Monday, August 2, 2010

Shiraz and a cat

Last week our home was graced by the presence of the MusicMan. MusicMan and I went to high school together, and then pretty much stopped hanging out for a much longer time than was actually reasonable. We used to walk home from school, singing terrible Nu Metal and occasionally building a nightclub in his basemant. Oh yeah. We were pretty cool guys.

Anyway. MusicMan, RieslingSnob, Designbroad and I went out to dinner at Joe Squared last Thursday, which is a pizza place a few blocks away.

Holy crap. People had been telling me for ages how excellent Joe Squared is, and I kept brushing it off. I mean sure, I like pizza, but meh. I went to a few pizzarias in Naples and pretty much decided that I've been ruined for pizza in this country. I was so wrong. Joe Squared is awesome and you should go. Right now. Yes, even those of you who live in England. Don't argue with me. I'll cut you. Like a pizza.

MusicMan and I decided that what we really needed was a bottle of wine. Now, the wine list is broken down into varietals, but doesn't tell you what the actual wine you're getting is. So you see that it says "Cotes du Rhone" and "Merlot," but whether it's Sutter Home or H3, you don't know! This is probably for the best, because had I read its name I probably never would have ordered the Royal Bitch Shiraz.

Anyone who has known me in any capacity knows my predilection toward swearing like a sailor with a stubbed toe. I like cussing. "Shit is Fucked Up" is a great song (they played it at the concert. I squealed like the fangirl I am). Still, I tend to look askance at wine bottles with coarse language. If you have to stoop to cussin' to make your wine interesting, you've probably not made very good wine, is my thought.

It was actually pretty tasty. Mellow, light bodied, and pleasantly spiced. My first impression was pork loin with peppercorns, which is a pretty bizarre first flavor impression. The heavy, gamey taste, thankfully, dissipated as the wine breathed, leaving behind black pepper and dark red cherries. It was quite enjoyable, and it disappeared rapidly.

On Friday I went to a party at WAC, which was delightful because I haven't seen Captain Class, Cashew, Lady N or Matchatchee in quite a while. It was good, especially since Matchatchee (she's Polish, her name uses more consonants than I know what to do with) is headed off for more hipster-y climes. We'll miss you, you hippie.

At any rate, at this party I brought my strawberry infusion. You know, the one that has been sitting unopened since March 11. Holy science that is some good liquor. It's all sweet strawberries, and about two seconds after you swallow a wave of alcohol hits you. Lady N summed it up pretty well: "It's like strawberry pie's whore sister!" It's really really good. Like, almost too good to mix with anything else, though I'm tempted to mix it with a little cream just to see if it works.

On Sunday, for the traditional Land Otter Sunday Night Dinner, I made chicken braised in hard cider with apples. I'm eating the leftovers now. It is insanely delicious. Like, even without the bacon that the recipe recommends. It's sweet and meaty and appley and whooooa I'm all about it. Oddly enough, it involves one of my least favorite foods: the onion. But this onion gets cooked and cooked and cooked until it absolutely melts in your mouth, leaving you with perfect sweetness and chickeny apple goodness. It's totally worth the bottle of cider used for cooking. It's also worth it to buy the darkest and driest cider you possibly can. I used 802, though Strongbow might have been better. I would have used Magners, but I don't think I could let any of that go without drinking it down immediately. I LOVE HARD CIDER.

It's surprisingly good with a glass of the Chandon sparkling rose that's been sitting in my fridge, opened, for the past four days. There's a recommendation for you. You want a wine that will last for bloody ever, even open? Chandon sparkling rose. It even still has some bubbles left!

1 comment:

  1. Dad made some lamb in the Egg this evening, it is just divine. We were surprised you didn't show up!


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