Posts in Hits & Misses
Hit & Miss: Vietti 2016 Roero Arneis with Thai Sweet & Sour Tofu & Steamed Salmon with Asparagus, Ginger & Basil

Roero Arneis can be all up-front aroma with no follow-through on the palate. This one is distinctively different. That isn’t only because Vietti was the first to bottle this long-lost variety as a varietal wine all the way back in 1967. (Yep, old vines help give depth of flavor.)

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Hit & Miss: Kvaszinger 2013 Tokaji Aszú with Roast Pork with Caramelized Golden Apples & Parsnips & Crab, Corn & Avocado Puff Pastries

We typically think of sweet wines with dessert, but sweet wines can work just as well with the beginning and the middle of a meal. Foods that have a natural sweetness to them should blend nicely with the wine, especially when there is caramelization (a combination of sugar and heat), Maillard reaction (a combination of amino acids, sugar and heat) or a crisp pastry or fried batter.

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Hit & Miss: Vilarnau NV Cava Brut Reserva Rosé with Quiche Lorraine & Grilled Pork Chops with Rhubarb Mostarda

This bubbly really surprised! It has chops and can serve as well at the table as it can as a hearty apéritif. Lightly fruity on the dry attack, the palate then fills in with a super pleasant, toasty yeastiness then with a crispness akin to dried bread crumbs on the back palate.

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Hit & Miss: Mountford 2010 Riesling with Roasted Pork Shoulder & Saint André Cheese

Its suave, creamy mouthfeel is driven by serious flavor density as well as considerable – and well-integrated – residual sugar. Its lower, 9.5% alcohol and lemony acidity keep this Riesling in the mid-weight category. Its structure reminds me of the Nahe king, Dönnhoff. Though imminently glugable, this wine’s complexity deserves a slow and thoughtful sipping pace.

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Hit & Miss: Donnafugata 2013 Lighea with Shrimp, Avocado & Grapefruit Salad and Arugula & Green Bean Salad

This varietal Muscat, locally called Zibibbo, starts with serious aromatic pop. It’s plump with lime zest, pink grapefruit, white peppercorn and Mediterranean scrub-baking-under-a-hot-summer-sun. The palate is crisp, dry and light. The combination is so drinkable that you just might think the liquid is evaporating from your glass.

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Hit & Miss: Château Lassègue 2005 Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé with Duck Sausage & Pork Shoulder with Demi-Glace

Vintage 2005 was among the best Bordelais vintages in the last 20 years. This wine epitomizes its force. Nine years on, it isn’t showing a hint of development. It’s belligerently youthful.

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Hit & Miss: Domaine de la Meynarde 2011 Côtes du Rhône Villages Plan de Dieu with Extra Mature Cheddar & Seared Lamb Chops

This blend of Grenache, Syrah and Carignan offers a rich and welcoming nose of briar patch fruits entirely absent of oak influence. The tannins caress softly and the acidity lurks subtly. The voluptous and youthful loveliness of the very pure fruit make for easy sipping.

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