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Lou’s Monday supper for February 28: short ribs & a stick-to-yer-ribs red wine

Lou’s Monday supper for February 28: short ribs & a stick-to-yer-ribs red wine

Lou’s Monday supper for February 28: short ribs & a stick-to-yer-ribs red wine

with the finest northern Rhône whites. I do not get to drink Northern Rhône whites often enough to verify Chauvet’s assertion (if you have a few bottles of Hermitage blanc and no friends to drink them with, just give me a call), but I do know that this wine, relaxed and mellowed from five years of bottle age, is drinking beautifully at the moment. I am pairing the Altesse with a salad of cauliflower and radish, tarted up with lemon vinaigrette. Here, I am going with a more muted wine rather than a crisp wine with fresh acidity that would create an unbalanced pairing (acidity + more acidity = GERD).
Our second course is one of my favorite cold weather things to eat: braised short rib. With the short rib I am pairing a red wine from Campania that is appropriately stick-to-your-ribs without being leaden and one-dimensional. This wine is a blend of two varieties that are indigenous to Campania: Casavecchia and Pallagrello Nero. Casavecchia is a grape variety that was widely grown in Campania during antiquity (when the locals referred to it as Trebulano), but by the 60s the Italians thought it had become extinct. In the 90s, a chance discovery of a few unnamed old vines lead to the recovery of the old variety, now renamed Casavecchia, and today a few growers are happily reviving the wine. The 100 percent Casavecchia wines I have tasted are tannic as hell, indicating that it is a serious grape and one that merits aging. In the wine we are serving on Monday, the grower tempers Casavecchia with a good dose of the fruiter and juicier Pallagrello Nero, vinified as a wine they intend for
us to enjoy upon release. In addition, Alois vinifies without oak, foregrounding the unique, tarry cherry bark characteristics of this old grape variety, now recovered for our delectation.

Salad of cauliflower, radish, lemon vinaigrette
Domaine Veronnet Roussette de Savoie Altesse 2006

Braised Niman beef short rib, pea tendrils, orecchiette
Alois “Settimo” Casavecchia-Pallagrello Nero 2007

Landaff Creamery Cheese, Pink Lady apple, Yolo red walnuts
Julien Frémont Cidre Brut par Nature

Blood orange polenta cake, whipped mascarpone

Our first wine this evening is a dry white from the Savoie department, located in the far east of France, smack against the Italian border. The wine contains an old Savoyard grape variety, possibly related to the Hungarian Furmint, and referred to variously as Roussette de Savoie or Altesse. While AOC laws permit growers to blend in Chardonnay with their Altesse, Alain Bosson exploits no Chardonnay and vinifies his wine as a 100 percent
exceptionally fine wine, on par with the finest northern Rhône whites. I do not get to drink Northern Rhône whites often enough to verify Chauvet’s assertion (if you have a few bottles of Hermitage blanc and no friends to drink them with, just give me a call), but I do know that this wine, relaxed and mellowed from five years of bottle age, is drinking beautifully at the moment. I am pairing the Altesse with a salad of cauliflower and radish, tarted up with lemon vinaigrette. Here, I am going with a more muted wine rather than a crisp wine with fresh acidity that would create an unbalanced pairing (acidity + more acidity = GERD).
percent Casavecchia wines I have tasted are tannic as hell, indicating that it is a serious grape and one that merits aging. In the wine we are serving on Monday, the grower tempers Casavecchia with a good dose of the fruiter and juicier Pallagrello Nero, vinified as a wine he intends for us to enjoy upon release. In addition, Alois vinifies without oak, foregrounding the unique, tarry cherry bark characteristics of this old grape variety, now recovered for our delectation.

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