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Midweek Drinking Thread [26 to 29 September 2022]

Feeling a bit doolally this evening, and struggling with Tennis Elbow pain, so really welcome a comforting wine this evening

Saint-Maurice Côtes-du-Rhône Villages l’Echevin, Domaine La Florane 2017

A blend of 80% Syrah 20% Grenache, this is a little more restrained on the fruit-front than previous bottle - but still with wonderful nose and palate. If anything, a little more integrated and brooding this time round, perhaps? Blackberries, dark cherries and a hint of plums on the nose, as well as a smoked meat, cloves and menthol.

Smooth and plush on the palate - but again, a little toned down than the previous bottle all the same. Lots going on - notes of cherries, prunes and elderberries mix with dark chocolate, savoury dried herbs and spice (clove mainly). Good balance between velvety tannins and lively acidity and a minty freshness I really like in the background. Tasted blind I would guess it was 13% - but it manages to deceive well with its 14%

Finish is decent, with a pleasant medicinal note. If only I could dab this on my poor elbow… :face_with_head_bandage:

What’s in your glass this week? :wine_glass: :slightly_smiling_face:

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Really? This is the drinking thread? We all seem to have become teetotal.


Jadot Nuits-Saint-Georges 2017.

I have been entranced by the 2017 burgundys before, and this one seems typical of it’s appellation, rooty, earthy, sort of straightforward. But the finish is a bit attenuated, by which I mean thin rather than long. A nice enough bottle, but no bargain.

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My Mother-out-law™ had a significant birthday today, so I took the opportunity to cook a rather more involved meal than I normally would on a Tuesday evening.

Prawn bisque and gruyère croutons (spot the wine dork insisting on using a proper glass for his champagne…)

Lobster thermidor (with a simple green salad)

And Tarte Tatin to finish…

Wines to accompany this: Bollinger NV (with thanks to @Leah for her recommendation about a month ago in the Champagne/Bubbles thread), Bleasdale Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2019, and Ulysse Sauternes. The Bolly was the wine of the night and delivered exactly what was required in terms of celebratory spirit and paired excellently with the first two courses.

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A test run for a dish for a dinner party that we’re planning, using wines from our trip to Franconia, clearly meant that one of those wines needed to be drunk, just to verify its suitability :wink: . Which leads me to an infrequent appearance in the midweek drinking thread. The food was an attempt to recreate a dish of wurst and sauerkraut cooked with a sweet mustard that we ate at the wine bar of the Bürgerspital Würzburg (pretty successful, albeit using Alsatian saucisse and choucroute in our case). And we drank one of their wines - Bürgerspital Würzburg Pfaffenberg Silvaner Trocken, 2020.

Perfect with the food, cutting the fat of the sausage and not overpowered by the cabbage. Green apples, a bitter almond edge, maybe an impression of sweetness to balance (or is it just the fruit), refreshing and satisfying. Franconian silvaners really are excellent.

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Hnnnnng. While I am aware that I am an absolute sucker for them, that tarte tatin looks lush!

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Wow :star_struck:! That meal looks amazing :star_struck:

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Couldn’t agree more - fantastic wine! But don’t tell everyone or they’ll all want some.

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Doesn’t it just. I am also a big fan of the tatin. Pineapple and plum are fantastic too (though you’ve got to watch the liquid and fruit cooking). I also used to work with a chef who made individual pear tatins that were absolutely gorgeous.

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Thanks for the kind words! The Tarte Tatin was/is great - some leftovers this morning made for a particularly decadent breakfast!

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The meal looks absolutely delicious - it’s 9:30am and it’s making me re-think my dinner cooking plans tonight :heart_eyes: That lobster in particular… could I be cheeky and ask for your recipe please @JohnBarleycorn ?

Hi Teresa - happy to share the recipe for the Lobster Thermidor. It’s one that I adapted from an old Sophie Grigson recipe, and works well with frozen rock lobster tails (currently on sale in my local Lidl - though these were sourced online).

Ingredients

4 Rock Lobster Tails (c.150g each)
60g Butter
60g Flour
Enough milk and double cream to make a thick Bechamel/Mornay sauce (I used roughly 200-250ml of each)
150g Gruyere Cheese
1 tsp dijon mustard
Freshly cracked black pepper

The sauce can be made in advance; combine the butter and flour to make a roux, slowly whisk in the milk/cream until you have a thick smooth sauce. Mix in all of the mustard, pepper and most of the grated cheese and continue to heat until the cheese has melted. Leave to cool.

