Sun 3 Feb 2008
The New Day referred to in the title of this post calls attention to the fact that BTYH is now affiliated with Triggit!, a new program that will allow me to make a little moolah from this blog beyond the pittance that Google ads bring. This will still be a pittance, but if you add a pittance to a pittance, you get a slightly larger pittance, enough, perhaps, to pay for a bottle of wine every once in a while.
You will notice, from now on, that every wine I mention on BTYH is highlighted in red. Click on the name of the wine and you will be taken to wine-searcher.com, which will show you where the wine can be bought or ordered and the price it fetches around the country. Every click brings me, as they say in the South, “a thin dime.” Actually, I think it’s 11 cents, making that thin dime a tad thicker. So, visitors to BTYH, you know what your job is. By the way, as an alternative, I can direct the links to winezap.com instead of wine-searcher; I would be interested to know what readers think is more useful.
So, while I already went back and created a few links in previous posts, we’ll launch the Triggit! function officially with two Spanish wines that LL and I drank with meatloaf.
You know how it is with meatloaf. In the same way that migratory birds wake up one morning and think, “O.K., time to go,” human beings rise from slumber thinking, “Yes, it’s a day for meatloaf.” For years I’ve made the meatloaf from Julia Childs’ The Way to Cook (Alfred A. Knopf, 1989), and it’s so perfect a rendition of the concept — meat made into a loaf with a few ingredients to hold it together and make it taste even better — that I see no reason to change. For starch, we made the potatoes gratin from Alice Waters’ book from last year, The Art of Simple Food (Clarkson N. Potter, $35). This dish involved layering three strata of very thinly sliced potatoes, immersing them in milk, butter and (a suggestion) Parmesan cheese and sage, and baking the concoction for an hour. Holy moly!
The first night of the meatloaf, we drank the Casa de la Ermita Crianza 2004, from the Spanish wine region of Jumilla. The wine is a blend of 40% monastrell (mourvedre), 25% tempranillo, 20% cabernet sauvignon and 15% petit verdot. The bouquet is frankly gorgeous, a heady amalgam of smoke, lavender, crushed violets and minerals and ripe fleshy black fruit. The wine aged nine months in a combination of French and American oak barrels, a factor contributing to its spiciness and its firm structure. Casa de la Ermite Crianza ’04 delivers great balance and integration, as well as a dense, chewy texture, currant, plum and black cherry flavors touched with cedar, tobacco and potpourri and, unexpectedly, a wild, high note of camellia. It was great with the meatloaf. Drink now through 2010 or ’11. Excellent. About $19.
That was last Sunday. Midweek we sat down to dinner with the leftovers and a bottle of Mas Igneus Barranc dels Closos 2004 from the Spanish region of Priorat. This blend of grenache (70%), carignane (25%) and merlot (5%), which matures only three months in French oak, uses soft, grainy tannins to support luscious currant, plum and blueberry flavors threaded with lead pencil and minerals, wild berry, black tea, potpourri and a hint of tar. A few minutes in the glass bring up touches of mulberries and roses, briers and brambles. It’s a clean, vibrant, spicy wine, super-attractive and drinkable, but with an element of seriousness about the structure. It too was terrific with the meatloaf. Drink now through 2010 or ’11. Very good+. About $20.
Both wines are brought into the United States by Opici Import Co., Glen Rock, N.J.