Friday, February 15, 2013

Dry aged strips...cooked with love

I hope all you lushes (and non-lushes!) had a fabulous Valentine’s Day! I’ll get to what we had in a minute, but first let’s go on a trip down memory lane. In 2005 or 2006 Mr. Lush purchased a bottle of 2003 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon and we’ve been holding on to it since then. In October of 2011 we met Chuck Wagner (owner of Caymus) at a pairing dinner. We talked about the 2003 and how long we should hold it, (he said drink soon - the special selection is the one meant for 10+ yr aging) and how we were going to be in Napa for a wedding in January. He suggested we stop in for a private tasting; and we did. During that tasting Mr. Wagner surprised us with opening a 2003 – the same year we had been holding onto. It was fantastic and to his surprise, he thought it could another year or two. As you might have guessed, we not drink it when we got home and instead lovingly looked at it and promised we’d be together in one to two years. ;) We really lucked out, getting to taste it without having to open our own.

Here's us with Chuck, his daughter, and the wedding the way, if you should make it to Napa, I highly recommend a stop by Caymus, they make a lot more than the stuff that gets distributed outside Cali. (Zinfandel, bubbly, etc)

Ok, so on to our Valentine’s Day dinner – which we usually eat in vs doing the “cattle call going out to dinner” thing. In VDays past we’ve picked either elaborate recipes or simply more expensive items than we’d normally eat. This year we picked the latter.

We started the evening off with some gorgonzola stuffed bacon wrapped dates (I didn’t take a picture of that; my apologies!) with the 2009 Domaine Carneros (the California sparkling house by Tattinger) Brut Rose. (to which I also recommend stopping by - beatiful scenery and although expensive, an informative tour and tasting) It was a decent pairing; the wine was dry and cut through the bacon, a little bit fruity and tart so it went well with the date and gorgonzola- however not a slam dunk pairing, both were good and I do love some pink bubbly!!! (note, the bottle is empty in this pic...)

On to the main course… Dry aged strip steak, grilled fingerling potatoes and grilled broccoli. Referencing the trip down memory lane above; we tasted the dry aged rib eye at that Caymus pairing dinner and really loved it and since have tasted the strip steak and loved that as well. Here it is in it’s raw form – look at that gorgeous marbling….

We only seasoned with some fresh ground pepper; we didn’t want it to overpower the wine. Wait! The wine! How could I forget! ;) I’m sure by now you’ve guessed what the wine was….yes, the 2003 Caymus. We hemmed and hawed; drink now or wait? Drink Now or Wait? Oh the drama of a couple of lushes!! :) It was so good last year, but we’ve also had a few instances where we’ve held onto wine too long lately. (oh, so so sad to taste a wine too late!) So we opened it; it probably could’ve gone another year honestly, but we thought it was better than last year and was certainly in it’s prime drinking window. Mr. Lush knocked it out of the park with the strips; they were cooked perfectly and went amazingly with the wine!

Dessert…was less elaborate. Grilled peaches (with brown sugar) with cinnamon swirl pound cake, topped with a single serving (hence the odd shape) of Edy’s Slow Churned Caramel Delight ice cream. The wine…was considerably less impressive than the first two; a Hogue Reisling.  Medium sweet, hints of peaches with a bit of minerality. However, it went really well with the dessert and I’d recommend it as a cheaper pairing; a sauternes would probably pair better, but for the price ($8) it’s hard to beat.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wine Enthusiast Valentines Day Deal

Hello wine lovers! Use the coupon code love50 for a $50 coupon with a $50 purchase on WE today!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Faves from wine clubs past....

I ran across some notes of past wine clubs and thought I’d jot down some of our favorites. (they are not in any order, just the ones that scored the highest of the night and that we'd consider buying again)
Sometime I’ll probably find the scores for other ones, but for now here’s what I have readily available…

From Red Blends:
  • 2006 Edward Sellers Le Theif
  • 2009 L Preston
  • 2008 Ferrer Bobel Priorat 
From Poor Man’s night:
  • 2011 Field Stone Petite Sirah Rose
  • 2010 J Opi Malbec
  • 2009 Fieldstone Corvino Red Table Wine 
From Zinful Desserts: 
  • 2008 Kenwood Reserve Zin 
  • 2008 Martinelli Vigneto di Evo Zin 
  • 2005 Peterson Winery Muscat Blanc
And I even found one from summer last year...
From Hot Weather Wines: 
  • 2011 Domaine Lafond Tavel
  • 2011 Chateau De Manissey Tavel
  • nv Mumm Brut Rose
  • 2007 Autry Cellars Petite Sirah (to go with BBQ fare)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Siduri Winemaker Dinner

A week or so ago, Mr. Lush and I (along with Ms. G) went to a Siduri winemaker pairing dinner at a local wineshop/restaurant. I’ll have to say that the winemaker, Adam Lee, is pretty darn funny, a smidge on the raunchy side in fact. While I don’t mind the raunchy sense of humor, and in fact love it, out of respect for his privacy I most certainly won’t post the jokes/comments! Just know, if you get a chance to meet him - go!
Here’s the menu:

My favorite wine was a tie- the Santa Rita and the Sebastiano (also from Santa Rita). My favorite pairing was the duck with the Santa Rita; (below) the veal was a bit too fatty and the pinot wasn’t big enough to cut through it, at least not in my opinion.

It was an interesting dinner to try pinots by the same winemaker. Unfortunately for my visual friends, all the Siduri Pinots look nearly identical.

And of course, whenever we meet a winemaker, Mr. Lush and I pose with them – here’s us with the funny Adam Lee. (The picture is a bit hazy-I think the person who took it was under a light so it flooded it out – boo!)