish Table. Always good.
Mayo for dipping, slopping, glazing and loving on everything.
Manchego on the side that wasn't really touched (had mayo, seemed superfluous).
Spanish flavors everywhere in an easy-breezy package.
New World Spanish to pair that served as a great catch-all.
Wine: 2008 Gramercy Cellars Inigo Montoya Tempranillo Walla Walla ($45 - Binny's)
Popped an hour before (I'm gonna write 'pooped' someday and not catch it in the edit and that will seem like too much information to a stranger looking for a food and wine pairing). Good place given the hour wait. No decant.
Meaty nose, all tempranillo on the tongue (5% each of grenache and mourvèdre in here as well). Trended towards full-bodied and tasted like the winemaker was trying to find a happy medium between Rioja and Ribera expressions while still retaining a New World freshness. Rioja cedar and Ribera smoke. Hints of licorice and espresso while the wood brought nice spice and body. But this one was defined mostly by its ripe plummy notes with nice perks of cherry and tons of meat, iron and blood. By itself, it shoots its wad early. With food, it expands and lingers beautifully. Mourvèdre shows up here in impressive ways instead of just bringing structure.
A very nice, different blend and expression worth the dollars and interesting to the last sip. Won't say it was stunning or any other superlative in that vein but golly we liked this.
Pairing: 92 Great triangulation. Not only came to the party, it brought the chips and beer
The pairing success came down to the wine's willing participation at every turn. It was the person at the party telling the good stories, the person keeping everything light-hearted and fun.
Flat-out delicious with the smoked paprika sauce. Bloody, savory goodness in every respect. Played well with the cake-hash even (and especially) with a mayo slather, amping up the plums and licorice.
There was just something elemental about it. This wine was...almost dull by itself. So good food made better by the wine and wine made infinitely better by the food.
That's better eating.