Archive | September, 2009

Note: Grüner Veltliner–the Perfect Accompaniment to Dinner At An Austrian Cafe

16 Sep

A very quick post on a wine I might forget otherwise. I took a friend out to dinner at Leopold’s Kafe a week or two ago.  Leopold’s, which is a modern Viennese-style cafe/bar/restaurant, is one of my favorite places in DC: it offers very well-executed, delicious food at reasonable prices, as well as outside seating and the best Euro eye-candy you can find in Georgetown.  It is especially good for brunch or dinner and is a great place to take a date, parents, or people you wouldn’t want to entertain at a TGI Friday’s.

I had the steak frites, medium rare.  The “steak” in question was skirt steak, which is often used to make carne asada.  It wasn’t the most tender cut of meat, but it was tender enough and very, very flavorful.  It came with what I took to be caramelized shallots and a sort of creamy chimichurri on top, as well as Leopold’s breathtakingly good frites.  She had the roasted chicken which came with potatoes, warm escarole, and some sort of mustard sauce.  Both dishes were very good and very filling.  After dinner we shared a topfentorte (cheesecake with passionfruit gel, mango, and berries) and each had a kleiner Brauner, which is basically like an Austrian machiato.

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Keeping Your Babies Safe: A Note on “Cellaring” Wine

8 Sep

I’ve been running the air conditioner in my apartment non-stop.  This is not only because it’s been pretty warm here in DC, but because I have a case of wine (with some awesome picks like the 2006 Radio-Coteau “Savoy” pinot noir and a few white and red Burgundies) I’m keeping for two tastings I’m hosting for the staff of my school newspaper.  I’m really paranoid that the wines will go bad.

I’ve had a few bad experiences with wine that was improperly stored.  For instance, my last sentimental bottle of L’Esprit du Silene gave up its spirit after being stored (by my parents) on top of the refrigerator.  More recently, the two cases of wine my roommate and I had “cellared away” in a spare closet turned to vinegar after the cruel DC summer.  But this was nothing compared to the Battle of the Somme-like destruction experienced by my friend and fellow wine blogger Shea during a particularly nasty heat wave in British Columbia.

Of course, the destruction of my own two cases did set me back quite a bit of money.  Just as important as the economic aspect, however, is the frustration of opening bottle after bottle of vinegar in the quest of hospitality or romance.

So how does one avoid this fate?

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Note: 2005 Pierre Andre Saint-Aubin “Les Anges” Premier Cru

2 Sep

I have had much to be thankful for this past week.  For instance, classes started up again and, strangely enough, they’re all pretty interesting (though the amount of reading I have is daunting at times).  I finished up the main portion of a Student Bar Association (SBA) program I was in charge of which consisting of pairing 1Ls with upperclassmen mentors.  I got two more Riedel Vinum Burgundy glasses, and my friend Sharon got a sweet part-time job at Banana Republic (which will result in sartorial benefits for m, I hope!).

Thus I wanted to get a decent bottle of wine with which to celebrate.

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