leave your inhibitions at the door
I was never really a wine drinker until my late 20s, but then Boom Boom and I went to Napa Valley. After visiting several of the wineries and sampling countless wines, I was hooked. I was instantly obsessed (and still am) not just with wine, but the winemaking process and general allure of wine. So it was only a matter time before I started collecting wine. At first, I had this idea of buying four bottles of a wine at a time. I planned on keeping a couple for myself and then store the others to give to my then newborn Pieholes on their wedding days. At the beginning, I loaded up on Ports and Bordeaux as I knew that those had the best chance of still being drinkable 25 years later. However, as I learned during Sommelier training, it’s not always guaranteed. Plus, after my twin girls were born, I pretty much decided that they aren’t going to date until they’re 35, let alone get married. So I didn’t feel bad about starting to drink the collection.
I still have a whole bunch of wine from those early days and some of them are getting long in the tooth. And that’s not a sommelier description referring to finish or tannins – they’re just OLD. I also have a bunch that I’ve been dying to open up for various reasons. So, I’m making it a point to start cleaning some of them out to make space for new acquisitions.
2007 Col di Sasso IGT
This one isn’t that old at all and since it’s a Supertuscan (blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet), it could’ve lasted considerably longer. I decided to open it because The Sicilian was having an Italian-themed dinner party. There was about a dozen people there and I knew that this was THE wine to bring. Why? Well look at it…
I picked this up at a silent auction and thought it’d be cool to have a big bottle like that, the equivalent of 6 regular bottles. I didn’t think the wine itself would be anything special, so I had a clear idea of what my maximum bid would be. Unfortunately, multiple shots of ouzo took over any logical thought process and I ended up in a bidding war with a friend. Hooooboy, did I overpay.
The wine was dry, brightly acidic, light-bodied, with soft tannins. It was pretty fruity, but had enough alcohol in it remain well-balanced. As I suspected, it wasn’t very complex, just a simple, everyday red. Despite the use of Cabernet, it wasn’t big enough to stand up to red meats. I think it would be best with pasta or pizza. Score = 85/100.
The main course that night was some Italian Sausages, so nothing really to report on in terms of cooking. One of the other dishes was a Panzanella (Italian bread salad), prepared by that same pair of bloodsucking lawyers as Aloha Night a couple of months ago. I guess I should rethink my perceptions about lawyers. It turns out they can be talented, expressive, creative people. But saying “a pair of talented, expressive, creative people” just isn’t as fun, is it?
My contributions, besides the big bottle, were a Swiss Roll and White Russian Tiramisu.
No picture of the tiramisu, but the recipe is here. For the Swiss Roll, I came across pictures of one on Tastespotting.com. I fell in love with how this looked and was compelled to try it. The decorating instructional was easy enough to understand, despite its use of the metric system. Despite that, I found that the technique itself was incredibly easy to do. Now that I know the decorating part is that easy, I’m definitely going to repeat with a better cake and filling recipe. I opted for cocoa powder for the design and a raspberry whipped cream filling. The filling was a little too soft for rolling and the cake itself was a little too spongy.
Here’s a link to the recipe and instructions for decorating.