Above: We toasted the Longhorns last night at Vino Vino with an orange wine, Paolo Bea 2007 Santa Chiara (since orange is the school’s color) but it didn’t help them push back the crimson tide.
Two years ago, if you would have told me that I’d be “double dating online,” I would have told you to go to quel paese, as they say in Italian. Yes, online double dating. That’s exactly what Tracie B and I did last night when we connected for wine and dinner with the couple behind the fantastic Austin food blog, Boots in the Oven, Rachel and Logan. We started following their blog a few months ago and an exchange of comments led to traded emails and the realization that we had a lot in common. The next thing you knew, we were double-dating! (It’s actually uncanny: Rachel and I were born in the exact same neighborhood in Chicago and practically went to the same Hebrew school, though she’s much younger than I; she did go to the same middle school my older brothers attended.)
Above: The owner of Vino Vino brought in a TV to watch the Texas-Alabama game last night and he debuted his “biergarten” menu. The kielbasa is made in-house and was finger-licking delicious.
We all met up last night at Vino Vino in Austin to watch the game together and check its new “biergarten” menu.
And then, as happy chance would have it, we ran into to couple Nat and Erin, who authors a hilarious but also insightful rant blog about working in the restaurant industry in Texas — To Serve Man (the title alone…).
Above: My eyes were bigger than my stomach and I just had to have the boneless, fried chicken thigh sandwich. Snackboy, I’ve got to take you here next time your in my town!
In honor of the orange-clad Longhorns, we opened a bottle of 2007 Santa Chiara by Paolo Bea, a blend of Grechetto, Malvasia, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Garganega (as per Jack’s post on the wine — you can find the blend on the label, btw). It’s an indisputable “orange wine,” a tannic white made from white grapes vinified with extended skin contact.
Man, I love this wine. It’s one of those if-I-could-afford-it-I’d-drink-it-every-day wines for me.
The first vintage I ever tasted was the 2005, which I really didn’t like. But the 2006 and 2007 (even better) are phenomenally good. When I tasted with him in April 2009 at Vini Veri, I asked Gianpiero Bea what changed between 05 and 06 and he told me that he hadn’t macerated with skins long enough in 05. From then on, he said, extended maceration has been employed. And wow, the results are fantastic — a tannic, mineral-driven wine, with rich dried fruit flavors (think apricot) and a rich orange marmelade note. N.B.: in my opinion, this wine should be served cellar temperature, not chilled. (Last night, we grabbed a bottle from the wall at Vino Vino and asked our server to bring over an ice bucket. We chilled it for just a few minutes and then served. It was perfect.)
Unfortunately, as good as the orange wine was, it didn’t help the Longhorns to push back the crimson tide.
In other news…
I was very proud to be included as a “wine influencer” in a Palate Press post entitled Thoughts on the New Year. Guess what I’m talking about: no, not wine. PASTRAMI!