Tuesday, December 27, 2016


Let's kickstart this here blog back up.

The 365 Days of Food and Wine experiment, while interesting, sapped my ability to accurately describe the delicious food Mrs. Ney made. It got to the point where my word canon reached the very end of its description limit. I'd re-read things I'd written and think, "Hot damn that's boring!" And that wasn't doing any justice to the time and effort Mrs. Ney had put in to researching, thinking about, and making dinners.

The break was needed, but it's time to step back in, because while we hope anyone searching for food and wine pairing advice - a vexing and frightening proposition for many - comes across this site and comes to understand that it's not that frightening, mostly we want and need the reference. We also like to see how our year and tastes flowed and changed.

Christmas seems a good place to start.

Food: Bittman Lamb Osso Buco with Sean Brock Grits and Rapini

Mark Bittman osso buco recipe, from NYT Cooking. Lamb osso buco from D'Artagnan, seared, then cooked for 90 minutes on the stovetop with garlic, anchovies, sage, marjoram, rosemary, white wine, salt and pepper until tender. Meat removed, sauce reduced, served on the side. Cracked pink peppercorns sprinkled on top of lamb. Sean Brock grits, from Heritage: A Cookbook (page 74 - "How to cook grits like a Southerner"). Simple rapini done up with salt and pepper that somehow didn't taste so simple.

Luscious lamb. Frenchy touches with northern Italian guts. Osso buco is never going to be the best meat I've ever had in my life, but when it hits, like here, it's a meat-melty wonder. Rather perfect grits, as Mr. Brock seems to offer with most anything he offers (see burgers, patty melts, steaks, grits, griddle cakes...he's one of our house food guiders to the delicious). Silky, but corny and buttery, with a surprising jump and lightness. A great balance and vacillation between all the flavors. When some of the anchovy pan sauce bled into the rapini, it was maybe the best rapini we've had in a good long time.

This was a dinner worthy of Christmas, after a shockingly easy Christmas Eve visit to the family.

Wine: 2015 Jolie-Laide Trousseau Gris Fanucchi-Wood Vineyard RRV

We loved the poop out the 2014 Jolie-Laide Trousseau Gris, first had at Chez Panisse two Septembers ago. So board and giving. The 2015 is more sturdy and focused in its flavors. It gets more directly and quickly to the point it's trying to make. Bitter orange peel galore, like Chinotto or Aperol in presence and aggressiveness. Wispy touches of herbs and minerals, particularly on the back-end, even something tea-like thrown in there on occasion. This one needs to warm up significantly in order for it to stretch its legs and become more elastic and playful. The 2014 was all ethereal, sunshine-y goodness, but sputtered with some food. The 2015 is more punchy, and that over the course of the next year might make it more suitable to the flavors we love.

Pairing: Once it reached the right temp...nothing wrong with that.

I opened a 2005 Gourt des Mautens Rasteau (Jérome Bressy) and decanted couple of hours before dinner, but it didn't budge from its hairy-backed, tannic self, and would have been just terrible with how delicate the lamb was. But the Jolie-Laide served us quite well. Not perfect, not by any means. Once it warmed up though, there was enough weaving in-and-out with the grits and lamb together to say, "Slap Daddy! That's just fine!"

Lunch: Homemade duck pâté with Rogue Flora Nelle Blue Cheese, fig marmalade, baguette and salad, served with 2011 Matthiasson Vermouth. Mrs. Ney whipped up A LOT of duck pâté, this one more country in style with its small chunks of duck meat. Turned into one of those pâtés one eats and thinks THIS is how all pâté should be. Every flavor bouncing and jiving with each other. Rogue Flora Nelle has that ideal touch of blue streaks while still retaining a clean brightness to it. House fav.

All served with a Matthiasson Vermouth that's been sitting in this house way too long, and it was great here. Smoky tangerine peel, blood orange and bark. Still going quite strong. A bite of cheese and fig marmalade on baguette with a sip of vermouth was as pairing-perfect as it gets.

Damn good (and lazy) Christmas Day! We didn't get to the "Feast of the One Fish" (brandade). It's in the works for New Year's Eve. With bubbles. We need bubbles. So we'll have them. Because bubbles are essential in life.

