Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wine? What Wine?

As I look back over my recent posts (amazingly, there have been some), there’s quite a variety of topics – but really not much about wine.

Now, Brim has always had a tendency to veer off into non-wine topics. If you’re looking for serious writing about wine, you’d be better off reading Good Wine Under $20, Brooklynguy, Joe's Wine or The Pour. If you’re one of the handful of people that still follow Brim, it’s probably because…well, I really don’t have any idea, other than you’ve developed a curious fascination with what might come next.

To tell you the truth, I really don’t know what's coming next anymore. I’m not much of a wine writer; I’m more of a writer that loves wine. Writing about just wine is way too constraining for my scattered mind. So, thanks for coming back for whatever it is that keeps you coming back.

That being said, now I’ll write about wine.

I really adore rosé wines, and we are smack dab in the midst of rosé season. It’s really a springtime wine, in my opinion, but my local stores don’t usually get their stock until mid-summer.

The other night we opened a bottle of Domaine des Cantarelles Vin de Pays du Gard Rosé de Fayel 2008. There’s a bit of confusion on the name here. Cantarelles is the name on the bottle, but it’s listed as Domaine des Sources on the Robert Kacher Web site. Either way, it’s produced by Jean-Francois Fayel.

Domaine des Cantarelles is located in Costèries de Nîmes, or as I like to say, right near Nîmes. I’m guessing the name confusion arises from Fayel sourcing some of the grapes for his rosé from neighboring vineyards that aren’t classified as Costéries de Nîmes.

Bobby Kacher really needs to have chat with someone, because his Web site doesn’t agree with the label on the blend either. I guess when you import as many wines as he does, it’s hard to keep them all straight. (It’s probably fair to mention that the French aren’t exactly famous for clear or accurate wine labels.)

In any case, the 2008 Fayel rosé is mostly cabernet franc (65-ish%), with syrah (30-ish%) and 5% grenache (they both agree on that). It’s fresh and crisp with notes of strawberry, cherry and melon–a perfect example of French rosé.

We enjoyed it with some pan seared mahi-mahi brushed in lemon-hot sauce and herbed potato salad. The fresh fruit and bright acidity went very well with the spicy fish and savory potato salad.

The lemon-hot sauce is another Mark Bittman concoction: fresh lemon juice, hot sauce, olive oil, salt and pepper mixed to your liking. Give it a try.

I've been using Valentina Salsa Picante quite a bit lately for my house hot sauce. It's not overly hot, but wonderfully flavored and spicey.

And to you–the few, the proud(?), the curious, the loyal readers–I raise my glass. Cheers.

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