Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Winesday and a Drink Special

"Hey, listen I realize you are busy but I have to go taste some Robert Kacher wines. Going to go to Herbsaint, you in?" asked Bloggle.

I'll let you guess how I answered. Buying wine from foreigners can be very tricky what with all the funny names and dates. One of the most effective ways of buying wines that require a passport is to familiarize yourself with a few reputable importers. On the back of any bottle of wine from outside of America will be a seal of an importer. Some good ones to look for are Robert Kacher, Rosenthal Merchants, and Kermit Lynch.

Robert Kacher's portfolio has a stunning array of breadth and depth. Everything from a quaffable white Bordeaux to stunning Argentinian reds is in his list. Bloggle, who is a good friend to have, has a huge crush on Robert Kacher (pronounced like Carlton Fisk's position) and Cork & Bottle is full of them.

So into the backroom at Herbsaint went twelve of us, including Dread Pirate Robert and Ian McNulty. The latter welcome, the former not. Thirteen wines awaited and a whole mess of food. Foodwise here is a quick recap: guinea hen croquettes (eagle), frog legs (birdie), mushroom ravioli (birdie), spaghetti with fried poached egg and guanciale (what do you think?), veal stuffed with fontina cheese and ham with fried sage (par), cheese plate (killer epoisses), and a bite of McNulty's peanut butter mousse with salted whipped cream (eagle).

I loved the first white with its austerity, citrus notes, and a hint of melon. The culprit: a Joel Delaunay, Le Bois Martin made up of 100% Sauvignon Blanc. My notes say it was silver tinged, but this wine has gold medal written all over it. Drink it with pate or boiled shrimp on a hot summer day. Price? $13.99.

Other whites I particuliarly enjoyed were the Domaine du Tariquet from Bordeaux and the Quinto do Alqueve. The Bordeaux is fitty-fitty Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc that smells of fresh hay. A truly delicious, rustic white wine, I would love to drink this with a white bean soup on a cold evening after a long day.

There was also an incredibly clean and acidic white from Quinto do Alqueve which had underlying notes of star anise, dried flowers, and guava. The wine is made from 92% Fernao Pires, an ancient Mediterranean grape, and 8 % Chardonnay. At around $10 a bottle I could afford to drink this while watching the Charm School 3 Marathon.

Going darker to the world of reds, we find a 2008 Cote Jardin Rouge from Vignobles Boudinaud made up 55% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 15 % Mourvedre taken from vines older than me, but younger than Bloggle. This wine had a very focused nose offering hints of fruit preserves with a little inflection of sawdust. My notes say "This wine is such a killer it needs three names." Lucky for you, that was the high water mark of my cleverness that night.

A 2007 Syrah/Grenache blend from Mas des Bressades presented with cinnamon, allspice, cloves, cedar, and violets. Would love to drink this with a braised lamb shank in early spring. At less than $12 a bottle, if you give this to me as a gift, I would not be offended at your cheap ass.

Finally, there was a 2006 Chateauneuf du Pape from Les Cailloux. Such a great wine, to bad the only thing I could write down next to it was "A little rooster from Islamabad called he has your pocketbook."

Anyone know what that means?

Finally, I ran into Tom Wolfe, the chef, not the author recently. He told me they are running a special every Wednesday evening with mojitos and margaritas for $4 from 4:30 til along with other specials like fish tacos. Well made cocktails, good bar food, and no snootiness. Sounds like a good way to get over the hump to me.

Wolfe's on Rampart
1041 Dumaine Street


Section123 said...

Had it been Wolfe the author, it would have taken 10 pages for him to describe those specials.

Rene said...

First person to correctly name the college that Tom Wolfe the author went to, wins a drink with Peter.

Alex del Castillo said...

Washington and Lee. For his take on college today, see I Am Charlotte Simmons.

Rene said...

Ding, ding ding. We have a winner. Shoot us an email to claim your prize.

Real Big Tally said...

Yeah, but where did Shaq go to college?

Rene said...

Why dont be silly Real Big Tally, he graduated from the School of Hard Knocks, everyone knows that.