Monday, March 21, 2005

Pairing wine and cigarettes

I needed the cigarette more than I needed the wine after yesterday's work. My last nerve had been yanked out and tied in a knot around my neck, and not really by anything too extreme, just having to get up close to some disturbing members of the teeming public. There was the woman who, after I volunteered praise for the bottle she'd picked out, gave me a high-pitched ass-chewing for the demise of our South African wine selection. There was the guy who was outraged that we were offering wine tastings, saying it was "crazy to hand out booze in a store," (yes, truly the end of civilized society, I'm sure), and the homeless man, who comes in all the time to buy a six pack of the one cheap beer we carry. He was drunk and sporting a fresh black eye, shaking, but trying hard to put on a polite, non-threatening demeanor while I dashed his hopes that we had that one cheap beer in stock today. I thought he was going to cry. No idea whatsoever what the deal was with the shiner, but instinctively I wanted to find the person responsible and crack a bottle over their head.

I got home, and the hub had prepared dinner (a lovely linguine with proscuitto and arugula), which I couldn't touch until I came down from the day. He suggested that I pop one of two bottles he'd brought home, light a cig, and chill out.

Bottle one:

Moris 2003 Morellina di Scansano

The hub is a picky man. He loves Italian juice, and doesn't give a damn about any other wine. While it's tough to get him to indulge in whatever country I'm currently in love with, I do have the benefit of access to some of the most gorgeous Tuscan and Piedmontese wines you could ask for.

Morellino is Sangiovese Grosso from Southern Tuscany. It's Humphrey Bogart in a bottle. The nose is full of profound, brooding dark fruit, smoke and leather, revealing a new dominant scent with each agitation. Super soft mouthfeel; baby's ass smooth, but very spicy. Big, muscular black pepper over tobacco, blackberry and plum...something like menthol on the finish.

When I took a drag of my cigarette later, I realized that it tasted fantastic with the wine. I realized: holy shit, the match I've been searching for!

Bottle Two

1996 Livernano IGT

I couldn't wait to find out if the second wine would also pair well with a cigarette, so after dinner, we popped this one and lit up.

Wow. This wine fits into the "Super Tuscan" category, being Sangio 50%, Cab Sauv 25%, Merlot 25%. Probably Slovenian oak, not sure. Macerated blueberry, smoke and licorice on the nose, palate full of muted blue/blackberry, anise, and ample tannins, and just enough smokiness to make my cigarette taste rich and mellow.

So there it is. Two wines that make your well deserved, after-work cigarette taste like a dream. Of course, neither wine worked with the Haagen Daas I tore into after dinner, but it didn't seem to matter at the time.



Blogger Mascorrolandia said...

Hello Dreamy One -

Don't you love how some people are just never happy? Those shitty little moments they're foisting on you, taking their helplessness out on you, savoring the most power they'll ever have in their lives - it's depressing, yes, but proves one thing: they need to drink more wine and shush.

And yes, yes, yes - thank you for your praise of the the Italians! Remember that heavenly pasta y'all had sent up for Xmas? And that Tatone...that Tatone! You couldn't have picked a more magical baby to go with those rich, garlicky tomato-based sauces and all that pure semolina goodness. Kee-rist. What's that brand of pasta by the way?! I've been dreaming of that corkscrew pasta ever since.

I wish you could've been here with us yesterday, too, damn it - we had our big dolma feast and Carm brought her bottle of Tatone, and before we could greedily suck it down between the two of us, we had everyone else licking their lips and going, "Can I have a bit of that?" once they'd tried it. Funny how an Italian wine went better with the dolmas than any Greek wine I've even tried, or even this Lebanese red someone gave me once.

I also used lamb for the dolmas - or excuse me, should I say in Arabic, in honor of my crazed ancestors - 'mashe warek aresh?' Damn, how I wish you could've been there to feast on these fuckers with us, Woman - it was my first time using lamb, and they came out pretty good, if I may say so myself. I desperately want to try them out on you and the hub now. That lamb is the only way to go. It's baaa-baaa-you-tiful.

Miss Vickey would have been most pleased, too.

Love, laughs, leisure and lust -


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