After the jump is a list of all the pairings we've had since this blog stopped, some of it in shorthand. It's for our reference:
7.11 Baby chickens, green goddess and corn-avocado salad with 2014 Benito Santos Albariño
7.12 Lawrence Fish Market sushi with Domaine des Champs Fleuris Crémant de Loire and 375 of Laurent-Perrier
7.13 Chorizo-potato-kale hash with 2014 Cataldi Madonna Pecorino
7.14 Peanut noodles and raw veg with 2015 Lachetau Vouvray
7.15 Taco salad with 2015 La Granja Blanco
7.16 Pakistani goat biryani with 2010 Trader Joe’s Pinot Noir Sonoma
7.17 Margherita, tuna/onion purée/black olives, white anchovy-arugula pizzas with NV Feudi di San Gregorio DUBL Sparkling Greco and 2015 Charles Smith VINO sangiovese rosé
7.18 Lamb-stuffed artichokes, fresh fava, cornmeal-amaranth cakes, roasted tomatoes, dill, mint and parsley with 2014 Halcyon Cabernet Franc Templeton Gap Paso Robles Velo Vineyard
7.19 David Tanis crab croquetas with a sauce made from olive oil, garlic, marcona almonds and toasted sunflower seeds. One salad of wilted beet greens, charred beet stems and scallions, roasted beets, white balsamic, drizzle of almond/sunflower sauce. Another salad of celery, roasted pepper, raw corn, avocado, lemon balm, lemon thyme, white balsamic, evoo with 2014 Mamacita and 2014 Broc Cellars Love White
7.20 Mac-n-Cheese with no wine
7.21 Minty brown rice and amaranth greens with 2015 Berger Grüner Veltliner
7.22 Roasted Greek chicken, pita, FM tomatoes and tzatziki with 2015 Skouras Moscofilero
7.24 Hummus and avocado fattoush with 2014 Domaine Giuberteau Saumur

7.25 Piemontese hanger and yucca with 2010 Maison Bleue Syrah Yakima
7.26 Milkfish and a plum, cabbage, snow pea salad with 2015 Txomin Etxaniz Txakolina
7.27 Smoked chicken, grilled/pickled white peaches, white BBQ sauce and seeduction bread with 2014 Firelands Gewürztraminer
7.28 Galician tuna empanada with Albero Cava (Forlorn Hope Ribolla Gialla was a failure)
7.29 Broiled Feta and fava-tomato-onion salad with 2015 Bokisch Albariño Las Cerezas
7.30 Sausage and rapini with 2015 Mascarelli Trebbiano d’Abruzzo
7.31 Pizza Art with 2015 Day Wines Papacito sparkling primitivo

