Thursday, August 19, 2010

50 Commerce

Into the city last Tuesday for a tasting and dinner afterwards with one of our favorite importers, making our way through a nice selection of wines that included some terrific values from the southwest of France (see the email offer here) all the way up to some fantastic Burgundies from Maume and Bertheau. After the tasting we were treated to a great dinner at 50 Commerce where I met up with Sommeliere Matt Barcewicz. Great to see him again as we had travelled in France and Spain together for a couple of weeks back in March, a great trip that took us through the Loire, Chablis, Burgundy, Rhone, Provence, Langeudoc and into Spain for one night and a great dinner at Cellar Can Rocca, another absolutely terrific dinner!
The wine list at Commerce, as I suspected from travelling with Matt, is fantastic. Plenty of mainstream stuff to keep the vanilla/chocolate crowd pleased, but the emphasis is on a well chosen selection of lesser known regions, grapes and wines - I started off with sweetbreads and fois gras in a summer vegetable ministrone, Joe had Tuna delicious marinated Hamachi ceviche with Yuzu, tomato chile and cilantro. We started off with Costal Chablis 2008 - crisp, stony and mineral - very racy. Followed with Geschwister Erhardt Rusdesheimer Berg Rottland Spatlese 1990 - absolutely rocking - reminding us why we all love Riesling and making vows to cellar and drink way more often! Matt sent out a tasting bite of a Pork Schnitzel - warm and savory with a side of crispy fingerling potatos and lightly pickled cucumbers in a creme fraiche sort of sauce - a perfect foil to the schnitzel - and perfect with the wine! I had black sea bass with Spring peas, basil and Meyer Lemon - delicious but over wined with the final choice of 2004 Grange des Pere - one of my all time favorite wineries. Spiced red fruits, hints of garrigue and Langeudoc herbs, classy, elegant and fine. Every dish was great for all four of us, and the wine list well stocked, eclectic and well priced - thanks Matt and can't wait to go back!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Late summer is in the air....

It's cloudy, there is a little drizzly rain and humidity, but it is relatively cool compared to the last few weeks of full-on summer heat...almost a nice change except for the realization that summer is on the wane. Fireflies are long gone, the Katydids rule, and inevitably soon the days will be shorter and we will be back to school and work and autumn. Meanwhile the farm stands are in full swing and it is still SUMMER!  

Metropolitan seafood and the local farm stands made the night with whole live scallops we sauteed in a pan with olive oil, butter, shallot, white wine,  parsley, lemon juice, sprinkled with sea salt and served with warmed crusty bread to sop up the jus. Washed it all down with Picq Chablis - perfectly crisp, racy, focused and mineral - soooo good with all the briny, oceanic complexity of the scallop entier. Next was grouper dotted with butter and broiled, with thin slices of lemon and some herbs added late to caramelize, add flavor and retain moisture in the fish. Served with summer veggie ratatouille (garlic, olive oil, eggplant, summer squash, zucchini, tomatoes - all sauteed), jersey corn side, juicy yellow and red heirloom tomatoes (each so completely unique in their tomato-ness!) and a delicious Cru Beaujolais from Emile Cheysson in Chiroubles. Enjoy the late summer season!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Great Dinner at Veritas

Had a fantastic dinner at Veritas last evening - started with tasty Amuse Bouches, then Frogs Legs, followed by delicious Duck Breast, and summery peach/blueberry dessert - but as good as the food was, the wines stole the show. While I am sure there are those who think that the life of an MW is nothing but grand dinners and great old wines, I can assure you that evenings with wines like these are few and far between with most days spent grinding it out in the retail trenches. So it was especially nice to be invited to share these superb wines - thank you Brad

Fevre Chablis Les Clos 2007 - Liked it alot but perhaps I was rushed and a little late and just didn't write much about it - was very good and great starter! Could be heading to that place between post youthful exhuberance and before secondary notes emerge.

Roumier 85 Chambolle Musigny les Amoureuses - Lovely aromatic nose right out of the gate; feminine sweet red fruits, sexy, earthy with some intriguing darker warm tones underneath. This is drinking just where I like them, sur point and in a perfect state with lovely mature secondary aromas, but still retaining freshness. Fantastic 1er Cru that hung in easily with the Musigny. Beautiful to the last drop!

JF Mugnier Musigny 1985 - A little more closed and reticent at first, with maybe a just a whiff of bottle funk? Darker color, and nose opened to reveal more dark fruits and spice than the Amoureuses; on the palate more muscular and a bit more depth and more structure too. Mature and ready to enjoy, but also still well this side of old and not showing any tertiary sous bois tones. This was a delicious, solid beautiful wine that evloved and got better and better as it opened in the glass.