From the “just for fun” department…
One of my guilty pleasures is reading Maureen Dowd’s op-eds. Yes, it’s true. I’m a sucker for her gossipy Cheney bashing and I find her over-the-top satire thoroughly entertaining. It seemed only appropriate that I check in with Maureen last night, on a drive home from Houston, where Dan and I worked in the market and he pointed out both the Enron and Haliburton buildings… or rather, the Enron and Haliburton industrial military complices (pun intended for the Latinate among us). (Dan drove, btw, and he and our ride-with were chatting in the front while I blog-surfed on my blackberry in the back seat.)
In her column published yesterday online, Ms. Dowd imagined Dick and Rummy having dinner at what must be one of our nation’s capital’s top insider dining spots, Cafè Milano.
“Rummy grins,” she writes, “taking a gulp of his brunello. Dick grunts, raising a fork of his Risotto Gucci with roasted free-range quail.” (It’s always bugged me, btw, how the Times style-sheet does not require grape varieties to be capitalized. In the case of Brunello, I feel capitalization is doubly important but we can get into that later and don’t get me started on montepulciano d’abruzzo, where there is no questioning that
Abruzzo is a place name! [Addendum: Eric the Red pointed out rightly that the Times renders the grape name “montepulciano d’Abruzzo”; what I meant to write was Montepulciano is a place name and should be capitalized; see Eric the Red’s comment below].)
I couldn’t help but wonder, what Brunello would they drink? So, I went online (duh, I practically live online!) and looked up the wine list (there is actually a dish called Risotto Gucci: “roasted free range quail over a lemon and spumante wine risotto.” Free range quail? Those quail are about as free as the orange-jump-suited detainees in my antfarm!).
The obvious choice would be the Valdicava Brunello 2004, 95 points according to the Wine Spectator, at a meager $450:
Displays complex aromas of blackberry and cherry, with a hint of licorice. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and a delicious finish of wonderful yet subtle fruit. Well-integrated and beautiful. Everything is in the right place. Best after 2011. 5,000 cases made. –JS
There are a handful of wines on Cafè Milano’s dick-wagging list that I could actually drink — Conti Costanti, Poggio Antico, Biondi Santi — but I can’t really afford them. (If Tracie B and I were forced to eat there, the virtual sommelier would recommend having the white label 2004 Carema by Ferrando, for $95, over-priced but within reach, although incorrectly listed with Barbaresco.)
But then it came to me in a flash. Cheney and Rummy would drink the 2003 Brunello by Argiano — on the list at a spit-take price of $185!!!
After all, it’s already declassified…