8.1 Merguez Kebabs, tomato salad and carrot purée with 2014 Susucaru and 2012 Forlorn Hope Ribolla Gialla
8.2 Lawrence Fish Market Sushi with 2015 Broc Sparkling Chenin Blanc
8.3 Korean bbq chicken, rice and carrot-cabbage slaw with 2012 C&P Breton la Dilettante Vouvray
8.4 Smoked trout, beets, mustard greens and cream cheese with 2013 Jackys Preys Fie Gris Touraine
8.5 Big Salad (breaded chicken, tomato, herbs, onions…) with 2014 Terrasse de Molinas Blanc Élegance
8.6 Zucchini pasta salad (Ottolenghi) with 2015 Innovacion Rosé
8.7 Sean Brock (freezer) burgers, bagged fries and onion rings (McClain) with 2015 El Jefe Grande Unoaked Tempranillo
8.8 Vitello tonnato with 2015 Negro Unfiltered Arneis
8.9 Shrimp, shishito and Carolina Gold rice with 2015 Bokisch verdejo
8.10 Pick-n-Choose with Cleto Chiarli before Cubs game
8.11 Chicken thighs, grilled radicchio, grilled vegetable vinaigrette and grilled potatoes with 2015 Sigalas Assyritiko
8.12 Ms Clark's tomato/thyme/honey crostata with 2014 Quinta de Porrais Branco
8.13 Minty brown rice and wilted greens with 2010 Domaine Maestracci "E Prove" Corse Calvi Rouge
8.14 Indian carrot salad with 2015 Crios Torrontés
8.15 Piedmontese hanger, salsa verde, ricotta salata and empanadas with 2013 Jean-Antoine Lyut Carignan
8.16 YO chicken, corn fritters and zucchini flowers with 1999 López de Heredia Gravonia Blanco
8.17 Charred onions and yogurt with 2010 Domaine de la Pepìere Quatre
8.18 PIcadillo with La Granja Tempranillo
8.19 Italian Subs with TJ’s Brachetto
8.20 Green Goddess Chicken with 2013 Pascal Janvier Jasnieres
8.21 Pizza Art with 2011 Dagueneau Silex and TJ’s Brachetto
8.22 Lamb leg [YO shawarma via NYT] Komi-style with tomato-onion, tzatkiki, pickled mustard seeds…with 2015 Cruse Pet-Nat Valdiguie and 2012 Sattler St. Laurent
8.23 Loco Moco with 2004 Clos Fourtet
8.24 Falafel salad with 2015 La Granja Blanco
8.25 Piri-Piri chicken, watercress and dill potatoes with 2015 St. Bris SB
8.26 Tomato crostata with 2015 Desperada Sauvignon Blanc
8.27 Greens, feta and rice with 2015 Berger GV
8.28 Goat meatballs, fava and orzo with 2012 Broc Cab Franc
8.29 Psilakis rabbit, celery root/chestnut purée and endive with NV Egly-Ouriet V.P.
8.30 Fish Tacos with Argus Pineapple Wine
8.31 Green goddess chicken, crème fraiche potatoes & salad with 2007 Benjamin LaRoux P-M
9.1 Flank steak and pierogi with NV Marietta Christo #3
9.2 Arugula, chicken, beets, scallions, feta, jalapeno, almonds with 2015 Lageder Pinot Grigio
9.3 Piri Piri Lamb over rice with 2014 Alloy Rosé
9.4 Scaccia and salad with NV Paolo Palummo Lettere
9.5-9.14 Tuscany
9.14 Mariano’s chicken, arugula, tzatziki, tomato-onion and bread with St. Bris
9.15 B’stilla with 2015 TJ’s Haut de Mourier Viognier
9.16 Sopa Seca with 2012 Bokisch Graciano
9.17 Tomato Crostata with 2015 Bibi Graetz Bianco Casamatta
9.18 Tacos with NV TJ’s Brachetto
9.19 Fish sauce quail, scallion pancakes and beet-celery salad with 2015 Mamacita
9.20 Halloumi and kale-roasted lemon salad with 2014 Bokisch Terra Alta Albariño
9.21 Chicken/amaranth/rice with 2015 Amancay Torrontés
9.22 Kale and Potato Hash with 2012 Kermit Lynch Vaucluse
9.23 Beef & salami & dill havarti & pugliese with TJ’s Brachetto
9.24 Dirty rice with 2013 Birichino Malvasia
9.25 Niçoise with 2014 Hippolyte Reverdy Sancerre Rosé
9.26 Fried chicken, biscuits and frisée-blue cheese-roasted tomato salad with Lillet Rosé
9.27 Purple Pig with NV Montsarra Cava
9.28 Lamb Curry over rice with 2012 Catherine et Pierre Breton “Trinch" Cab Franc
9.29 Enchiladas with 2015 Bokisch Rosé
9.30 Charred onions, yogurt and kale salad with 2015 Broc Picpoul
10.1 Big (tuna) Salad with 2015 Vera Vinho Verde
10.2 Chicken, fennel and clementines with 2013 Izadi Rioja Blanco
10.3 Beef shank pappardelle with 2010 Vallado Tinto
10.4 Potato Pie with 2015 Celine et laurent Tripoz Bourgogne Aligoté
10.5 Turkish Beany Surprise with no wine
10.6 Iraqi chicken, tzatziki and naan with NV Grifone Bianco
10.7 Sausage and rapini with 2015 TJ’s Gavi
10.8 salmon and bagels with WF French liter
10.9 Scaccia with Barbolini "Lancillotto" Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro
10.10 Lamb rosettes and yuca with 2008 Quinta do Vale Meão
10.11 Lemon pasta with tomato noodles and FM tomatoes with 2015 Vacheron Sancerre
10.12 Naan pizzas with no wine
10.13 Muffaletta-ish sandwiches (artichokes-sherry vinegar) with TJ’s Palomino
10.14 Tomato crostata with 2015 Vera Vinho Verde
