Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Osso Buco and White Corn Grits with 2010 Raul Péréz El Pecado Ribeira Sacra

To the right is a picture of last night's meal before the pan juice (lamb shank marrow and drippings with garlic and anchovy) was dumped on top.

Which is key, because that pan juice...crap. That was good pan juice. Which doesn't take away from everything else delicious in this meal, like that line of gremolata in the middle (parsley, orange zest, mint, and peppadew peppers), which set off and brought in line so much of this meal.

Oh, and that lamb shank (D'Artagnan). Jeebus. That's a Thing. ... Okay. I have to stop talking like this. I just watched Inherent Vice. I think I'm still on a contact high.

Osso buco recipe from Mark Bittman, with the addition of rosemary and sage. White corn grits gussied up with pecorino. Roasted carrots that went from merely roasted carrots to pretty freakin' great carrots with the parsley-zest-mint-pepper business.

This was great meat, great grits, great everything that became more than the sum of its parts. Homey, but not too homey. Fancy, but not too fancy. It hit just the right balance.

And I swear this has happened before. We get a taste of Spanish wine and vacation plans dramatically change. The beginning dalliances with Barcelona are currently in the works. Because Spain is Spain. It feels like Home.

The wine that did it, the 2010 Raul Péréz El Pecado Ribeira Sacra ($88 - Spanish Table), smelled like the indescribable reason Spain is Spain. Evocative. Transportative. A mencia that will ruin us against all the other mencias out there. Floral, bright berries, blood orange, smoky wood, spice, with acid all over the place in such of pretty sense. This has plenty of life left, but it's perfect right now in our book. It kept changing with every sip, but was never scatter-brained, holding its personality while offering new insights and thoughts throughout the meal. This wine, among others, is why we like Spain so much, and why we keep going back. For some, it's Italy. For some, it's France. For us, it's Spain. And it has something to do with a confidence and 'space given.' Something like, "Here's me. Take it or leave it. I don't care. You fill in the rest. I have things to do." That's the best I have to explain it right now.

Very good food. Very good wine. Very good pairing. They really liked each other. Can't ask for more than that.      

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