free run juice

riesling, champagne, caviar: dinner didn’t suck

photo 2It’s been a bit muggy in NYC these past few days, and really that’s just sort of perfect weather for acidic whites. It’s like all that acid cuts through the humidity and refreshes you.

So last night’s Riesling Extravaganza was pretty great, since we had 6 German Rieslings from David Rosengarten’s wine import collection. David’s all about eating food with wine rather than just drinking it on its own (I’m down with that, though obviously I do drink wine on its own – the key is just finding wines that aren’t too bold for solo-drinking). My favorites were the 2002 Franz Dahm Bernkasteler Graben Riesling Spatlese and the 2011 Kees-Kieren Graacher Riesling Hochgewächs Trocken, and we tried all of the wines with an awesome array of homemade pâtés, terrines and charcuterie. All of that stuff is amazing with the sweet/acid balance of Riesling, and I especially loved these hardboiled eggs with chervil mayo.

The highlight, though, was trying the Michel Gonet Blanc de Blancs Champagne that David’s importing along with his specially-picked caviar that’ll be sold later this year.

photo 1

He was telling me that he likes older Champagnes with caviar (his was 2002), since the fruit isn’t as brash as it is in its younger days. I have to say, the pairing was incredible. And just so you know, I’ll never be annoyed when someone pulls me from a dinner party to have a few spoons of caviar and Champagne.

photo 4We capped the night by making a hands-on fruit salad. The recipe’s simple but each ingredient is crucial:

* tons of fresh fruit (whatever’s ripe and in season)

* tons of sugar (seriously you think it’s a lot but you barely taste it)

* lots of fresh-squeezed lemon juice

* ample Grand Marnier (obv, this is the most important contribution)

* fresh mint for garnish

squeezing lemons - it takes a village

squeezing lemons – it takes a village

Voilà! Or as David told us someone once said, Viola!

photo

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