- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.eVyALSMd.dpuf born and raised: We Drink What We Like

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

We Drink What We Like

I think it is a shame to sit down to a meal without a glass of wine. Wine is a condiment, the same way a twist of lemon is. The right pairing of wine and food can make once-subtle flavors and nuances sparkle, refresh and balance a spicy or rich meal, or be the perfect accompaniment to a great meal.

There are two rules to pairing wine with food.  The first rule is don’t choose a wine that overpowers your meal, and don’t choose a meal that overpowers your wine.  The second rule is drink what you like.

If you are in my house, you drink your wine from a jar (most likely an old Hector's Honey jar), just as my grandfather and John Steinbeck did.  Some may consider it tacky.  They may even say it depreciates the aroma or is an insult to the wine.  It is true that there is a purpose to the elegant body of a proper wine glass, but we eat most of our meals outside, we move around the kitchen while we cook, we are clumsy, and we break glasses so we use multi-use durable jars.  The wine tastes fine in a Ball jar.

I like to have a glass of rosé on a hot day as I start to prepare dinner.  Sweet rosés are usually covering up some undesirable flavors, and are generally why people are afraid to drink pink wine.  I like dry rosé, a lively, bright, refreshing summer drink.

For dinner Saturday night we were lucky enough to have a surprise visit from Chelsea. We really wanted to re-invoke the summer, as we has reluctantly said goodbye to it only the weekend before, so we decided to barbecue. Nick went to the farmers market for pork ribs, but as it is nearing slaughter season there was none to be had from the previous season (yes, meat has a season too). Instead he brought home riblets and leg of lamb. He also picked up some of our favorite bread, Costeaux Multigrain, a few peaches, and some greens and garlic.
Nick made a simple and beautiful rub for the meat, and we grilled 'em up along with thickly sliced peaches and squash from the garden brushed with olive oil and salt and pepper. In the house I quickly rolled three small disks of goat cheese in coarsely chopped walnuts and roasted them for a few minuets in the oven on high heat. I laid the cheese over a bed of fresh, undressed greens, we laid the grilled peaches and squash over that, and when the meat was ready we nuzzled them all together on our plate.

It was amazing, the meat was sweet and tender, the flavors of squash, peach, cheese, nuts, and greens created an unbelievable synergy.

With dinner we drank a nice red wine, a local Syrah.

You cannot see from this picture (we are still using a ancient camera that only works with a glaring flash, or not at all), but the wine was a beautiful dark plum color.  Syrahs tend to be more purple than red as the grapes are dark purple.  They tend to be fuller bodied, so they are a good choice for the bold flavors of grilled meat. This particular wine had a jam flavor, also a earthy leather flavor which was especially lovely with the lamb.

S T R E T C H summer! Don't even bother clearing off the table!
Skal! Sante!

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