The moon won't be full until Wednesday, but that ol' satellite was nonetheless tugging on some synapses.
As promised, tonight is Cab Franc night. Les has two for us, a Bourgueil and a Chinon. My last experience of Chinon was the truly astounding Château de la Bonnelière '05 from Marc Plouzeau, which tastes of intense dark cherries and berries and blood. So the bar is high.
James Petit Cuvèe des Gallucher "Tradition" 2007:
Dave: Cherry. Cherry and almond.
Elaine: Cherry all the way; even cherry-skin in the tannins.
Dave: Maybe a note of sweet tobacco?
Elaine: This is not as purple, not as floral as I remember the last vintage.
Karl: It's light and fruity like Beaujolais, except with tannin.
Dave: I'm not picking up minerals at the end. Certainly not iron.
Elaine: I don't know, this seems pretty developed, like it spent a lot of time in barrels. There's a style here, but I can't put my finger on it. Almost like Beaujolais, but with the structure of a Chianti.
We pause to order the miso-glazed pork-and-green-apple kebab with kimchi. And crab rangoons.
Olkey-Morey "Cuvèe des Tireaux" Chinon 2005:
Elaine: Look how much darker this is!
Elaine: It is possible that crab rangoon is the perfect wine food. I'm willing to research this. Anyway, we're wine snobs, we're supposed to have wine and cheese. I knew this guy who was just totally against having wine with cheese.
Dave: That's nuts. All those old pictures you see of the peasant with a wheel of cheese and a bottle of wine? There's a reason for that. Cheese cuts the tannins. Wait, I have a real-world example! If you brew tea, and make it too strong, you can add all the sugar you want, but the tea will still be bitter. If, instead, you add milk, then the tannins are ameliorated. (Here's a link to why.)
Elaine: This has the bloody quality.
Dave: Olive. Green olive.
Elaine: Definitely less clarity of fruit than the Bourgueil, more savory. Although there's plenty of fruit…blueberry.
Dave: Very pure fruit, with the savoryness.
Elaine: It's hard to know what people mean sometimes, although I had an "aha!" moment with a pair of customers the other day. One said she thought pinot grigio felt like linen going down her throat. I told her she was probably tasting the minerality in the wine. And you could see the lightbulb going off over her head. I have no idea what linen tastes like.
Dave: I think of linen and lanolin. Maybe because they both start with "L"? A kind of waxy character. In texture, also.
Karl: Kimchi makes the wine burn in your mouth.
Elaine: The Chinon doesn't seem that tannic on its own.
Dave: I'm getting more berry aromas and flavors now.
Elaine: Yes, some raspberry there.
Karl: Chinon with lamb, mushrooms, and penne works. With the meat, the tannins are a plus.
Elaine: These just aren't bar wines. They're dinner wines. I feel like we're not doing them justice; they're very subtle.
Then we went in back and found the "Lord of the Rings" pinball machine. The moon isn't full yet, but it's full enough for some multi-ball play.
PS: My band, The Wellhouse, will be at The Still this Friday night out on the New Leicester Highway. If you've ever wanted to get in touch with your Inner Redneck, this is the time and place. (The Still doesn't have a website. Most of the customers I've met there didn't seem to give a rat's ass about Social Networking, or anything else, for that matter.)