Monday, August 9, 2010

Gourmet Gnoshing Makes a Match with Geriatric Garnacha

There's something to be said about friends who can cook. There's something else to be said about friends who are literally gourmet chefs. I am lucky enough to have a very good pal who has earned her stripes in the kitchen.
My friend Felicia is known for crafting killer cusine, and her cioppino is by far the best I have ever tasted. She and husband Mike add herbs from their garden to homemade meals that leave me swooning long after I've eaten.
Fresh mussles, crab, squid and scallops abound in this particular dish, swimming in a heady and aromatic tomato-infused garlicky broth.
I was charged with finding a wine to match this wonderful meal. I chose a budget-friendly Old Vines Garnacha (in France, the grape is Grenache) from Evodia. Old vines means that the wine comes from grapes that are at least 35 years old, and this one lives up to the billing.
Call me crazy, but don't call me late for this meal!! On the nose, it reminded me (in a good way) of freshly-tilled soil and vegetables, primarily bell pepper, and something else...leathery library chair. The only thing missing was Dad's pipe and the unmistakable aroma of Sweet Charity tobacco, wafting through the air of my childhood in tantalizing rings of smoke.
Full of spicy fruit, it was perfect with the briny and succulent cioppino, accompanied by crusty artisan bread smothered in anchovy paste.
Oh, and the wine was also yummy with bacon that Mike cures and smokes himself...I could really get used to this treatment...
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