With leftover brisket, the 2004 Darting Durkheimer Michelsberg Kabinett (Pfalz). For a Mosel kind of guy like me, this was awfully sweet and heavy for a kabinett. Still, there was really nice white peach and apple fruit, with some smoke and slate on the finish. Not bad, and good QPR. But next time I'll pair as if it were a heavier Spatlese. B/B+
Friday I met Betsy in the city, and took her to The Orchard on the Lower East Side. Nice restaurant offering free corkage while they await their license; I had enjoyed food at a 1986 Bordeaux horizontal but felt something along the lines of Pinot Noir or Nebbiolo might fare better with the fare. So I carried along a 2000 Domaine de Courcel "Rugiens" Pommard 1er Cru (I also had a white Burgundy in case Betsy preferred maybe fish, but it wasn't needed). The red Burgundy was a good match with the duck confit flatbread, the tuna tartare, and my game hen, ok with Betsy's steak , and we stuck with water for the lobster empanadas. Medium-bodied, light tannins, good cherry fruit with a little spice. With time more of a black cherry note on the fruit, and some distinct loamy earth and mineral notes. Really nice wine, my only concern is that the last glass - after a very leisurely meal- seemed a bit fragile, I think I'll drink up other soon rather than cellar. A-/B+
With some yellowfin tuna steaks I marinated in lemon and soy sauce, asparagus, and grilled potato slices we used the 2004 Produttori del Barbaresco Langhe Nebbiolo to inaugurate Eating on Patio season. A bit thin and acidic on opening, it put on some flesh and became a nice cherry driven lighter Nebbiolo. Some floral notes, but no darker tones such as the tar you can get from Barolo. Not as good a match as I had hoped, but an enjoyable wine, and about as good as you're going to get in $15 Nebbiolo. B
Over a couple of nights, the 2004 Thierry & Pascal Matrot Bourgogne Blanc. Good acidity, lemon fruit. Not exciting, but a pretty pleasant $11 white (and screwcapped, so no TCA worries). B
Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.