About this Blog

The blog focuses on the essence of wine and food, not how many points or stars it receives. The opinions are mine and should be taken only as that, an opinion not gospel.

Like many collectors, initially I was very much influenced by wine ratings. I purchased wines based on points, even if I had never tasted the wine. And it was much worse than that. I would drink a wine with a high rating, not like it, yet since it was highly rated I’d rationalize that I did not yet appreciate the wine, or that my palate was not sophisticated enough to understand the wine. How’s that for lunacy? As a result my cellar grew in all directions while my palate narrowed. By the time I realized the style of wine that I enjoyed, my cellar abounded with wines whose styles I did not enjoy. All of these wines were very highly rated, just not my cup of tea, or glass of wine to be more accurate. Fortunately I was able to sell many of these wines to those who either enjoyed them or wanted highly rated wines. Don’t misunderstand, I am not against wines with high ratings, in fact I own many. It is just that I now purchase wines based on the producer, the style and my palate, not the rating. Nor do I shun reading reviews. I very much respect Antonio Galloni, Alan Meadows, Eric Asimov and John Gilman and read their reviews routinely. I pay attention to what they write, not the points they award.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Super Bowl XLVII

Another Super Bowl has come and gone and as has been our custom for the past 4 or 5 years a group of friends and family members convened at Casa Scudiery to enjoy the game and partake of some great Super Bowl chow and drink some great wines.  Everyone brings one of his or her specialty dishes for the occasion.   The dishes were similar to last year (hey never fix what ain’t broke) with a couple new and very welcomed additions.

Returning from last year were my Meatball Sliders, Gene’s moist & delicious Pulled Pork Sliders topped with Bill and Linda's Crunchy Cole Slaw and Tina’s remarkable Eggplant Caponata.   Returning after a one year hiatus was George’s refreshing Mixed Arugula Salad.

Nancy's Italian Wedding Soup
Three new dishes made an appearance this year and from the crowds reaction they will be appearing in future years.  Cosmo delighted the crowd with moist, tender and flavorful Clams Oreganata with Pancetta. RosAnn and John made crowd pleasing Sausage & Peppers; while Nancy made an incredible Italian Wedding Soup that was so good it took MTD (Most Tasty Dish) honors.

For dessert once again we savored the spectacular Italian Pastries from Vaniero’s Bakery in NYC, compliments of Peter & Amelia.

Sausage & Peppers
I am happy to report that we drank very well also.  For white wine I popped the cork on 2010 Gini La Frosca Soave and 2005 Clos des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc.  Different wines to be sure, but both are oh so  good.  Made from 100% Garganega grape, a native white grape of the Veneto region of Italy, Gini is simply a crisp and delicious wine that always pleases.  Easy to drink now, the wine will age beautifully for another 10 years.  At $18 a bottle, it represents a great value. Stop by Wine Legend, Livingston, NJ and pick some up.

The Clos des Pape Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc continues to drink beautifully.  I am a huge fan of the whites from CDP.  In their youth they possess a stunning yellow hue and as they age the hue morphs into a glistening honey-gold.  The fruit was pure, balanced and focused on the palate with layers of complexity and finished with considerable length.

For red wine we began with a few bottles of 2005 Pegau Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Reservee. 2005 was a spectacular vintage for Chateauneuf-du-Pape and these bottles were certainly a testament to that fact.  Soft and silky tannins entice the palate.  The fruit is ripe and focused and the wine finishes with impressive length.  A very, very good CDP at $75 per 750ml.

Next we popped the cork on a 2000 Aldo Conterno Barolo Riserva Granbussia.  This spectacular wine is from one of Italy’s best wine making estates and is only made in vintages in which all three of the Conterno Cru vineyards, Romirasco, Cicala and Colonnello yield outstanding results. The wine is velvet on the palate with great structure and balance.  It is drinking well now, but will benefit from a few more years in the cellar.

Emil brought a bottle of 1998 Quintarelli Amarone, and we were glad he did.  I have written about Quintarelli’s wines on many occasions and there is not much to say other than they are “other-worldly”.  They are simply the essence of great wine making are have to be drunk to be appreciated.  This had an almost port-like nose and was sweet and inviting on the palate with a monster finish.  A wine with soul.

Bill, my fraternity brother from Pennsylvania brought along a couple Pennsylvania wines to try. While I forgot to open the Chardonnay (I will soon Bill) I did open the 2010 Chaddsford Barbera Portfolio Collection, Miller Estate Vineyard.  This was quite nice.  It had a soft palate of ripe fruit and reminded me of a very good homemade wine.

With dessert I opened what is in my opinion one of the great dessert wines of the world, 1993 Huet Vouvray Le Haut Lieu Mollieux 1er Trie.  Alas the wine was corked and undrinkable.  In its place I opened a 1997 Isole e Olena Vin Santo del Chianti Classico.  Amber gold in color with a pleasing sweet palate, it was superb.  The wine is made from a blend of Trebbiano and Malvasia di Toscana grapes that are late harvested, then dried on mats throughout the winter to further concentrate the flavors. It's fermented, then matured in barrels which are not topped during evaporation to purposely allow a slow, oxidative maturation.  $60 at 56º Wine, Bearnardsville, NJ.

My thanks to all who came and made this a great party…and the game was good too!


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