Saturday, December 13, 2008
Wine instead of Whine
By about 1pm on this gray Saturday afternoon in the midst of a Southern California cold-front (I know, seems like an oxymoron) we were bored. But hungry as always. So Catherine suggested we check out the wine bar at our local purveyor of wines. And a right good suggestion it was.
We ended up with an ultimately delicious panini made from some of the finest charcuterie I've had since leaving Italy this past summer, a lovely cheese platter (more about that in a moment) and I had a delicious rich, berry-infused Slingshot 2005 Cabernet. Catherine had the Mark West 2006 Pinot Noir, also tasty but much too brown-sugar/vanilla for my taste.
Anyway, I'm not nearly the wine connoisseur that my Dad's wife Dee Dee is, however I do know a damn good cheese when I taste it. I not only consume a lot of various cheese from everywhere from Ralphs to Whole Foods to Italian Farmer's Markets (if it's good and not environmentally harmful it doesn't really matter where it's sold) but I also have a passionate love of the salty cave-aged cheeses, odoriferous bleus and rich truffle whites.
So for the 2nd time Catherine and I were able to taste the Emmi Cave-Aged Gruyere and it was every bit as good as I recall it being (we first had it 6 weeks ago for a spur of the moment wine and cheese tasting at our house with our neighbors). It was amazingly good. Small crystals of salt seem to linger like little stocking stuffers inside what is every bit cocaine for the tongue. The smalls cuts would melt in my mouth like shell-less M&Ms might but with a much more pungent yet broadly-enjoyed flavor.
Anyway, it was a lovely outing. We got out of the house, were far from bored and spent $30 for wine, a filling lunch and what amounts to pretty darn good entertainment. When Dee Dee and my Dad visit in a few weeks we intend to go back yet again and pick up some bottles, some more gruyere and who knows what else!