Here is a lovely shot of dinner at home (about a week ago – November 6th, I believe). Everything grilled to perfection despite my skill with an open flame and wine to boot!
The evening fare included bell peppers (red, yellow and green) and green beans with salt, pepper and olive oil (plus Herbes de Provence for les beans verts). Mushrooms with butter and seasoned salt (from back home – Texas) and fresh tomatoes, sliced. One package of choice beef tenderloin from Costco, dusted with the Texas salt and pepper, completed Friday’s supper menu. Oh, and onions! I must not forget the scallions and sliced red onions.
For some reason though, the women in the family prefer white wine and eschew the conventional wisdom to pair beef with a good bold red. So I opened a bottle of Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling (from Washington state), circa 2008 ($6.47 @ Total Wine & More) for them. Alas, it matters not as they still enjoyed the meal.
I poured myself a glass of Malbec (Maipe 2008, $7.49 @ Costco) and proceeded to carve up my tenderloin (cooked “medium”, BTW, indeed). In between the first and second glasses and with the meal about half way consumed, we went to work on our respective tasting sheets.
The riesling was pale but pretty, somewhat fragrant with a fruity taste (mostly apple, pear, peach with some grapefruit) with between mild and medium acidity and “harmoniously” balanced (yes, that is a characteristic on the sheet). A nice white wine that was delicious (“yum” was jotted down, no less). They emptied the bottle.
I do not know what goes on deep in Argentina and the Andean culture, but they make a heck of a wine! “Maipe” was shouted late into the night by tribal lords during celebration. Maipe was the name of the guy who served the wine. He earned the nickname of “Lord of the Winds” for the speed with which he scurried from table to table filling goblets. His motivation was simple, keep the lords full of wine and keep his head attached to his shoulders. Or so it says on the bottle (if you read between the lines and have had plenty of Maipe, apparently).
The malbec was a dark and murky plum color that was nicely fragrant of fruit and spices. Semi-sweet with moderate acidity. The finish was easy with sexy legs (also an attribute on the sheet). I could taste mostly cherry, plum, spice and dirt (earth, rather). A delicious companion for grilled steak at home.
After dinner, we were talking and munching on some dark chocolate cherries from Trader Joe’s and dark chocolate espresso beans from Starbuck’s. There was plenty of Maipe left, as I was the only one drinking it, so I talked my daughter into trying the “red” wine with the chocolate. Ooh la la. She can now relate to the wine/food pairing paradigm as the wine went well with the espresso beans, but not very well with the cherries (too sweet).
It was a great start to the weekend. A very nice dinner with good wines. Neither of which would break the bank.