Monday, April 17, 2017

Hitting the Grill

Spring time and what's a guy to do? Doesn't your grill start calling to you as soon as the weather turns nice and the days are long enough to be able to see while you are grilling? Even though I work the grill station at the restaurant most nights of the week, there is still something magical about grilling food outdoors (maybe it's something buried in our primal brains) and about eating outdoors that just makes everything seem richer, more alive, better in some indescribable way.

Grilled Halibut and Mesclun
For us, today was the first day of awesome spring weather that coincided with an evening off for me and a long enough day length that I could grill out. I believe it was Ann, when we were talking about dinner in the morning, who said to bring home a piece of fish to grill. And so I did, a nice slab of Atlantic halibut along with some of the very first mesclun of the year for a salad.

While I was making the salad dressing (sherry vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and EVOO) and rubbing the fish down with olive oil, salt, and pepper in preparation for the grill, Ann volunteered to go down to the ever dwindling (in preparation for our relocation) cellar and pick a bottle. Randomly and not knowing what she was picking, she grabbed this lovely bottle of Hirsch Vineyards "San Andreas Fault" from 2010, a pinotphile's Pinot.

Hirsch Vineyards "San Andreas Fault" 2010
On release, this wine was tightly wound cranberry acidity and zing and wasn't super well integrated, being all angular and brimming with promise. Five years later, all the parts have come together and the wine exhibits a gorgeous red raspberry nose with hints of earth and spice. Lean, though with raspberry fruit belying its cranberry color, this wine is so atypically Californian and just what you hope Burgundy might be.

First Mesclun of the Year!
Ann likes a good salad as long as it is made with butter lettuce or something else super inoffensive. "I don't like these stems," she said to me, as I gobbled the rest of the salad straight out of the bowl. We'll see about that. I've swayed her to acidity in wine and to drinking big-girl beers. We'll just see about mesclun in the future!

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