January 15, 2011

Two nights of trouble

Occasionally we must document the various issues we face with certain bottles of wine. Usually when they happen in succession and wear us down, the only thing to do is blog in frustration.

It began last night. We bought fresh rotini pasta and marinara, and while it's not a perfect match, I thought why not try the 1996 Ca Rome Barbaresco Maria di Brun. Picked two up at auction a while back, the first was oxidized and I was suspicious of this one. Looked fine, should have been fine, but wasn't. Damn.

So we dial back for some "everyday" Barolo, which readers should remember well. The 2006 Reverdito Barolo that I wrote about last fall that was available locally for well under $20. Absurd pricing for real, even if entry-level Barolo. Wouldn't you know it. Corked. That unmistakable scent of mildew from improperly processed cork.

That's where I draw the line. So out comes the 2005 Paolina Chianti Classico that we picked up dirt cheap when Whole Foods opened in our neighborhood a while back. Nothing fancy, but good honest Chianti with a little extra richness than usual. Perfect with the meal and obviously what I should have started with. Barolo and Barbaresco needs something more, though my rule with wine and food matching starts with wine you like with food you like. You don't need to get fancy with matching.

So tonight we're making our version of enchiladas - vegetarian, with mushrooms and spinach. Meaning, it's not actual Mexican food and to be honest, not my favorite and certainly not something I look forward to on a weekend night. What's the right wine match for Mexican food? Beer. But I like slightly sweet white wines, and they do well with spicy food. So why not throw caution to the wind?

I opened the 2005 Tessier Cour-Cheverny That's off-dry wine from the romorantin grape in a somewhat obscure appellation of France's Loire valley. I had this on release and it was delicious. Tonight, from a bottle that was already in the fridge, it smelled a little odd, tasted ok and then...bleeech. Sour yogurt. Clearly something biological in this bottle, turning a not quite right wine to something vile and immediately poured down the drain.

Oh well. Pffft. Wait, what's that? Oh yes, the sweet, sweet sound of beer bottles being uncapped. Oregon's own Heater Allen brewing out of McMinnville. Isarweizen, for those who care. Clearly I should have known better and started here. Will remember for next time, no doubt.


D J R-S said...

Nah, I will tell you what I tell myself, a recurrent mantra: don't second guess yourself. You had to go through what you went through to get to where you were meant to be at the right time, on your own learning path.
Sorry I've been such a stranger-- my Dad passed away last November afer a year of accelerating decline. I haven't asked you to ship my futures because I'd really like to visit. Mid-March, possibly, after I deal with a bunch'a stuff in CA. I have difficult feet & I'd like to buy a pair of hiking boots from Danner, then take a train East & open a couple bottles for my birthday with my NY buddies.

Vincent Fritzsche said...

Hey, good to hear from you. Yes, there's a purpose even in these odd bottles.
Sorry about your dad. Sadly I have experience there. Hope you can make it out here, but just let me know what you want to do.