Last weekend, a few friends and I went down to Philadelphia for a "foodie tour." Our first stop was 10 Arts by Eric Ripert. SO disappointing. Terrible ambience and so-so food (would be a "good," but for these prices, you shouldn't consider this food good). The worst part was the wine list. Plenty to choose from, but at 300-400% markups, why bother? This has changed my perception of Eric Ripert as one of the "genius" chefs of today.
The next day we stopped at Tria for lunch. Tria is a local Philly wine bar with two locations. I've now been to both and they're wonderful. Plus, any place that has Torrontes on the menu is a winner! Torrontes is a lovely white grape out of Argentina that you're going to be seeing a lot more of over the next few years.
The following Sunday I had dinner at Raymond's with a friend of mine. For those keeping track, I've mentioned Raymond's a few times because it is one of my favorite local BYOs. I brought a bottle of Chateau Tour Prignac 2005 from the Medoc region of the Bordeaux. From my wine course I now know that Bordeaux blends from Medoc are more Cabernet dominated. It was a lovly bottle with a lot more fruit on the palette than I expected and it surprisingly went really well with the trout I ordered. If you can find it, definitely worth the $22 I paid for it!
This past Thursday was one of my book club meetings. We read "My Life in France," Julia Child's account of her years developing "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" with her good friends Simca and Louisette. Guess who picked the book? We ate a local French BYO, mais oui (or as we'd say, "but of course"). I brought a bottle of Domaine De La Pertuisane Le Nain Violet 2004 from the Languedoc region (Grenache, Carignan, Syrah). Though you can usually drink wines from the Languedoc young, this felt a little too young. Good thing I have a few more bottles laid down!
And my wine drinking of the past few weekends was capped off with a tasting class of Spanish and Portuguese wines at Amanti Vino. We tried 7 differet wines and of those, my favorites were the Lavradores "Tres Bagos" 2005 and the Infantado Vintage Character Port NV. Both are from Portgual. "Tres Bagos" is a red table wine that has grapes from 15 different growers in the Douro region of Portgual. It has a gamey nose with lots of black fruit (blackberries, black currant). It drinks like it smells - earthy and dry with a nice hit of fruit. And for $16, you'd be crazy not to give it a shot if you find it. The Infantado is a wonderful port with all of the silky, sweet textures and flavors you'd hope to find. Made me crave a little water cracker, brie and fig jam sandwich.
Before I leave, I have one request of my faithful readers (all 5-6 of you). Please help me pick which pie to make for Thanksgiving. I'm making two pies - one will be apple and I don't know what to make for the second pie. My mom doesn't like pumpkin and my dad doesn't like "anything with that many calories." I'm open to suggestions. Ideas?
Until the next sniff, sip or quaff (or several daysof sipping),