Sunday, August 28, 2011

What pairs with a Hurricane (or really bad rain and a hyper 24 hour media?)

Due to the impending Hurricane, I've been cooped up inside since 10am yesterday.  After 3 loads of laundry, countless crappy movies (how and why did "Love Happens" ever get made?!?) and multiple updates of my Fantasy Football worksheet, I felt it was time to enjoy some wine.  So what pairs with a Hurricane - or even a pesudo tropical storm that the news keeps trying to turn into something so much bigger?!? 
With the intense humidity, I thought I should pick something that was crisp and cool, but with some body.  Cut the humidity; stand up to the wind.  I happened to have a good portion of a bottle of 2010 Cuma Torrontes left over from a sushi dinner that would be the perfect storm compliment.     

As longtime readers know, Torrontes, is one of my absolute favorite white grapes.  To me, it has the perfect balance of fruit, acid and body.  A part of me wants the whole world to discover this
flavorful, food friendly wine and another much more selfish part wants it to stay a hidden gem in Argentina so that it doesn't get over planted and mass produced like so many Chardonnays, Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Grigios. 

I'd never had Cuma before, but an astute employee at Englewood Wine Merchants recommended it.  What a good call!  Cuma, from the Michel Torino estate, is one of my favorite new white wines.  It has a beautiful nose with all sorts of floral notes.  The most predominent seems to be rose.  On the palate, you get a huge hit of acid that is mitigated by the floral notes as well as some peach notes that add some nice body. 

It has a little too much acid for me to drink alone, but with some salad or sushi or most varieties of fish (even tuna fish salad), Cuma drinks beautifully.

I (almost) look forward to another day of bad weather and even worse movies so I can enjoy another glass or two of Cuma.

Until the next sniff, sip or quaff (6 days until I'm in Oregon),


Alli M.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Dinner with an Old Friend(s)

This past weekend my good friend and Manhattanite, Wendy, made the big trek across the river to join my monthly dinner club get together.  This month we chose Giotto because Jeff, one of the club members had never been, which the rest of us felt was just wrong for someone who has lived in Montclair for over a year. 

Giotto, like most places we choose, is a BYO so Wendy and I took a quick tour of my wine refrigerator.  As we were deciding which bottles of wine to bring to dinner, Wendy commented that she was a big fan of Merry Edwards pinot noir - one of the many things we agree upon.  Merry Edwards is one of my absolute favorite pinot noir makers and you don't have to do much arm twisting to convince me to crack open a bottle of her wine.  I grabbed a bottle of Merry Edwards 2006 Flax Vineyard pinot noir that I picked up on my last trip to Sonoma.

The wine was as good as I remembered.  Medium bodied, but with rich, yet soft tannins and a lot of great cherry and blackberry fruit.  It's a great wine for a variety of foods, which made it a natural choice for a restaurant where we'd be having everything from salads to scallops to rich meaty red sauces.  Most importantly, it was a big hit and enjoyed by all (or so my friends told me).  I sometimes wonder if they just tell me they like what I pick to prop up my wine-ego!

Regardless, it was a great dinner.  AND, unlike previous experiences at Giotto, the service was as good as the wine.  Maybe they finally recognized that at least a few of us are there somewhat regularly?!?  Either way, it was great that the quality of the service finally matched the food. 

And what's more - we actually agreed to venture out of Montclair for our next dinner club.  With an upcoming trips to Blue Hill at Stone Barns and the Willamette Valley, I'll definitely be posting before then!

Until the next sniff, sip, quaff, or venture out of Montclair,


Alli M.