Thursday, February 5, 2009

This Week at RCC

Friday, February 6th, 5-7pm: Peter's Picks!
(Peter's Notes)
There are lots of wines that I've tried recently (well, relatively recently) that I may not yet have had a chance to share with you. For this Friday's tasting, I've put together a lineup of five wines from Europe that have made an impression on me. Some of these are from grapes or places that are fairly well known, while others are quite obscure. Either way, these are some wines that I have liked and that I hope you will enjoy too. Here's what I will be pouring on Friday:

Forstreiter 2007 Gruner Veltliner "Grooner": Freshly picked Granny Smith apples come to mind first and foremost in this vibrant, zingy, lively dry white wine from Austria. Apparently caffeine free . . .

Picco del Sole 2007 Falanghina: This medium-bodied dry white wine is produced near Naples, Italy from the local varietal Falanghina. Flavorwise, think of starfruit and citrus flavors underscored by hints of almond. While I can't promise that it will reduce your heating bill, it does offer a little hint of summer in the midst of winter!

Luna Beberide 2007 Bierzo: Thought by some to be related to Cabernet Franc, Mencia makes medium to full-bodied reds in the Bierzo appellation of northwestern Spain. The Beberide wine is dominated by berried flavors but also has underlying herbal and earthy aromas.

Arbanta 2006 Rioja: This cherry-scented, medium-bodied dry red wine from Spain's most famous winegrowing region is made from pure Tempranillo. Unoaked, this wine is also organically produced!

Laurent Miquel 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah: Produced in the South of France, this full-bodied yet friendly red has plenty of upfront dark fruit notes but is neither flabby nor overwrought. Pick up (or make) some barbecue to go with this!

Don't forget to bring your own glass, unless you like health-department mandated plastic medicine cups!

(Sara's notes)
Howdy Cheese People!

We just got a lovely order in today that has nothing to do with cheese and everything to do with sweets! I don't know what happened to me this week, but here we are, drowning in sugary snacks. Mmmm! So, come on by to have your sweet tooth sated.

We have cookies aplenty - from the buttery-rich, salty-sweet biscuits from Mere Poulard that I'm snacking on as I write this, to the crisp, wafer-thin ginger spice and chocolate Moravian cookies that just arrived today! Do you know how delicious the Great Hill Blue cheese would be with those ginger spice cookies?? I mean, really, it is SUCH a great combination...

And if it is chocolate you crave, well, I needn't go further thahazelnutn the Lake Champlain 5 Star Hazelnut Bar. I, for one, am thrilled to have them back, in all of their dense, rich, hazelnutty-milk-chocolatey perfection. And if hazelnut doesn't suit your fancy, well, you are in luck, because we also have the 5 Star Peanut Bar from this Vermont chocolate maker, too!

And I did order cheese, of course, for where there is sweet, there must be savory, right? Truffle Tremor, a fluffy, black-truffle-y, goat's milk cheese from Cypress Grove in California is the one I'm looking most forward to. I have some beets to roast and I can't think of a finer accompaniment!

Hope to see you soon for all your cheese (and chocolate) needs!

(Peter's notes)
Chateau Bianca 2007 Pinot Noir
Produced in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, this elegant, medium-bodied red has lots of ripe cherry and bramble berry notes, hints of cocoa and a silky texture. $17.99 per bottle.

Want a taste?
We have one open for you!

(David's notes)
Fuller's London Porter
It's cold, and after sampling last week's "Beer of the Week" (the very easy but powerful Baltic Porter by Okocim) we thought, why not a porter original. Fuller's London Porter is a truly grand example of the style. Porter was first put together by bartenders, in London, mixing together different beers. They often started with a brown ale that was probably getting stale, then added another brown, or amber and a pale ale. This was rather labor-some and as the style became more popular, breweries started making them, and calling them Entire (referring to the entire range of malts and hops that were used) or Entire Butt (everything but the barrel). The name Entire was slowly taken over by the name of the drinks favorite patrons, porters. Seeing the winter England is having this year, I'm sure there are plenty of porters trying to brush off the cold by enjoying a nice dark glass of Fuller's London Porter. Come on by: we'll have a bottle open for you all week!

Fuller's London Porter Stew
(recipe courtesy the brewery)

1 bottle of Fuller's London Porter; 1 Lb of stewing steak; 2 Tbsp of oil; 1 onion chopped; 1 tin of chopped tomatoes; Worcestershire sauce; 1 pint of beef stock; 1
desert spoon of plain flour; Salt & Pepper; Mixed Herbs

1. Open a bottle of Fuller's London Porter and pour yourself a ½ pint to enjoy whilst cooking

2. Preheat the oven to 150°C/250°F/Gas mark 3

3. Put 2 tbsp of oil in a deep saucepan and heat before adding 1Lb of good quality stewing steak. Brown the meat all over and then remove from the pan and put it on
one side

4. Fry the chopped onion until soft on a low heat in the same pan using the oil left from browning the meat

5. Put the kettle on and make 1 pint of beef stock; meanwhile add 1level desert spoon of flour to the onion and mix well to form a roux

6. Cook for a minute before adding some of the stock. Stir well. Continue adding the stock to the onion/flour roux until you have made a smooth sauce

7. Simmer for 2 minutes, stirring continuously

8. Add a tin of chopped tomatoes, a slug of Worcestershire sauce, a generous serving
of mixed herbs and seasoning to taste

9. Now return the meat to the saucepan

10. Stir thoroughly and add the remainder of the Porter

11. Pop in the oven with some baked potatoes and pop down the local Fullers [like PENNY LANE] pub for 1½-2 hours before returning to eat!