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!
Down to Earth Wine is about what I love in the wine biz: small growers making honest wines that are the expression of the vineyards, grapes and people where they are made. It is about learning about why wines taste the way they do and delving beyond the numerical scores that have become a shorthand for knowledge. It's looking at wine from the ground up.
To me, the most amazing thing about wine is its ability capture and express the conditions of the time and place where they were grown. I find that in my 30 years involved with wine that the best wines are often the result of a philosophy of winemaking that believes that these natural influences should be the main story, creating wines with transparency, elegance, balance and finesse that allows the nature in the wine to shine though.
To help navigate the posts, they are categorized by type, and now include Vignettes: thoughts and musings on regions, travels, dinners and experiences; Cellar Defenders: favorite value wines; Vins de garde: Wine for the cellar; and Vins Vert, great organic, Biodynamic and naturally made wines.
Taste, travel, experiment, enjoy!