Saturday, March 21, 2009

Choices, Choices: Part 1

Tonight, for the first time in weeks, I have no plans: No wine classes to teach, no restaurants to visit, no articles or columns to write. So I plan on rewarding myself by heading out to the farmers’ market later this afternoon, waiting for inspiration to strike, and cooking a nice dinner for my wife and I.

Then again, that line about “waiting for inspiration to strike” isn’t entirely true: My purchases will be guided by the wine I plan on drinking with dinner. So inspiration, though it will play a role in fine-tuning what I cook, will only happen within certain parameters.

Those parameters will be defined by the two bottles I’m considering: A 2003 Barbaresco from Produttori del Barbaresco and a 2005 Hartford Court Pinot Noir “Land’s Edge Vineyards.” I haven’t tasted either one in about two years, though reports from friends are pretty consistent: The Barbaresco is still young but drinking well, especially after a stint in the decanter, and the Pinot Noir could go either way—the youthful fruit hasn’t quite yet given way to more mature characteristics, but it’s still supposed to be utterly delicious.

I have a feeling that I’ll decide on which bottle to open once I see what my options are at the market. If the wild mushrooms look good, then it’ll be the Pinot accompanying linguine with lobster, pancetta, and wild mushrooms. If they don’t, then I’ll open the Barbaresco to enjoy alongside fresh spaghetti with a white truffle cream sauce.

Either one is a good option, and I know I’ll enjoy dinner either way. But allowing both the wine and the ingredient selection to guide a pairing is a sure-fire strategy for maximizing your mealtime pleasure. It also keeps it interesting: Not knowing what you’ll be eating or drinking until you get to the market adds a sense of anticipation and excitement to the proceedings.

I’ll report back on Monday, well-rested and, hopefully, satisfied.


Anonymous said...

Nice post. I was in Sonoma recently and had the stellar Hartford Land's Edge Pinot there and WOW was I taken back. One of the best Pinot's I have had in a long time. Go with the Hartford :)

Anonymous said...

Get a steak and have the Barbaresco. That will make your evening.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the other anonymous blogger. Try the barberesco. I have some in the cellar I've been wating to open and would like to see what you think. That might just make your evening and mine too!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to have you try the barberesco too. I have some on hold and would like to see if this is the time to open and enjoy. That might make your evening and mine!

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