Thursday, October 27, 2011

#230 - TWIB Notes: This Week In Bottles

New puppy in the house.  She came with everything that comes in the new puppy package.

Mostly good, though.  Promising.  Quite promising.  We think we like her.

Three meals and three wines this week, given a TWIB post to highlight two new wines that we very much enjoyed, even if they weren't something that evoked splendor in the glass (see what I did there...).

Meal #1:  TJ's $4 roasted chicken, Brussels sprouts with pancetta, baguette and butter

Simple meal done simply well.  New puppy and a cold gripping Mrs. Ney demanded such things.  Nothing we didn't like here.

Served with the 2008 Thomas & Fils Sancerre Le Crêle ($23 - WDC).  Big Sancerre.  Forward stuff with a more quiet supporting cast and really saved by its finish.  Big tropical fruit upfront with a mix of gooseberry, kiwi and a touch of lime thrown in.  Flint at its core and finishing with a teeny-tiny straw AND (then) grassy note.  More obvious in our Sancerre world but that wasn't a bad thing.  Acid kept everything jumping nicely.  Tasted like a well-made California sauvignon blanc that would have gotten oodles of praise for its restraint and finesse.

Saddled up well with the food.  No complaints.  Pairing Score:  89

Meal #2:  Hema's Kitchen take-out

No surprises here.  I complain at work sometimes about customers that come in weekly and order the same exact thing but that's exactly what we do at Hema's on Devon.  Well, at least me.  Mrs. Ney mixes it up.

Veggie samosas, lamb samosas, chicken vindaloo, haryali chicken, riata and three types of naan.  Top five meal in Chicago and it travels extremely well.

Served with the true-and-true wine deliciousness, the 2011 Crios Torrontés ($12) and NV Albero Cava ($8).  So...$47 for the food and $20 for the wine.  $67 total dollars before tip and it beats 98% of the food out in the world at a fraction of the cost, including enough for lunch the next day.  Has everything:  Floral notes from the Torrontés for the herbaceous in the food with the bubbles in the Cava playing with the heat (and oddly the naan).  Textbook.  Nothing missing and always pause-worthy.  Pairing Score:  95

Meal #3:  Shrimp-chorizo-potato tapas-y platter

Shrimp sautéed up in black garlic, olive oil, etc., chorizo browned, potatoes roasted, all tossed on the plate and finished with parsley over everything.  Bravas sauce served on the side with an arugula salad to finish, made with pomegranate seeds and an avocado dressing.

It's been awhile since tapas-style Spanish love made an appearance and this one echoed what we love about tapas in fine, tasty ways.  Hit many of the fundamental notes.

Served with the 2009 Protos Tinto Fino Ribera Del Duero ($14 - WDC).  A solid, cheap Ribera.  Rare thing, that.  Fruitcakey, almost Châteauneuf-du-Pape fruitcakey.  Black cherry leads the way but plenty of dark berry fruit changes it into something more.  Loads of Christmas spices here with easy tannins and enough acid to give it a spine.  This one isn't going to last long but it's ingratiating and friendly.  Wouldn't have pegged it as a Ribera as it's missing that bucking wildness but $14?  Not too shabby.  I kept reaching for the glass even if the pairing wasn't all matchy-matchy.  Pairing Score:  88   

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