Saturday, November 5, 2011

An Offal Experience

Last night we ate testicles. And penises. And duck hearts and tongues. We ate pig's ears, pig's blood, cockscombs, tongue, veal brains with cauliflower/bone-marrow puree, ox heart with cockles, and kidney, cheek, and tail pie.

This was a “pop-up” dinner by the Blind Pig Of Asheville, a group of chefs and miscellaneous other crazies who take a transgressive approach to cuisine. Matt Dawes (of Table) and Jeremy Hardcastle (the new Hot Dog King of Asheville) did the cooking. The carnage took place at City Bakery.

For more on the eats and some background on the Blind Pig Supper Club, check out Mackensy Lunsford at MountainX.

The event was BYOB, and several malefactors from the local scene showed up with organic lambruscos and cavas, Arbois wine from the Jura, a killer Cote du Rhone (La Ferme du Mont Cotes du Rhone Premiere Cote 2009), a sleek Ca'Marcanda from Maremma (Tuscan coastline) from Angelo Gaja, of all people, and a bunch of other stuff. We brought a Danilo Thomain Enfer d'Arvier which had suffered a bit of secondary fermentation. It was drinkable, just. For those who were asking about the grape, I mis-identified it: It's Petite Rouge, not Petite Arvine.

We also brought one of two bottles of Mas d'Agalis Yo No Puedo Mas (Russell Garrett from Sour Grapes brought the other one) which for me, at least, was the vinous highlight of the evening. The name translates as “I Can't Take Anymore” and reflects the sentiments of young winemaker Lionel Maurel, who produces this blend of 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache, and 10% Mourvèdre at his family's property in the village of Nébian, which is in the Hérault appellation of the Languedoc. Not that you'd know it from the label—the INAO has declared his organically produced wine Too Strange for the regular appellation, and insists that he label it as “vin du pays” and not give vintage information (the vintage is displayed in roman numerals—ours was VIII). In the event, the wine showed the kind of rusticity you want when you're eating offal: Aromas of game and the barnyard, spice and red fruit, followed by more solid dark fruit, earth, and a nice bite of acidity. I've seen it on the shelf at Table Wine and Vinsite, about $20 and I'm guessing it will be an essential beverage for the next Blind Pig outing.

BYOB! Yeah!


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