Wednesday, January 4, 2012
The selected wine is Kestrel Vintners 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a full bodied, very berry, delicious tasting wine. The berry flavor lingers long and lavish on the palate. It combined well with everything on the board tonight. Add to that the new swanky wine glasses from beloved grown kids, and the flavor was further enhanced.
For the tasty treats, we literally combined what was left from the Holidays and then selected a cheese we thought might be a good match. Bingo!! We hit a home run tonight! Being more inclined to veggies and tap water to make the Levi's fit a little more comfortably this week, this is saying a LOT!
The cured meats were perfect. We chose Salumi from our beloved Slough Food. This was a first time to try the Mole, Chile, Cinnamon-----and I assure you it will not be the last. I thought the spicy paprika was the winner--well, it is great, but the mole spicy, well it just fits the taste buds. We also included a meat selection from Fra' Mani. They are in Berkeley, CA. Their founder, chef Paul Bertolli, apparently knows his stuff. Fra' Mani apparently means "Between or among hands"--We LOVE that. This guy has a zeal for handcrafted food made in Old World traditions. Uh, yes, apparently so. And as if that isn't enough, he seeks out responsible pig growers too! This is my favorite part. He links to his 4 farmers on his web site. Trust me, these are NOT McDonald's suppliers. We loved his meats even BEFORE we knew & respected him and his standards. They so perfectly fit our style and standards here on the farm.
Interspersed every few bites we had Marcona Almonds. These were just discovered this year at our most favorite store, Metropolitan Market. These are referred to as the "Queen of Almonds". They are sweeter, fatter, and rounder than their California cousins. Most come from the Valencia or Alicante regions of Spain. They are typically roasted in extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. I'm telling you now, they make ANYTHING better. We have used them in so many ways since the discovery. You may just find yourself scarfing them in solo not so infrequently (is there a camera in my house?). A version of them is also available locally at, you got it, Slough Food.
Ok, the cheese. No meal, snack, discussion, party, or self-indulgence should be without CHEESE! For this board, we chose the Raw Milk Caprino Romano (aged just over a year). If you are not familiar with Caprino Romano, that's because there is just not a lot of it here in the US. You may know it as Pecorino (sheeps' milk), or Romano (cows' milk), but the Caprino means Goat. This was my first choice for a raw milk cheese upon my return from Italy in 2008. It is a keeper-thank you Italy and a lot of other factors. You may not often consider this as a table cheese, but do not be fooled. This one IS! It paired perfectly with the wine and each meat selection. And when you cook with this cheese, oh baby, you unleash the beast. Flavors kind of explode when heated.
Enough of this long post. Time to refill the glasses..... ENJOY!