Archive for the ‘pairings’ category

Our first meal in our apartment

July 15, 2009

greg_wawro

DC is interesting. We’re pretty much settled now, and enjoying domestic bliss. Here’s a picture of our first meal in our apartment here.

—Greg Wawro

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I love Pizza Antica

July 15, 2009

elton_slone

Produttori 05 for 20 bucks baby. I love Pizza Antica!

—Elton Slone

1989 Barbaresco classico

June 3, 2009

Every once in a while you come across one of those truly special bottles, like this 1989 classic Barbaresco by Produttori del Barbaresco,* at a price you can afford. I found it the other day in a wine shop in San Antonio (where I’ve been spending a lot of time these days) and although it gently pushed the envelope of my pricepoint ceiling (sorry for the mixed metaphors), I just couldn’t resist.

The 1989 harvest in Langa was one of the greatest in contemporary memory and I’ve had the great fortune to taste a lot of Nebbiolo from both 1989 (a classic, slow-ripening vintage) and 1990 (also a classic, but with slightly warmer temperatures). This gorgeous wine is still very young: the nobility of its tannin and earthy flavors were adorned by delicate notes of berry and red stone fruit, the way Laura’s noble, alpine beauty is dressed by her golden hair and her delicate veil as she sits by the stream in Petrarch’s songs.

Many would fetishize a wine like this but we always open them with food. After all, the people who made them intended them to be consumed with food.

At the urging of our friend Howard, Tracie B had Netflixed Alberto Lattuada’s 1962 social-commentary/thriller/comedy Mafioso, starring one of the all-time greatest Italian actors, Alberto Sordi.

Lattuada doesn’t make it as often into the syllabuses of Italian film studies in the U.S. as does, say, Pietro Germi (with 1960s classics like Sedotta e abbandonata), but he should. His Mafioso is 1960s social-commentary comedy at its best, at once poignant and hilarious, bridging the Messina Straits of the paradox of the country that never was — Italy. Alberto Sordi is a Sicilian who’s moved to the industrial north and has made a life for himself and his beautiful blond alpine wife. Lattuada’s camera follows him has he fulfills his peripeteia in a journey home to visit his family. The backdrop is the “economic miracle” of the 1960s in Italy, where the north flourished while the south continued to languish. I won’t spoil it for you but the final thriller scenes had us on the edge of our seats as we sipped the last drops of that gorgeous wine.

Here’s the great scene where Sordi’s character’s family welcomes him home with a classic Sicilian luncheon. Coppola ain’t got nothing on this baby!

—Jeremy Parzen

* Many erroneously distinguish the “cru” or single-vineyard bottlings of Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco from the classic Barbaresco (made with fruit sourced from multiple vineyards) using the ignominious qualifier normale. Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco that has been made by blending wines sourced from different vineyards is classic Barbaresco or Barbaresco classico.

White Clam Pizza and Barbaresco 2005

April 26, 2009

Above: Call me crazy but I paired cherry stone clam pizza and Nebbiolo the other day at Nonna in Dallas. It was delicious. The fruit in the 2005 Produttori del Barbaresco is showing beautifully right now and shows no signs of wanting to close up.

The San Diego Kid (that’s me, your resident wine cowboy) found himself in Dallas the other day, dusty and tired after a day of showing wine, with a six-pack of wine still slung around his back, his trusty companion Dinamite (the Silver Hyundai) beaten but not broken, and a bottle half-full of 2005 Produttori del Barbaresco still to be drunk. So he moseyed on over to the nearest saloon and parked his chaparreras at the bar at Nonna, where owner Julian Barsotti insisted he have the white pizza with cherry stone clams.

Above: Rock star owner and chef Julian Barsotti of Nonna makes some of the best pizza in Texas. He spent a season in Naples where he studied at the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana.

Julian opens the cherry stone clams first, reserves the juices, and then slowly wilts Vidalia onions with their juice and some cream until the onions literally melt and the cream and clam juice reduce to a thick sauce which he seasons with a mix of finely chopped herbs. Before firing the pizza in a wood-fired oven, he dresses the pizza with the clams, sauce, and a sprinkle of Parmigiano Reggiano. I’m still a big fan of his Margherita but the white clam pizza was the best I’ve ever had this side of New Haven, Connecticut.

The pairing was as decadent as it was delicious. In Italy, I still pair my pizza with beer (as tradition dictates) but here in the Wild West, crazy things can happen.

—Jeremy Parzen