|Still Life with Wok|
|Carter Drinking Sprite with the Big Dogs|
|Cuban Wedding Shrimp|
|Pinot, Oh Me, Oh My!|
Ann and I are certainly no strangers to Amalie Robert Pinot Meunier, it having been on the restaurant wine list for a while. We have tasted the 2008 and 2009 vintages of this super cranberry-colored wine, but not the 2010. I was a little disappointed in the 2010 as it seemed a touch flabbier than I recall in 2008 and 2009.
Nor are we strangers to Buena Vista Pinot, it having been on and off the wine list over the years, and we can recall a delightful afternoon sitting at National Harbor sipping this wine after a Cirque de Soleil show some years ago. It is has big and lush dark fruit with touches of cotton candy, tasting a touch more Santa Barbara to me than Carneros in this vintage. My least favorite wine of the day; Ann's favorite.
Now for my style of wine, the Torii Mor Dundee Hills. I just loved this wine and have tasted it on and off over the years. It manages that delicate balancing act that makes Willamette so special: it manages to combine the crisp acidity of Burgundy with the best new world aromatics. Delicious!
This was my first taste of Campion wines, though I know the label and know that this is the new project of Larry Brooks from Acacia. Very well made wine, though not to my taste. Big, lush dark fruit, with loads of spice.
If I had to rank these in my order of preference: Torii Mor, Amalie Robert, Campion, Buena Vista. If I had to guess about Ann's ranking: Buena Vista, Campion, Torii Mor, Amalie Robert. All wines from Charlie Fish at Murphy Beverage in Winchester.
|Duck Confit Quesadillas|
|Sam I Am|
|Tom Stir Frying Pea and Cashew Fried Rice|
|Asian Pork Shoulder with Sauce|
From the triangular wedge on the bottom left going clockwise, the cheeses are: Montgomery's farmhouse Cheddar, L'Amuse Gouda, raw milk Stichelton, Fort St. Antoine Comté, and Detroit Street Brick. The Cheddar is smooth and delicious and is a great example of what Cheddar should be. The Gouda as you can see has a little age to it, but nothing like that of the 5-year old hard Gouda we serve at the restaurant. This one still has a smooth paste in the center and is developing caramel flavors out towards the edge: best of young and old Gouda in a single cheese. The Stichelton, while it looks and tastes like very good Stilton, cannot be so named because to be labeled as Stilton, the cheese must be made from pasteurized milk and this is made from raw milk, all the better. The Comté is a wonderful mountain cheese and is one of the finest of its kind that I have ever tasted, sweet, nutty, and complex.
The star of the cheeseboard, I left for last, the place of honor. This Detroit Street Brick, named for the pavers in the street outside Zingerman's deli, is a cheese I have never tasted before in my life, nor have I tasted anything similar. I just don't have enough superlatives in my vocabulary for this creamy goat milk cheese studded with green peppercorns and enrobed in a hint of a bloomed rind. This cheese stands with the very best goat cheeses I have ever eaten.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Tom served Warre's Otima 20-year old Tawny Port with the cheese. Yum! And I would be even more remiss if I didn't mention the outstanding rosemary and roasted garlic loaf that my Ann baked for the cheese course. Wonderful!
|Ann's Awesome Rosemary-Roasted Garlic Bread|