Sunday, February 15, 2009

A la recherche du vin perdu

Not that I've lost a wine, but am I alone in finding that despite having a decent raft of bottles to plunder, sometimes it's difficult to find just what's required? Something rather basic for tonight's meal, a swanky restaurant might dub it mini schnitzel or escalopes, but basically it's upmarket, chicken nuggets, albeit home-made ones with a coating of breadcrumbs seasoned with garlic, onion, ground coriander and black pepper. Cooked in a hot oven rather than with recourse to the frying pan, it's one of those dishes that is as appealing to a seven-year-old as it it to someone whose 7th birthday was close to the arrival of decimal currency.

First port of call was a bottle of Anakena Ona 2006, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carmenere. Good wine but a little too assertive for what I wanted to drink. Next came the Errazuriz La Cumbre Shiraz. I've got to write something in the next week or so about Chilean Shiraz, and this bottle had been whispering, 'Drink Me...' for a number of weeks. Should have ignored the whines. It's a big beast, and one that has bags more life ahead of it. Will revisit it (and the Ona) over the next few days, and expect it to improve.

Keeping with the Syrah themes, I thought I'd try Yves Cuilleron's Vin de Pays Syrah 2005 - apprentice Cote Rotie, if you like. Tasty, tasty wine, but one that I should have pulled out of the cellar (at its coldest at this time of year) half a day earlier.

Getting desperate by this point, and with the dinner nearly ready, I dove into white territory and found the Dr Unger 2005 Gruner Veltliner Gottschelle Reserve from Kremstal in Austria. Eureka! Tangerines (extreme tangerine), grapefruit, rich tangy and mineral, perfect for the slightly fatty decadence of the super-nuggets, and, at 13% alcohol, more restrained than some of the Unger wines, it was the vin perdu that I'd been looking for.

I've no doubt that all three reds will be better tomorrow, but I'm going to spend this evening with the good Doctor...

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