The stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas is always filled with good food, and this year was no exception. Though during this busy period at times I wasn’t able to do much more than Annie’s mac & cheese, I did manage to create some good meals myself as well as enjoying the fruits of other’s labor.
Memorable Meals: Our recent visit to Craigie Street Bistrot coincided with the arrival of fresh Perigord truffles, making for a wonderful dinner. Though the filet mignon with shitake sauce last night was very good, I’d say my best work was the pork tenderloin with pesto cream sauce. And the extra pesto from that morphed nicely into a few other good meals. Another memorable meal was the spaghetti & meatballs my Dad fixed with the traditional family recipe. That one small branch of my family that goes back to Italy fortunately seems to be where I get my cooking genes (no offense to the Murphys!).
Top Wine of the Month: The holidays always involve uncorking several nice bottles, but there’s no contest for Decembers wine of the month. Last night we enjoyed the Conn Valley Vineyards 2003 Napa Valley Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, a very special bottle I got for Christmas. This complex wine evolved as we enjoyed it, starting with its deep earthy aroma. At first it was a bit strong on the tannins, but with some breathing the fruit flavor really came through. This is a wine that in theory could last awhile in the cellar, but anyone who can leave something Parker gave a 94 lying down for ten years is a stronger soul than me! BTW, this is the only Christmas wine we’ve opened yet so anyone else who gave me one shouldn’t feel slighted!
Wine Bargain of the Month: During my birthday tasting I came across several good wines from Graziano Vineyard in Mendocino. The Graziano family offers several varietals more typically associated with their native Italy. The one I enjoyed that qualifies as a bargain is their 2001 Monte Volpe Tocai Fruilano. This white tastes like a bit of a cross between a Sauvignon Blanc and a Chardonnay, with a delicate fruitiness. An interesting and good bottle for $10.
Around the Blogosphere: I enjoyed my first Wine Blogging Wednesday event, featuring sparklers—I reviewed a good one from Westport River Vineyards for this one. The food blogging event fun will continue in January with a Mac & Cheese Off this Friday and the Leftover Tuesdays event I’m hosting.