Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Thai, Wine-Nut & Snails

Our eldest daughter and her 'hubby' invited us out to dinner..at a Thai Restaurant in Wiesbaden. The food at the 'Erawan' was superb...no glutamine is used..just fresh ingredients in the original Thai style. At last I have found a place I want to return to...after being often disappointed by many Asian restaurants. As to wine drinking.. I was not expecting very much..I would find something I guessed. The 4 of us ordered starters...and the main courses were a yellow curry with octopus, a green curry with chicken & a red curry with beef....as well as a very good roast duck dish. While all the choosing was going on..I was given the 'wine-list'. A smallish affair..with about 30 wines in all....but...the list was probably the same as when printed 5 years ago. There were a few Bordeaux 2003..a Pape 2001..and various other from 2000..and so on..you get my drift? This was going to be an adventure. I asked the waitress how 'up-to-date' the list was..and she answered..'most of it'.....to which I asked..'and the vintages?.....her face said it all. OK...time to leave the table and check some bottles by the bar....again a few oddities...but nothing that made this 'case' easier. The manager was called..and I explained I was a 'wine-nut'. He inquired what I would like......and I asked for a Riesling Spätlese trocken for the starters...something young... and he was gone and back in a second..with a bottle of Rheingau....Stefan Breuer..2006..in a 'riffled' bottle..new name to me..but at € 24,--...Perfect I said. Now...red...'Bordeaux he asked'?..no no..not good with slightly spicy curries...a Pinot...German or French...and off he went again...to return with the Vosne-Romanee 2006..He sheepishly said..'It is not cheap' (€ 49,--)...but it seemed to say to me...this is what you want..so a deal was done. My daughter said he rarely visited tables in the restaurant....but this evening he popped his head round the corner a few times..and finally made a table visit to inquire about the red.. Now..some would say that I sometimes 'overdo' it when searching for a decent drink..but my experience is that if the restaurant owner/ waiter has anything about him..he should rise to the situation. This manager earned his spurs!
Stefan Breuer Riesling Spätlese trocken R1 2006
Rheingau, Germany A new property...Riesling made in the modern style..soft pachy aroma...slightly smoky..medium weight..very little acidity but nice minerals keeps it interesting..and was a perfect foil for the starters.
Points 16

Domaine Forey Père & Files Vosne-Romanée 2006
Vosne-Romanée, France
Quite masculine and dense on the nose....worried me a little at first..didn't want a big dollop of young tannins to fight the curries...another sniff..yes..I like this..medium sweet fruit....again..perfect for what I need here..nice tannin grip and a good finish. Really enjoyed this....give this blogger a pat on the back for persistence.
Points 16.5

Now..as the blog is also titled...' and Memories'..we have to go back many many years when I was with my wife and her brother in South France....Collioure. One day we decided to go out for an evening meal in a decent restaurant in Perpignon. The day started out with a trip into the mountains..and as it had rained overnight there was loads of snails all over the area. My wife made a make-shift bag and we started to collect them...planning to have them maybe next day. On the way back to our apartment she said we need to know how to 'prepare' them...not the actually 'cooking' preparation...but the cleaning. We stopped of at a store with some cooking books but that did not help as all started out with 'you open the tin'....but then she remembered they have to be given pasta....anyway....back to the apartment..the snails in a pot..covered with kitchen foil.....then out to the restaurant for dinner. My wife and brother-in-law were not drinking wine at the time..so I was on the lookout for a really good Burgundy maybe. Now..once I get a wine-list between my paws I am not to be disturbed. My wife had the orders to choose a starter and main course for me. Oh no....the list was long..but with very few known names...loads of 'villages' wines...a Musigny or two...but no vintage. A wine-list to give me gray hairs. It was now 20 minutes since I had started to search..and still nothing. The starter had been ordered so time was running out. I asked the waiter if I could visit the cellar..to check vintages. No problem..as the wines were stored in a room next to the restaurant. Inside..he turned on the light..and 'poof'..the light bulb went. As he had to serve food..he gave me a box of matches..and left me to it. After a few burnt fingers..still nothing that would make the evening 'perfect'....although there was one that attracted me...vintage 1970 I think...A Chambolle-Musigny..but there was that name 'Piat'.on the label..yes..they of the Piat d'Or wines.....a negociant with a poor reputation. I popped my head round the cellar door to see my wife waving to me..the food was there. Oh well..the Piat it was...and the bottle was promptly opened and served..and.. guess what....it was super.....I didn't make notes..and forget to take the bottle for the label....I was not gonna push my luck any more. Back home to the apartment near the beach...all of us satisfied with the evening. Turn on the light as we entered..and it was like a Hitchcock film. Snails, snails, snails...they were everywhere.....they had 'broken out' of their prison..eaten throught the foil..and were trying to make their getaway. On the walls..the beds...some had even made it to the balcony. We all needed sleep...so we collected all we could see..and in the dark..from the balcony..they were ejected. Does this story have an end?...well.. as we slowly woke next morning..there were excited voices below...two Frenchmen...collecting snails....and planning dinner. Hopefully with an easier choice of wine.

1 comment:

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