10.15 Zucchini goop with Innovacion Rosé
10.16 Flap and chimichurri and latkes with Luyt Pais Pipeno
10.17 Pea-fennel-rabbit stock risotto with 2014 Regis Minet PF
10.18 Ema and wine tasting - 2015 Bodega Tajinaste Listan Blanco - Valle de la Orotava, Canary Islands, Spain
10.19 Black beans and rice with L'Authentique
10.20 Mariano’s chicken, kumatoes, white BBQ and basil with 2015 Broc Sparkling Chenin
10.21 Spaghetti and meatballs with TJ’s Barbera
10.22 Hummus, za’atar, kumatoes and watercress with 2014 Pascal Javier Jasnieres
10.23 Ottolenghi oxtail stew with 2010 Yalumba HP Shiraz-Viognier
10.24 YO Chicken, chorizo, potatoes, peppers, tarragon and marjoram with 2014 Domaine Glinavos Greek orange wine and 2015 Frantz Saumon La Cave Se Rebiffe Petillant Naturel Rosé
10.25 YO Mackerel, beet, apple, horseradish salad with 2014 Müller Catoir Haardt Scheurebe Trocken
10.26 Lentils, Kielbasa and Fennel with 2013 Laika Grüner Veltliner Michigan
10.27 Freezer lamb curry with L’Authentique (?)
10.28 Charred onions with 2015 Terrasse Moulinas Blanc Élegance
10.29 Sean Brock burgers and onion rings with NV Marietta Christo Lot 2
10.30 Shrimp and shishitos with 2004 Gramona Gran Reserva
10.31 Sifton Provençal roast chicken with mashed pot-celery root with 2014 Jolie-Laide TG
11.1  Sausages/grapes/tomatoes with 2012 Palmina Dolcetto
11.2 Jamie Oliver Greek chicken and couscous with 2015 Txomin Etxaniz Txakolina
11.3 Turnip green and chickpea curry, naan and carrot raita with 2015 Berger
11.4 Lou Malnati’s with TJ’s Barbera
11.5 Tuna salad, ciabatta, arugula and kumatoes with fridge/Benito Santos
11.6 Hanger steak with 2010 Owen Roe Syrah Chapel Block
11.7 Greeky cornish game hens, Roden's spicy harissa carrots with 2013 Anima Negra Quíbia
11.8 LFM sushi with TJ’s Crémant and TJ’s Auslese
11.9 Boulud Chicken with NV Benanti Sicilia Bianco
11.10 Torta goop with Innovacion Rosé
11.11 Sausage Rolls with no wine
11.12 Dirty Rice with 2015 Firelands Gewürztraminer
11.13 Pizza Art with Luyt Pais 1-Liter
11.14 Chicken Milanese with 2015 Desperada SB
11.15 Beef Plov with 2009 Angela PN
11.16 Spaghetti and meatballs with TJ’s Barbera
11.17 Pick-n-choose with 2015 Casamatta Bianco
11.18 YO harak osbao (Persian sopa seca) with 2015 Espiral rosé
11.19 YO beef stew with 2009 Vallado Tinto
11.20 Sambal shrimp and scallion pancakes with 2016 Gen del Alma JiJiJi Chenin Blanc
11.21 Lamb sausages, onions, kumatoes, Ancient Grains with Lillet Rosé (TJ’s brut rosé
11.22 Loko Moko with Brock burgers with 2004 Clos de l’Oratoire
11.23 Chicken vindaloo with 2015 Crios Torrontés
11.24 Thanksgiving
11.25 Tomato tart with 2015 Whole Foods grüner veltliner
11.26 Ham and cheese croissant sandwiches with 2015 Whispering Angel rosé
11.27 Piri-piri free turkey, carrot purée, onions and pita with 2014 La Val Albariño
11.28 Potato Pie with 2014 La Val and 2014 Lagar de Cervera Albariño
11.29 Leftover potato pie with leftover wine
11.30 Turkey chili with no wine
12.1 Potato-kale-lamb sausage hash with 2015 Charles & Charles Rosé
12.2 Dashi chicken with 2005 Bregéon Muscadet
12.3 Roast beef pick-n-choose with Alloy-C&C Rosé
12.4 Scaccia with 2015 COS Cerrasuolo
12.5 YO chorizo chicken with 2014 Domaine Glinavos Greek orange wine
12.6 Rabbit sausages and braised endive with 2015 Jolie-Laide Pinot Gris and 2104 Fie Gris
12.7 Leftover chicken and rice with TJ’s Palomino
12.8 Minty rice and mustard greens with 2015 Tatomer GV SBC
12.9 Porchetta, arugula, bread and mayo with TJ’s Lambrusco
12.10 Naan pizzas with 2015 C&C Rosé
12.11 J. Tower chicken and farro-hazelnut with J. Lasalle Champagne
12.12 Yusho
12.13 Cassoulet with 2012 Darting Pinot Meunier
12.14 Tomato tart with 2015 Vera Vinho Verde
12.15 Chicken pot pie with 2015 Belles Vignes SB
12.16 Green chorizo and rice with NV Ocarossa Cuvée Rosso  
12.17 Pick-n-choose with smoked chicken, salsa verde…with 2012 Muga Cava & TJ’s pink brut
12.18 Mint Masala (LP) chicken (mayo) with 2010 Selbach-Oster Himmelriech R-K
12.19 Spacca Christmas Party
12.20 Shrimp, fish sauce-sauce and scallion pancakes with 2014 Mamacita
12.21 Carrot top pesto, chicken and rice with 2015 Belles Vignes
12.22 Indian carrot salad with leftover wine
12.23 Mac-n-cheese with 2005 Chateau Teyssier
12.24 Christmas Eve in Camanche
12.25 Lamb Osso Buco with 2015 JL Trousseau Gris
12.26 Scaccia with Cleto Chiarli Lambrusco  

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