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.

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