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.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Celebrating Mom 2013

Mother’s Day is always a special celebration day for our family as our mothers are still with us. Carol and I are truly blessed to be able to celebrate the day with our moms, children and grandchildren. Grammy (97), Carol’s mom, and Nanny (91), my mom, along with my son-in-laws mom Marlene really made it a special day with their active participation.  The smile on their faces as they interacted and played with their grandchildren and great grandchildren will forever remain with me.
My 3 lovely ladies, Lisa, Carol & Gina
As they did last year, my daughter Lisa and son-in-law Andy hosted a fantastic Mother’s Day brunch followed by dinner later that evening at their home in Florham Park, NJ.  A few special friends and my sister and her husband completed the attendees.

Brunch Menu/Order Form
Tradition has it that Andy and I man the stove and cook fresh eggs to order for everyone.  Bacon, breakfast sausages, Andy’s Aunt Paula’s potato dish, cornucopia fruit salad and Zucchini & Tomato Pie (sort of a quiche) are available to accompany the eggs.  There is something that is just magical about fresh eggs.  In my opinion, along with toasted and sliced Italian Panella bread, there is no better way to begin the day.  My preference is for soft-scrambled or over easy.  I opted for over easy today.

Bellini cocktails made with NV Francois Pinon Vouvray Brut ($22) and 2009 Patrick Piuze Chablis Montée de Tonnerre ($50) were a perfect match with the eggs.  The Pinon is a terrific sparkling Chenin Blanc that is a perfect vehicle for peach nectar.  The resulting drink is refreshing and delicious. The Piuze had crisp fruit and drank with elegance and finesse. The wine had great balance and acidity ensuring many more years of enjoyment.

Aunt Paula's Potatoes
In between lunch and dinner. while we enjoyed the kids and watched Tiger Woods win another golf championship, we sipped a lovely 2004 Agostina Pieri Brunello di Montalcino. This is an old world Brunello that is quite affordable for a wine of this caliber ($46). Medium-bodied, it possessed a dark purple hue, a nice earthy bouquet and good complexity.  The somewhat oaky palate was a bit of a distraction to the purity of the wine for me.

Dinner was once again Manicotti, but this year Carol and I decided try our hand at making them. So with my sister Diane’s crepe recipe and my Grandmother DeRosa’s ricotta filling recipe we jumped in with both hands. Carol made the crepes and I made the filling along with the gravy, meatballs and sausage. They turned out to be light, creamy and delicious and were applauded by all.
Homemade Manicotti w/Meatballs & Sausage
Dinner wines were:

1985 Huet Clos du Bourg Moelleux; Loire Valley, France
My daughter Lisa's favorite wine,I have written about it in previous posts and each time I drink it I am mesmerized by its brilliance.  A gorgeous golden hue, with a marvelous complexity of fruity aromas. On the palate it is completely balanced, round and pure with a slight hint of botrytis and a long and sensual finish. This vintage will not be easy to find and will cost about $100 a bottle. However recent vintages will cost under $30 a bottle.

For the reds I chose two wines from two of the giants of Abruzzi Italy.  This was my first time tasting them side-by-side.

2000 Emidio Pepe Montepulciano D’Abruzzo; Abruzzi, Italy
Made from 100% Multepuciano grapes, Pepe’s wines are terroir in spades.  It is hard to mistake their earthy bouquet and palate.  This bottle had a rich red hue, spectacular balance, and a long lush finish.  This wine will last for decades.  $75.

1992 Edoardo Valentini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo; Abruzzi, Italy
As good as the Pepe was, this wine was in a class of its own.  Here was harmony of fruit, soil and climate.  The wine simply soared from the glass, danced on the tongue before finishing with a lengthy and provocative elegance.  This is a wow wine, very difficult to find and rather expensive at  $375.  I found a couple of bottles at NY Wine Warehouse in NYC.

For dessert, Carol treated us to a new recipe for miniature Pineapple Upside down cakes with vanilla ice cream.  Gino brought along a bottle of 2008 Hermann J. Weimer Riesling, Bunch Select Harvest from the Finger Lakes in NY. The more I drink of these wines from the Finger Lakes, the more impressed I am.  This was as good a desert wine as one can find.  Fantastic balance with multiple layers of complexity and a lush, semi-sweet viscous palate with a never-ending finish.  $95/375ml.

It was a great day with family and friends.
AJ, Lisa, Isabella, Andy
Diane feeds AJ to the enjoyment of Nanny
Grammy, Mia, Gina
Mia, Gina, Nick, Nicholas


No comments:

Post a Comment