Set the oven to 180C.

Take a pair of strong kitchen scissors/shears and cut two parallel lines through the underside of the lobster shell (this makes it easier to remove the meat and this section of shell when it’s cooked).

Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and barely cook the lobster - no more than 2 minutes. Remove the meat and the underside of the tails. Chop the meat into large chunks (I aimed for three per tail) and mix the meat with the sauce. Place the shells upside down, spread a generous tablespoon of sauce in each and then fill with the mix of sauce and meat. Top with the remaining cheese and place in the oven for 5 minutes.

At this point I did the ridiculously cheffy step of finishing it with a blowtorch - if you don’t have one putting it under a hot grill would work but you need to be careful about not overcooking the meat.

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This is absolutely amazing - thank you so much for sharing your recipe John!! :heart_eyes: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: Great tip too, I don’t own a blowtorch (yet!) so will rpobably need to use a hot grill…

For a while now I’ve been wanting to buy frozen lobster tails but wouldn’t dare risking the disappointment… Will give it a try this Friday - maybe a seafood themed meal for the family with some lovely white wine (and green wine, as we call it in Portugal) :blush:

I would also recommend the frozen lobster tails from Costco. I was surprised how good they were

Can I suggest Nesbits - PROPER catering equipment which actually does the job…

https://www.nisbets.co.uk/kitchenware-and-knives/pastry-and-baking-supplies/baking-tools-and-pastry-utensils/chefs-blow-torches//a33-4?cm_sp=Site%20Search--Redirect-_-blow%20torch

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https://www.thewinesociety.com/product/deidesheimer-riesling-burklin-wolf-2019

Wow! After a bit of kerosene on the nose a really tingling, zingy freshness. Quite startling. Probably needs a few years more.

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Felton Road 2020
Initially fairly primary and one dimensional but after some time the fruit was more defined and a cinnamon note was very evident. Should be in a really good place in 2-3 years.

Pommard 2017
Stock cube, dried herbs
Later a gorgeous cherry covered with dark chocolate aroma. Higher acidity than the Felton Road and more savoury too. Lighter in colour.

A very enjoyable comparison. Will wrap up the week with a Pinot from Piedmont !


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adds to basket

Long day’s journey into evening – nice to reach wine O’clock :slight_smile:

All this talk of Furmint on another thread reminded me that it’s been a while since we had one. So I duly opened this bottle, to accompany schnitzel and spätzle:

Somlói Furmint, Kolonics 2019

I am yet to have a bad, or even a ‘meh’ wine from this producer. We enjoyed their Juhfark and their Hárslevelű (would love to see this one again on the list! :ok_hand:), and the Furmint continues the theme. Such a multi-faceted wine for the price (£12.95), with a real character and distinctiveness.

Shimmering hue of medium gold in the glass, the nose has gentle notes of ripe pears, lime, orchard blossom and wet pebble after the rain. On the palate it is rather rich, though I wouldn’t go as far as TWS’s description of ‘opulent’. Regardless, you get a lot of wine for your money!

There’s orchard fruit – baked apples, ripe pears, mixed with white pepper pungency and spiciness, fresh citrus (tangerine, I thought) and a bitter almond note too. The other half swore he got some tobacco leaf on the finish too – which I sort of got too, once he mentioned it.

The chewy mouthfeel and sound structure make this a perfect food wine, rather than a simple sipper. The long finish confirms that this grape is capable of great things. Neither of us agreed with the sweetness level 4 on TWS notes – it feels just off dry, perhaps because of the pronounced acidity.

This Furmint is a real gem, and can’t wait to sip it alongside the food! :grinning: :+1:

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This last night and tonight


Last of my random reds from a French wine shop. Great pizza wine. Dark, almost opaque in the glass but a lovely gloss to it. Dark stone fruit, very low tannins but refreshing acidity.

If my French isn’t too rusty, looks like a collaboration between 2 friends who each grow one of the grapes in this blend. They’ve done a nice job for leas than €10 if my memory serves.

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It’s been quite an upmarket midweek thread so far, but this will bring down the average a bit.

But none the worse for that, a very enjoyable bottle, plenty of fruit, rich without being cloying.

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