Sat 6 Nov 2010
I haven’t made cheese toast in a long time. We saw a program by a diet/lifestyle guru on PBS, and I thought, “Whoa, I hafta change the way I eat.” Cheese toast, of course, does not fall into the category of Food That’s Really Good for You. I mean, cheese toast is not brown rice and tofu and seaweed, but it tastes better than brown rice, tofu and seaweed. So yesterday, rewarding myself for work well-done (I know, you’re not supposed to reward yourself with food), I sliced some white bread, which we usually don’t have around the house but is essential for cheese toast, slathered on some Dijon mustard, shaved some parmesan, pecorino and piave cheeses and layered them on the bread and sprinkled on Urfa pepper and Mapuche chili spice. Under the broiler! Zip! Zap! A few minutes later, nice and brown and crusty.
I opened a bottle of the Calcu Red Wine 2008, from Chile’s Colchagua region. This little darlin’ is a blend of 45 percent cabernet sauvignon, 25 percent carmenère and 15 percent each cabernet franc and petit verdot. You could say that Calcu is a true Bordeaux-style blend, since the carmenère grape was widely planted in Bordeaux in the 19th Century but was eliminated in the early 20th century because of the unreliability of its yield. For a hundred years or so what were thought to be merlot vines in Chile turned out to be about 90 percent carmenère. DNA-testing pretty much straightened out that problem in the 1990s.
Anyway, Calcu Red Wine 2008 delivers a ravishing snootful of intense and concentrated black currant and black cherry scents deeply imbued with leather and dusty minerals in the limestone and granite range threaded with bitter chocolate and smacked with a fistful of smoky potpourri. That dust-laden mineral element increases in the mouth, providing the backdrop for cozy, chewy tannins and luscious black fruit flavors flecked with lavender and violets rubbed between two hands. Pert and lithe acidity keeps the wine dynamic and quaffable. The whole package asserts more personality than you would think from the price. I enjoyed the wine with my cheese toast, but after sipping a glass I wished that I had saved it for tonight’s pizza. Bringing up the topic: What Wine Shall I Serve with the Pizza in about an Hour? Very Good+. About $12, a Great Bargain.
Global Vineyard Importers, Berkeley, Cal. A sample for review.