This is the ‘posh’ version of the regular TWS Barbera from Araldica. Quite dark red/purple in the glass. Nose is a big hit of black fruit, black cherry, blackberries, plum. Also quite ‘big’ and extracted on the palate, black fruit again with quite a bit of acidity coming through. Needs some air so into the decanter. Enjoyable in the right circumstances, but not especially subtle.
I’m rather enjoying one of these for this evening - a 2022 Rezabal Txacoli, Getariako Txakolina.
Not really an ideal evening weather-wise for such a wine, but where there’s a will etc :~}
I love a good Txacoli, and this is one of the best there is for my tastes - spritzy, fresh & fun. Just a touch of apply-sweetness after it’s open a while / warms up a bit. No salty tapas in sight, sadly; but instead some scallops in XO-sauce. But a rather surprisingly good match in fact.
For any XO-sauce aficionados, it’s a very particular Taiwanese XO-sauce from a very particular hotel in Taichung, made only for Chinese New Year. It is for us by quite some distance the best there is, really rich and scallopy-prawny, and as such is a real indulgent treat. Hauled back recently by wife & sonshine along with KGs of wonderful Taiwanese goodies :~}
Some coffee but primarily stewed dark fruits and poached pear and plum on the nose
On the palate, dense fruit, balanced to fair acidity and integrated tannins. Some meat and menthol in that finish. I think in its youth it may have been a bit full on. Will last for a few more years at least but I think at a decent spot now, or even better get a time travel machine and drink 2-3 years ago
Enjoy the weekend and remember back to work Monday, not Tuesday
About as good as Alsace muscat gets, and really on song by itself, and with the food. Always a match for asparagus, and the mint on the finish picked out the mint in the sauce. Dry, full, fragrant and structured.
Hope everyone has a good weekend. Only two days, what’s all that about???
We tend to add it towards the end with scallops, yes. Good to get that slight crisp on the scallops first etc. On occasion though, a real comfort food for me is scrambled eggs with some XO-sauce, in which case the sauce does tend to go in first, especially if I’m fancying a bit of crispy gorgeousness among the creamy eggs. Great as a condiment too of course. A desert island source for us!
Have you ever tried to make the sauce yourself? We haven’t, but a good friend of mine in the high-end restaurant trade did one time; pretty good, but not quite XO-sauce as we know it; lacked that depth and umami-tsunami.
A favourite dish of mine is that Greek [Αυγά με Ντομάτα] / Turkish [Shakshouka] dish of eggs with tomatoes; the one where you slow cook the toms to a rich sauce [sometimes I add some serrano ham too] and then add eggs to slow-scramble-cook in the toms etc. I cook that quite often, and it was when doing this one day that I found my mind wondering how the same broad approach, albeit with a much much smaller lot of XO-sauce of course, might work. To my tastes, very well indeed!
I’ve sometimes wondered too how quail eggs might work with XO-sauce, but not yet got round to giving it a go.
Exhibition Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay, 2021. Needs no introduction. VGV for £13.50, exceptional for the £11.50 paid at launch. Not a burgundy substitute, it’s too in your face for that. But a lovely mouthful.
Then with a rather unseasonal beef stew and dumplings, Ferraton Patou Cornas 2016. A cut above. Thought this might be too young but Cellartracker and others said no and they were right. A N Rhone that, were it not for the beautiful nose, I would have guessed was Grenache rather than Syrah. Rich, sweet/fruity, meaty, full.
Without a direct comparison it would probably be hard to spot from colour in a rosé, but the cider nose and subdued flavour and aroma could both be signs of oxidation and one of those faults which can be quite subtle.
At long last the sun is out, I got the garden furniture out of the shed and the BBQ is lit waiting for sardines! Here’s the Tío Pepe en Rama 2023. Nicely saline with some nutry complexity and orange and citrus rind. I think maybe a little bit more restrained and less citrus fruited overall than 2022 but super classy.
We were given this bottle…which retails in Asda at £15.95. It is actually quite good. 11.5% 5 years in cellar ageing. Good yeasty and fruit aromas on nose bit light but well balanced and not bad on the finish. The mousse is v fine