Friday brought the spring equinox and so Sunday night, Tracie B decided to lift her yearly moratorium on fresh tomatoes and made us bruschette topped with chopped yellow and red tomatoes, cannellini beans, olive-oil-packed tuna, kosher salt, and extra-virgin olive oil (the oil courtesy of our friend Ginevra Pesciolini of the Ghizzano winery in the Colline Pisane).
A bruschetta (pronounced broo-SKEHT-tah, plural bruschette, broo-SKEHT-teh) is literally “burnt” or grilled bread, always dressed with olive oil and often topped with a combination of the above ingredients. Most believe the word and the preparation originated along the central Adriatic coast of Italy.
We paired with one of my favorite expressions of Sangiovese, 2006 Rosso di Montalcino by Canalicchio di Sopra. Canalicchio’s wine is traditional in style. It showed some of the stinky volatile acidity that you get on old-school Sangiovese like this but it quickly blew off, giving way to delicious, bright, food-friendly acidity and red, plummy fruit.
In other news…
Also on Friday, we managed to get into my friend Inara’s packed showcase with her band The Bird and the Bee at the SXSW festival. Inara rocked it! (picture taken with my phone.)
Above: my buddy John Rikkers isn’t always this serious — only when he’s tasting 1999 Canalicchio di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino.
“We met on the internet.” It still sounds kinda creepy, doesn’t it? No matter how you euphemize it (we met via the internet?), the expression still retains a note of alienation, a coldness that belies the reification of our lives in this digital age. Maybe this is true only for those of us who still remember rotary dial phones.
Above: of the many Italian wines we opened Thursday night, the 2003 Monleale (Barbera) by Walter Massa and the 1999 Canalicchio di Sopra where my favorites. John bought the Canalicchio for a song in a local wine store where the clientele generally reaches for Bordeaux and California Cabernet.
Thursday night found me in the home of my friends John and Laing Rikkers. We met online in September when John emailed me (after disovering my blog), asking me to recommend some wines for him and his lovely wife Laing for dinner in New York City. We stayed in touch via email, trading tasting notes and restaurant tips. And then, in October we met in realtime at Jaynes Gastropub in San Diego and we’ve been friends ever since.
Above: this chicken lives in the stable at their classic Californian 1920s ranch house in North County San Diego.
Jayne and Jon and I were invited to the Rikkers’ holiday party last Thursday at their gorgeous estate in North County San Diego. (They lost their home in the October fires and so they are currently renting a furnished ranch house.) When we arrived, John produced a fantastic flight of Italian wines that he had reserved especially for us. I began pulling corks and pouring wine for his guests and we all traded stories and tasting notes about the wines and our wine experiences. We stayed ’til the very end and the coda of our evening was a rendition of “Let It Be” by Jon (Erickson) on the beautiful grand piano in the living room.
I guess this blogging thing is paying off after all.