Category Archives: 1

Pizza and Pinot Noir

Tired of all the overpriced restaurant meals (and wines) and leery of the Friday night crowd, I hung out at a friend’s place instead last night. There were four of us, and we ordered three 10 inch pizzas to wash down with a bottle of Languedoc Pinot Noir (La Forge Estate Pinot Noir Reserve 2006 I brought from home (incidentally, I just trekked over to Nat Decants to take a look at her suggested pairing for meaty pizza, and pinot noir was up there on the list).

The wine was a cheap (relatively, in Singapore terms; do you know that the government charges a flat tax of $7.50 per bottle of wine that comes into Singapore?) bottle I had picked up on impulse at Denise Wines. My expectations were low, so I was pleasantly surprised by the wine. It had a light and fruity nose – strawberries, raspberries – and some cinammon in the finish. Nice and smooth tannins that went really well with our pizzas: a BBQ chicken one; one called the Sunshine Fantasy, which had boiled eggs, which I love; and a pepperoni and sausage one.

So, all in all, a delightfully pleasant, low-key evening punctuated with shouts of laughter. 🙂

Highland Park

When I was first introduced to whisky it served as a warning. My parents had received a bottle of crown royale that had come in a cobalt blue bottle and velvet bag, irresistable to a young girl who had a bizarre attraction to purple and velvet. They let me have a sip and I thought I was turned off of alcohol for life, the burn, the disgusting aftertaste….the burn. Little did I know that I’d become a scotch lover again years later. My new found love is the Highland Park 18 year. With notes of toffee caramel that lingers on the nose and tongue with just enough leather and smoke to make you feel how truly lux scotch can be the puppy just screams for a good cigar and a salty story.  Endorsed to me and a friend by an older gentleman and his wife who clearly knew their stuff, I am eternally greatful to these knowledgable strangers who had pitty on two young novices looking lost in the scotch aisle.

Three Score & 10

Had a really good bottle of wine last night, the III Associates Three Score & 10 Grenache/Shiraz 2005, from McLaren Vale, Australia. It had raisin-y notes, but what I really loved about it was the weight of the wine, nice and heavy – quite a noticeable change from the big-boobs-but-no-ass wines I’ve had recently, you know, the wines with a lot of flavor upfront but which quickly disappear into nothingness. Anyway, as I was saying, I really liked the feel of the wine. There was some earthiness and oak to it too, mixed in with the rich plum mouth feel. Mmm! It’s bottles like this that reminds me of why I really like Grenache/Shiraz blends.

Arrivederci Peishan: Asian No. 1 move to Singapore

Recently, we had a send off Italian wine tasting for Asian #1 Peishan. She is leaving me for Singapore, so the blog will be bridging drinking from both sides of the globe.  Here is a listing of what we ate and drank.

Our Menu

Nosh

Bruschettas

ricotta with sundried tomatoes

roasted garlic, basil, fresh tomatoes

roasted red pepper spread

Main

Assortment of Pizzas and Sausage

fresh mozzarella, sundried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, ricotta, roasted garlic, basil

sausage, yellow and red peppers, feta cheese

mozzarella, feta cheese, ricotta, parmesan

sausage, sundried tomatoes, basil, fresh mozarella, roasted garlic

(one other combo I forgot…I made these up as I went)

Dessert

Pound cake two ways

with nutella and roasted bananas

with marsala wine soaked cherries and lemon curd

THE WINES!

Whites:
Abbazia di Novacella Kerner 2006 $24
– Damn Good
This Kerner is made in the northernmost part of Italy where the Italians speak mainly Austrian and the scenery is more reminiscent of Heidi than Under the Tuscan Sun. Light floral with a touch of minerality and a killer nose, this was definitely a good start to the evening for me.

De Falco Fiano di Avellino 2005- $22
– Pretty Good

This bottle had more minerality and was less fruity than the previous. Having a little bit of savoriness to it with citrus, it definitely paired well with the pizza. Light and refreshing I wouldn’t be opposed to cracking open another bottle for some seafood or sushi.

Santi Amarone dello Valpolicella 2003- $38
Damn Good
Mmmmmm….I liked this one. More old world in style, Amarone has a rich raisinyness (definitely not a word) and a velvety texture. The grapes are dried in the sun to intensify flavors in the processing. There were hints of spice and boldness to it that would please both old world and new world parties. (ie both peishan (new world) and I (old world) enjoyed it) I would love to eat this with lamb, or anything else meaty/gamey.

Prunotto Barbaresco 2004- $37 Not Bad
This Barbaresco did not wow me, but was good. It was the prototypical barbaresco with good fruit and depth, but for the price tag I feel I could get more bang for my buck elsewhere. Perhaps we opened it too early as it is just getting into its prime according the THE internet.

Bibbiano Chianti Classico 2005- $18
Pretty god

Light and fruity, this chianti actually started us off with reds. It had a delicate sweetness and was not too tanniny. With hints of berries, savory notes, this went well with the pizza. It definitely seemed to be one of the most versatile at pleasing people’s palates, but did not wow anyone.

Forteto della Luja Moscato d’ Asti 2007- $20 Orgasmic
Holy crap the nose was AWESOME on this one, like whiffing a bottle of sweet honeyed perfume. The taste was there to match. Good thing I bought two bottles of this which went as fast as lightening. I caught some peach flavors, apple, and a lot of floral. So very drinkable, bubbly, and sweet. I wish I had gotten more.

Home Brewing

So we did it. We bought a brew kit, the brewer’s best brew kit to be exact. It has almost everything you need to start brewing. In addition we got a 3.5 gallon pot along with a grain bag and a couple of smaller bags. Oooh….ahhhh. It is very exciting. We brewed our first batching using a friends smaller kit and its easy as pie. First you basically take the grains (and extract if using) and steep them in hot water to draw out the sugars at a specific temperature. Then you bring to a boil and depending on what you are making add hops and flavorings at the prescribed time. When everything is boiled, you cool it, try to keep everything sterile, and throw in the yeast once cooled. Dump everything in a bucket and wait for the yeast to percolate. Mmmm…it makes you house smell a little like syrup and bread. So yummy. This has definitely become one of my favorite hobbies. It takes a night to do and a few weeks of waiting time. The timing between each step is just enough to enjoy dinner with friends, watch a movie, and relax at home. Last night we started on our second batch, a deep rich dark belgium ale, and ate some finger linkin’ good ribs from Smoke Shack. We drank beer from a local microbrewery, Two Brothers Brewery. We bought a nice little sampler pack featuring their Domaine DuPage French Country Ale, Prairie Path Golden Ale, and the Cane and Ebel Red Rye Ale. All were pretty tasty and well done. The bitter tartness of the ales went perfect with the sweet spicy ribs. Makes my mouth water just thinking of it. More to come on our brewing adventures.