Mon 21 Jun 2010
It’s so blasted hot here — it’s predicted to go up to 101 this afternoon with a heat index of 105 to 110 — that cooking food over, you know, heat seems like the last thing we want to do, so LL has been looking for cool dishes for torrid weather. Last night she relied on one of our favorite summertime dishes, a variation on vitello tonnato that uses slices of roasted pork loin instead of veal; this also works well with slices of roasted turkey breast (which, frankly, we prefer, though the pork was tasty). I bought a roasted pork loin at Fresh Market; boy, that was easy! The sauce is simple to put together — a can of tuna in oil, anchovies, chicken broth and lemon juice blasted in the food processor — and you just put the meat on a bed of fresh spinach leaves, spoon on a generous dollop of sauce, sprinkle on a few capers and serve it with lemon wedges. Tomatoes are good too. Anyway, this is a fine cold dish for a hot evening, and we settled in with it to watch the delightful and rather provocative Fantastic Mr. Fox.
We’re very much into rosé wines at the moment, and considering the character of this cold dish, I opened a bottle of an absolutely classic Côtes de Provence model, the Coeur Estérelle 2009, a traditional blend of carignane, cinsault and grenache grapes made by Chateau du Rouët. Classic how? First, the color is that pale, pale, very pale russet-orange-copper called onion skin or eye of the partridge –I’ve never looked a partridge in the eye, but I’ll take the word of the French for this — a vrai vin gris. The wine is spare, delicate and elegant in every respect, from its bouquet of dried red currants, peaches and watermelon, to its lovely texture where crisp and crystalline acidity meets the moderate lushness of ripe strawberries, red currants and a hint of tart pomegranate. The wine is bone-dry, slightly earthy, with undertones of limestone and dried thyme. Immense charm. Very Good+. About $13 to $15.
A Christopher Canaan selection, for Europvin U.S.A., Van Nuys, Ca. A sample from the local wholesaler.