Monday, October 25, 2010

d’Arenberg The Stump Jump Riesling `06 $9.99 (not TJ's) ***

The Aussies do it again!  Well, I am giving them a lot of credit for this blend of 63% Riesling, 16% Sauvignon Blanc, 13% Roussanne and 8% Marsanne with a (low for OZ) 13% ETOH, but the truth is that I am learning the importance of paring to make any average wine above average.  Hmmm Food & Wine... someone should really blog about that....

It all started with a man and his cookbook du jour Charcuterie (the same cookbook I have to thank for last month's duck confit and pork confit).  It is a man thing, smoking and/or curing their own meats.  As much as I like bacon, you don't see me building a smokehouse.  BUT, I am lucky that on a Sunday, the man of random body parts (I am talking about this blog's photos, not his ingredients) decided that he was going to make Smoked Trout Rillette.  The last thing I heard when I was heading out the door to the Antarctica Exhibit at the Natural History Museum with my BFF/Sister Holly was JPH saying "I'm waiting for the stores to open and then I'm picking up a dry white to make Rillette."

Imagine my happiness when I got back just before 8pm and there was wine chilling in the fridge, fresh rolls waiting to be toasted and smoked trout rillette in a ramekin just waiting to be devoured.

Now to the wine.  Perfect for cooking and for drinking with a deliciously intense, buttery, salty spread.  It highlighted the butter flavor, cut through the smokiness of the fish, and also brightened the citrucy highlights.  A perfect match makes for a fantastic light meal. This is a crisp, dry wine with a clean taste, I did not taste a mineral finish, but that may have been because of the highly flavored food that I was drinking it with.

I liked it so well that I had it for lunch the next day and paired it with an additional side of pickled beets made with love in Monroe, Maine by the woman I call "Mum" (actually Holly's mother, but I soon discovered that if you show up at the dinner table like a stray cat, they will not only feed you, they'll adopt you too! (for me, it started at age 6 with homemade doughnuts!)). On the second day, I unscrewed the cap, and it was just as perfect a pairing as the night before. The fish was brightened, the beets in their vinegary sweetness did not over power, and I had a great lunch.

And for a final picture, this is what my lunch can look like mid-way through.  Cookbooks open to read about what I am eating, pencil and notepad to scrawl thoughts and another cookbook open to plan for the night's dinner (or just to dream about recipes)

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