Thursday, June 26, 2008
This past weekend, a bunch of us went down to Seattle Wine Outlet for their Salmon Roast. This was the second year that it's been going on, but the first for us. And it was awesome.
Richard Kinssies hosted this event at their Interbay location and provided free Copper River salmon off the grill. Elegantly dressed with salt, pepper, garlic, and rosemary; wrapped in foil, it was perfectly cooked off of the grill. And it was free! Top this off with the roasted garlic, wine tastings, cheese, and a fun atmosphere it made for the perfect summertime lunch.
What's great about the Seattle Wine Outlet besides the super cheap prices on wine (seriously, they are awesome) is that they have these really great informal classes (as mentioned in a previous post) and super cool events like this Salmon Roast. Earlier in the year they hosted a pig roast that was equally awesome. They bought a ton of roasted and bbq pork from the finest purveyor of pork in Seattle; Kau Kau. And that was free too!
Keep an eye out for other events at the Seattle Wine Outlet, a great chance to learn about wine at great prices and have some great food with fun people. In fact, why not just sign up for the newsletter?
Friday, June 13, 2008
Or in other words, "Chateauneuf-du-Pape" (here on out called CdP), one of the finest red wines of the Old World. Last night, I attended a CdP tasting at Richard Kinssies' excellent Seattle Wine Outlet. I haven't had much exposure to this Southern Rhone wine, so I was looking forward to learning as much as I could. Another cool thing about the evening was that I ran into Kris Mikami at the tasting. Kris is one of the folks in the Washington Wine industry that has a pulse on the entire industry. Definitely a mover and shaker. But yeah, I learned a ton from the event and in the spirit of sharing information, I'll summarize the knowledge that was dropping.
The wine. Chateauneuf-du-Pape is unique in that the blend has the potential to reach up to 13 different grapes! Grenache is the dominant grape, with Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault and a host of others invited to the shindig. Where the CdP region is located is in the Southeast of France, where the Rhone River drains. The terroir is unique here because there isn't much visible soil, instead there is a top layer of 'galet' or stones that shield the soil and insulate the rootstock. Interesting stuff.
Oh yeah, the name. It was called Chateauneuf du Pape. Because a long, long time ago in a country far, far away, the papal ministry wanted to move the papalcy to France. Pourquoi? Because Pope Clement V was a wine lover. So he moved the church to Avignon and built the new castle to the Pope. And the embossing on CdP bottles? That means it was estate bottled. Flex that trivia sometime. You won't even have to give me credit.
The taste of CdP is unique in that there is no definitive common bond between them, yet you'll know one when you taste one. Some can be fruit forward, evident tannins to wines with strong spice components, tart, tangy tendencies. This huge palette has much to do with the blend of grapes. One thing that is certain is that it must be 50% Grenache by law.
To conclude, Chateaneuf du Pape is an utterly delightful wine that I look forward to drinking more of soon. With some grilled lamb perhaps? Enjoy this delightful wine, now or down the road. It's aging potential is excellent! Cheers to all!
This summer, Joule will be doing something really cool. Every Sunday, they'll be hosting an Urban BBQ with a different theme as the week starts anew. What's cool is that they are treating it like one big family picnic; live music, kids encouraged to come, affordable prices ($3-12), there is no reason not to visit this Wallingford gem.
Went to Joule for Valentine's Day and had a great time. We more or less stumbled upon the place and were greeted and immediately seated. Not bad for not setting up a reservation on one of the more prominent date nights in the calendar. The menu is very original and intuitive. Three categories, with distinct cooking styles to each. We had a number of great dishes. A couple really stood out. One was the branzino. Branzino is a tasty fish that is usually served whole; head, bones, tail, all of it. Delicious. The other was anchovy potatoes, amazingly delicious. Anchovies are an item that most people shy from; we on the other hand, love it. They add a unique flavor and brine to dishes and are excellent on a toasted baguette. The balance of the saltiness from the tasty little fish, with the fruitiness of the olive oil, and the sublime texture of perfectly cooked potatoes combine into a near-perfect dish.
In addition to the food, the service, ambiance, and feel of Joule were top notch. It is a restaurant that's creative and inventive enough to make you curious to see what comes next. The chef/owners of Joule are Seif Chirchi and Rachel Yang. They come to us after doing their thing at Coupage in Madrona. They opened Joule late last year to spread their wings and showcase their skill with Korean and French techniques. Unique pairing, but one that allows for the pair to shine with interpretation and ingenuity.
I think that is why I'm so excited to try a couple of the Sunday BBQ dinners, to see their takes on all sorts of themes and ingredients. From chicken to pork, streetfood to salmon, I'm looking forward to seeing what Seif and Rachel have in store for us.
1913 N. 45th St
Seattle, WA 98103
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Today we went to the West Seattle Farmer's Market in search of Mangalitsa. Sadly it wasn't to be, we were able to grab some Berkshire jowl bacon (stay tuned...). We didn't let this deter us as this gave us an opportunity to try some new things. Farmer's markets are always fun in that you'll walk around aimlessly, but you'll know you're in for something good. Produce, meats, flowers, baked goods, etc., basically everything has a chance to be good and ultimately you'll be supporting small local business, something we should all do.
As we strolled through the market we happened across the Stoney Plains Organic Farms spot with their beautiful array of vegetables. We stood and absorbed the whole scene, figuring out what to do. They happened to have beet greens. My friend Kendall mentioned that beet greens are edible and are excellent! With this knowledge we grabbed a bunch and thought about what else to have for dinner.
Patrick stepped in and suggested trying some kale. He made this an active endeavor to talk about other greens, like lamb's quarter, kailan and tsoi tsim. He suggested that we try them by tearing off leaves and trying them in the raw. This was so much fun! Trying the product is always a key to creating action. We ended up getting some kailan and tsoi tsim plus a few other items.
At a farmer's market you can learn about the food, learn about who makes it, how to prepare it, and how to enjoy it. It's a fuller experience than just going to the grocery store and getting the same ol' same ol', you're able to try something new and feel better for doing so.
Don't forget to bring a bag. Mayor Nickels would love that.
"Try not. Do or do not. There is no try."
Thus says Yoda, greatest of all the Jedis. In it, Yoda was attempting to motivate young Luke Skywalker to go beyond himself and put behind his self doubt. To bring down the walls of what you think you can do, and just do it.
And thus begins my blog. It is my goal to be another resource to your world of food and wine. And under that umbrella we'll spend some time with restaurants, books, news, trends, with a Northwest focus but an eye to the world. It's my hope that you enjoy food and wine as much as I do and that you'll be compelled to find out new information about your favorite things.
When I really started to get 'into' food and wine, I realized that it was a big world with a lot to learn. I was excited by this challenge to learn, which brought me to where I am today. I look forward to learning more about food and wine and sharing it with you. Come along for the ride, we'll have a great time.
Before I get too far ahead of myself, I'll quote Han Solo:
"Great kid. Now don't get cocky."