Thursday, October 1, 2009

Barolo is a lovely thing

I've been away for ages I know, but work has kept me swamped. Hopefully things have calmed down a bit so I can spend more time in the kitchen and more time sharing recipes!

Some time ago, TheTooth was given a rather lovely bottle of Barolo: a 1990 Castiglione Falletto from the castle vineyards. We never managed to find out much about the wine, but were able to visit the castle village last summer. The castle is still a private residence, so we didn't get to get too close, but the tower is in this image. The region was one of the highlights of our trip -- incredible scenery, no crowds, great hidden art and architecture, and by far the best food and wine in northern Italy. (I'll have to share the place we stayed at some point.)

Knowing that the wine was about to enter it's peak period, and that it had a few periods of uncertain storage, we decided to enjoy it a bit early just in case. What a wonderful decision. To keep the focus on the wine, I kept the menu simple: gnocchi in a pesto cream, and a pan-seared steak. I'm still working on the whole gnocchi idea. While I was fairly happy with the results, I still need to tweak the recipe a bit before sharing. So far I'm keeping the potatoes baked and using a mix of cake flour and all-purpose. When I tried before with boiled potatoes I ended up with a heavy mess.

As for the wine, it was absolutely all that we had hoped for and more. It was seductive in the glass, a deep brick red with a nose that had hints of dark fruits and just a bit of leather. The flavor was full and lingered, and while the tannins were mellow there was still enough structure to cut through the fat of the steak. Our only regret is that we don't have another bottle to enjoy further down the road.