Tasting for two

Cashel Blue cheese course. Two of the best things about being pregnant during the hottest summer in 100 years are the look on people's faces when I order wine (usually folks who don't know I write about it) and how happy I make my dining companions (especially fellow writers) when I share/give my glass with/to them after a taste or two. 

No one should be deprived of luscious, beautiful wine when it's 104 degrees out. Or, ever, really. And I don't need more than a few sips these days, especially when there are nine outstanding wines on the table to try, as was the case at a media dinner in the tasting room at Restaurant Eve last week.

A few of the highlights:

  • Always happy to see Thibaut Jannisson Brut on a menu; the Armstrongs are big fans of the Virginia bubbly which was showcased along a quintet of appetizers including pork belly rillette with fried green tomatoes and a kicky harissa aioli, the restaurant's signature "OOO" dish -- puff pastry holding oyster, onions "OOO" at Eve. and osetra -- which has been on the menu since it opened 8 years ago, and tiny porcini agnolotti with fava bean pesto.
  • A delicate, grapefruit-inflected 2010 Stolpman Sauvignon Blanc, my favorite bottling of the varietal that I've tasted in a year, accompanied the pan-roasted char with watercress vinaigrette, cashew cream and chili threads that looked like $1,000 worth of saffron as it came across the table. I think my quote was "Is that a shitload of saffron?" Not a shitload of saffron.
  • 2006 Segla Bordeaux Blend, served with Shenandoah lamb, smoked bacon, jewel box tomoatoes and a pickle puree, cut the extreme gaminess of the meat with black currant and light tannins. Great for a summer night. Armano chocolate and pistachio gateau
  • 2005 Bodegas Gutiérrez de la Vega "Casta Diva" Monastrell. Those of you not into dessert wines, or not familiar with Spanish wines beyond Sherry, need to explore what is being done with other lovely reds like the Mourvèdre in this sweet stunner.  Chocolate is the way to go: it was poured alongside an Armano chocolate and pistachio gateau with homemade lemon verbena ice cream and pistachio streusel crafted by new pastry chef Joshua Jarvis.  I'd make an aria comment here, but it seems too obvious....