Friday, January 22, 2016

365 Days Of Food And Wine: Week #28

Going cheap and cleaning out the freezer this week, as a D'Artagnan shipment is on the way.

Some numbers:

26 days until pitchers and catchers report.

73 days until Opening Day

These are the most important numbers in the world right now.

Total food and wine cost for the week: $166 for food and $128 for wine = $294

Total food and wine cost for the month: $547 for food and $514 for wine = $1061

Sunday: Calzone-y Things with 2013 Palmina Sparkling Barbera Santa Barbara

Food Details: Kale, ricotta, sausage and other things, baked in freezer dough shaped into a log-like, calzone-y style shape. Marinara on the side to dip, top and dunk.

Did We Like It? Tasted like Italian Sunday Supper. Comforting, tasty, and entirely welcome.

How Was The Wine? Same. Comforting mixture of blue/black fruits, touch of licorice, some background spice. Not a lot of any of that. This was more along the lines of a friendly, slightly bubbly, red wine drink and we very much liked every second of it.

And The Pairing? Happy. Nothing wrong here. Italian-American homemade food, unpretentious wine that simply wants to be liked...we don't need much more than that on a Sunday.

Cost: $14 for food, $32 for wine = $46  

Saturday: Pan Bagnat with 2014 La Granja Blanco Rioja

Food Details: (recipe) Ciabatta loaf filled with kumatoes, red peppers, marinated artichokes, capers, Greek olives, onions, basil and As do Mar jarred tuna. Drizzled with red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Entire loaf smushed flat. Whole Foods olive oil chips.

Did We Like It? Oh, my, oui! This one much more filled with southern Frenchy pan bagnat goodness than the last incarnation. Mrs. Ney had a French sandwich, Spanish wine and German film combo for dinner and loved it! I paired mine with yet another unfunny viewing on an SNL episode.

How Was The Wine? Tastes like vacation on the cheap. White Spanish wine, a verdejo and viura blend, with crispness, dryness and creaminess; lightly floral, lightly citrusy...$5 wine done well. Guzzle-able.

And The Pairing? Enough acid here to stand up to the briny notes, then break open the wine's Spanish air deliciousness. It's $5, so nothing in the way of fancy, but it has a real place in this house.

Cost: $16 for food, $5 for wine = $21

Friday: Freezer Shepherd's Pie with 2015 Viñas Chileans Reserva Rosé Valle Central

Food Details: Barberry beef, harissa goat and jerk goat combined in typical shepherd's pie prep; celery root and skordalia with feta topping.

Did We Like It? Big D'Artagnan order coming, so it's clean-out-the-freezer shepherd's pie. This could have been weird. It wasn't. Wasn't in the least. Very good, proper shepherd's pie flavors that had a happy balance. The feta really brightened things up. Big winner.

How Was The Wine? $4. Cab-syrah. Rosé. Chile. It's $4-ness is quickly making this wine our house rosé when we don't want to get spendy.

And The Pairing? Just fine. No complaints.

Cost: $2 for food, $4 for wine = $6  

Thursday: Chicken Salad, Arugula and Crostini with 2014 VinTJ's Vermentino Sonoma County

Food Details: Old School chicken salad with dill and tarragon, toasted up homemade baguette, arugula salad. Bread + chicken salad + arugula on top = happiness.

Did We Like It? Nothing fancy here, just a simple chicken salad dinner that brought all of the ingredients to a party that led to a weirdly satisfying dinner.

How Was The Wine? Some lime notes with a wee touch of minerality and herbs. Simple vermentino, nothing special in the least, but for $8, a decent little wine when you want/need a modicum of citrusy snap to perk up and weave into the food.

And The Pairing? The wine helped make it weirdly satisfying, mostly because of the wine fails lately. There was enough here in the way of cleanse/refresh to offer some solid pairing goodness, even if this wine isn't...the best.

Cost: $6 for food, $8 for wine = $14

Wednesday: Baby Shower and Cacio e Pepe

Note: Mrs. Ney attended a baby shower. I made cacio e pepe. No wine, though Mrs. Ney says the baby shower could have used it.

Tuesday: Greek Chicken, Skordalia and Pickled Vegetables with 2014 Burgans Albariño Rías Baixas and 2014 Kozlovic Malvazija Croatia

Food Details: Greeked-up chicken thighs (lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, oregano, dry white wine, garlic, onion and black pepper), potato skordalia and Solomonov pickled vegetables over arugula, with pita to rip, top, dip and eat.

Did We Like It? A very fine version of a house staple. The pickled veggies tasted like 'a thing.' And a thing we'll be having again. Great subtle tang to them. And the food vastly outdid the wine.

How Was The Wine? Both of us found nothing good to say about either of them. Cheaper albariño and Croatian malvasia here. Both tasted like a Cliff Notes version of their respective grapes. Nothing to see here. Move along.

And The Pairing? wasn't hate-able.

Cost: $13 for food, $34 for wine = $47

Monday: Bistro Campagne with 2004 Ducru Beaucaillou Saint-Julien

Food Details: Brandade croquettes to start, two orders of hanger steak frites as entrée.

Did We Like It? This is becoming our default restaurant for anytime we "want to go out." Pleasant croquettes that we'd order again. But this place is about the hanger steak and fries with sides of aioli for fry-dippin'. It's a big plate of utterly satisfying food.

How Was The Wine? And one of the reasons we like Bistro Campagne so much, along with a great steak frites, is a low corkage fee of $15. We can bring a more spendy wine, drink wines sitting around in the house that Mrs. Ney doesn't really want to cater-cook to-for, and enjoy with food like this steak frites that works with them. As it was with this one. I got this 2004 Ducru for a patently ridiculous $45 from Binny's years ago (it's about $120 right now around the interwebs). Decanted at the restaurant and it moved along quite nicely after 30 minutes in. Very medium-bodied, tons of fancy cigar on the nose, pleasant red-black currant fruit blend on the tongue, touch of cedar, somewhat short-ish finish, but very pleasant overall. Could have used a couple more years, maybe, as it was a bit shy/reticent at times.

And The Pairing? A very solid use for this wine. The meal had that languid, pokey feel and the wine helped in that endeavor, as we discussed the rental apartment we just went to see and listened to the gentleman next to us explain to the waitress that he likes big portions and is allergic to everything.

Cost: $115 for food, $45 for wine = $160    

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