Moving on from cooking, we guzzle on over to booze. Mostly wine, some spirits. If you are not a wine geek, or aspire to be one, it may be best to just skip this post. And I realize listing some of these wines is a touch braggadocio, but let’s be real, food blogging is often virtually akin to whipping it out next to the tape measure.
But for serious, a lot of these potables had a special meaning to me, be it for the wine itself, or for the experience surrounding the drink. Most were consumed with friends; kind cohorts with greater means than my own, who for some reason seem to enjoy my company well enough and allow me to share a drink. These experiences have had a direct impact in my taste preference, and my spending habits, and I’m thankful. I think. Let me check my bank balance…
1. ’99 Drouhin Clos de Mouches – I bought a couple of these for a very fair price and both were acidic and wonderful and I’m sad I didn’t buy a case of them. My brother made a fine French meal to eat with it.
2. The Castro Monk at Ecco – Benedictine and bourbon. Ironic and tasty.
3. ’99 Chateau Musar - The highly famous and highly volatile wine of Lebanon, everyone should try it once. Most people love them or find the Brett and VA offensive. I have a high tolerance for both.
4. Magnum of ’02 Sauzet Puligny - For whatever reason, mags drink differently and are perfect for parties, such as this one a friend had during the High Wine Auction. I think we blew some California wine peeps minds with spicy fried chicken, moonshine, BBQ hash, and killer wine.
5. ’96 H. Lignier Morey-St-Denis La Riotte – Katie and I shared this at Eleven Madison, probably my favorite meal ever. I’d never had a Hubert Lignier wine at that time, and I ache to try another.
6. The Canary Islands – I had just read about Canary Island wines prior to my visit to Terroir in NYC. It was a somewhat simple wine, but it’d be delightful with certain seafoods, rich in mineral and acid, from the volcanic soil of the islands.
7. 1991 Rousseau Chambertin – A mind boggling wine, and silly enough as it may sound, an even more gorgeous label. I have this bottle in candle form now.
8. Edmunds St. John ’87 Les Cotes Sauvages – Old school California wines that can age, and very affordable. Steve Edmunds makes some very cool wines.
9. 91 Chapoutier Ermitage – In magnum. I’m not worthy. Northern Rhone Syrah as art.
10. Paleo margarita at urban pl8 – No sugar, no mix, just stellar tequila, lime juice, agave syrup, and a splash of soda water. Fantastic. None of that sweet corn syrup crap.
11. ’99 Vilmart Cuvee Creation – Drunk on a hot day this past summer, the most refreshing Champagne in recollection. A great day for hanging out outside, grilling and boozing.
12. ’91 Ridge Monte Bello – My new benchmark for California wines, it is up there with the best of any Bordeaux style wine. Really game changing regarding my opinion of California. I only hope there are people making wines now which will show like this in twenty years.
13. ’92 Gagnard Delegrange Batard – Ughhhh why does white Burgundy torture me so?? The reason I keep going back to the well.
14. The Socialist at Pura Vida – Award winning, Paul rocks.
15. In Beaune – Katie and I toted this bottle around the Cote de Nuits, drinking it almost warm from paper cups as we sat on the wall outside Clos Vougeot, eating cheese, bread, and meats from the Beaune market. A memory I cherish.
16. Rasim – A delicious dessert wine we sampled at Comerç 24 in Barcelona. Our waiter explained that the chef had a special relationship with this producer, who offered work to people with mental disease and retardation.
17. The orange and wild wines of Le Caveau – just fun stuff.
18. Indian Summer – Refreshing and tight bourbon cocktail at Woodfire Grill. Blake’s new creation didn’t have a name until about fifteen minutes into my visit at the bar.
19. Lopez de Heredia – this year was my introduction to these fantastic wines from Spain. Gah, more money down the gullet!
20. “The contest” – a simple Leroy
Bourgogne vs Montrachet. Well of course the Montrachet was better, but I purchased a ’99 and ’02 of the purportedly plebeian Village wines, and they were both damn good. Goes to show, great producers can make age worthy and enjoyable wines with unclassified grapes.
21. St. George Gin – I tried these at the Quality Wine Show. I didn’t like gin after some bad experiences in college, but these new artisan styles are smooth and aromatic and quite badass.
22. ’97 Roty Charmes-Chambertin – Not so great vintage, excellent producer, in magnum = ohmamma I like the red Burgs.
23. ’08 S. Riffault Sancerre – Oxidized, metallic, acidic, juicy, and downright weird. I love it. I have a few in my cellar, but also drank it at L’Agape Substance in Paris on my honeymoon.
24. ’85 Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo – Dammit. Yet another type of wine to love and drive me to the poor house. 2011 was the first year I was exposed to great barolo. They age softly like Burgundy, with a haunting streak of tar and bitterness.