So, I’m alone. My wife has her brewing club tonight. Friends have probably made it home already. But the month ends tomorrow. I have to burn through my expense account. Stuck downtown, I decide to indulge my loneliness with wine and dinner.
Now, we prefer to cook and drink at home. Exploring the cutting edge of city cuisine costs a fortune. But I give it a chance just this once.
Sweaty thermometers still read 93 F. My palate begs for icy, dry bubbly. Wil suggests something off the list: Deltetto, Rosé Brut, Metodo Classico, Italy:
Half Pinot Nero (Noir) and half Nebbiolo (!!!) one rarely thinks of bubbly (let alone 48 months of Champagne method bubbly) from the Piedmont: home to Barbaresco and Barolo. Yet there it is, at the table, waiting to tell me all about itself.
Appearance: It looks gorgeous in an odd kind of way. The core color is a medium coppery, blood orange that fades to a golden edge.
Aromas: Sprightly watermelon, twangy grapefruit, and pomegranate turn into vanilla, bread crust, and a slight funky barnyard.
Palate: 6 g/l render this dry, with taught acids, snapped further by a rush of edgy fizz, and even a bit of tannic click. Luckily a medium body of fruit keeps it refreshing instead of austere.
Flavors: Like the nose, bright fruits play off slight dry bread and musk notes. The length is medium plus.
Deltetto is clearly very good (4 of 5), a delightful, early evening companion. We exchange glances, secretly laughing at sweaty tourists, wandering lost in their ridiculous hiking outfits.
But it’s high time I invite more serious guests: Barbaresco and pork.
Azienda Pier’s Nebbiolo comes from 2001’s harvest. This Riserva already sounds more established and serious before it reaches the table. I’m nervous I might embarrass myself.
Appearance: The clear but deep garnet core is framed by a light brick-colored edge.
Aromas: I stick my nose in. The world closes. Daltetto’s lively, vapid conversation evaporates. Strolling couples disappear. Their barking dogs go silent. All that remains are pronounced proclamations of rhubarb, earth, white ash, dried rose petal, a superb pomegranate, and tobacco spice.
Palate: Time has moderated Pier’s structures beautifully. It is dry. Acids are high and bright. Tannins hungry for food. Alcohol notable. Yet all these pieces strum along with grace and patience.
Flavors: The complex array of aromas carry into the palate. However, Pier’s porcine partner truly enlivens our conversation. Its earthy beluga lentils pick up on the wine’s earthen, woody flavors. The delicate sweetness of dark fruits draw on the balsamic glaze. The salt and sweet meat of the marinated pork salivates and dallies with the wine’s flavors of cherry fruit and fig preserves.
Pier’s 2001 Barbaresco is an outstanding (5 of 5) companion to this meal. Like a young philosophy major it expounds on deep, albeit fashionable, questions about modern morality. It is worldly but still young. It simply won’t stop talking even after my glass empties. A fine friend for a lonely evening.
But then my wife texts me back into reality. Time to pay and go pick her up.
Thus concludes my (admittedly indirect) submission to the 11th Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #MWWC11 and it’s theme Friend. Thanks for reading.