Thursday, May 31, 2012

#281 - Piri-Piri Chicken, Couscous & Pineapple With '10 Berger Grüner Veltliner

Holy crap!

From a technical pairing standpoint, this was just awful. Truly terrible stuff. This was Ishtar. This was Battlefield Earth. This was even bad inside of bad, like "Take me to the teleportation platform!" inside Battlefield Earth.

We planned a Portuguese white, 2009 Van Zellers Branco ($18 - Spanish Table), to drink with this No Reservations Mozambique episode-inspired piri-piri chicken but...corked. No backup chilled. The 2010 Berger Grüner Veltliner, a common fridge wine in this house, was the only option. And what an option it was!

Food was piri-piri chicken thighs (page 118, The New Portuguese Table) cooked under a brick. Tasted like fancy buffalo wings in a good way. Whole wheat Israeli couscous cooked in chicken stock with crushed coriander and fennel seeds; sliced green onions mixed in post-cooking. Great cheap option that can be gussied up and was. Overripe pineapple. Lemon thyme dumped over everything. Arugula salad with evoo and white balsamic vinegar to finish. Tasted like roadside café food thrust upon you when your car breaks down in the middle of Louisiana nowhere and something about it leaves a big, happy impression on you.

The wine pairing was another story. Just shocking how bad it was. So bad that any critical tongue was put in our back pocket and we just sat back and took it in, which made for an oddly happy dinner. With the food, the 2010 Berger Grüner Veltliner ($13 - WDC), usually a delicious little mid-afternoon guzzler, tasted like zucchini juice, bean-soaking water and, at times, milk just about to turn had a baby. Hilarious how bad it was with the piri-piri (and we knew it would be). Made nice efforts with the couscous, even good at times, but once the piri-piri hit our tongues, it was all downhill from there. But like watching Battlefield Earth, there wasn't one moment I was going to get up and leave (yep. Saw it in the theatre in anticipation of such howlingly terrible stuff). It was so bad it was almost good.  Pairing Score: 60  

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