Easter and Birthdays

Easter is one of the major holidays for families, especially in this household, and it was also a way to tie in the birthdays of the month for some of the clan. We had a couple of milestones for birthdays as we had one celebrant that turned twenty-one and another celebrant that turned the Big Fifty. We also had the luxury of having our one son and his family in from Las Vegas, so we got a double shot of time with them.

Monna Lisa 1999

Needless to say there were some extra busy times in the kitchen for all of the extra people for Easter Sunday. My Bride was preparing ham, turkey and Fettuccine Alfredo as well as sides and salads, and everything else. She was extra happy that I decided to make by Sauce Bolognese and it is good that I made it, when she wasn’t home as she claims that I am OCD and that I make unnecessary messes and dirty more plates then needed, because of all of my prep work. I decided to have fun with it, and even announced that I was being creative on Social Media, and I even had two friends that followed my tedious step by step production, but that was all done in “messenger” format, rather then boor everyone on my site, not to mention to give away my secrets, as if I know what I am doing. Though I did post a photo of myself in a white Chef’s coat (it is amazing the crazy items that we have in this house) and one friend who is a Chef gave out an audible moan, and another “friend” being funny thought I looked like a dentist. There is no recipe and I do make my Bride a villain with the butchers, as I require a certain cut of meat, which then has to be ground. I also at my Bride’s request have to make enough to feed a small town, because she freezes some of it, because I complain if I have to have imitation pre-made sauce, if she is in a hurry to make a dinner.

Chef JAT

For years my secret ingredient for making my Sauce Bolognese was Molson Canadian Beer, as it gave a distinct nuance to the sauce, but one day when I was making it, I discovered that I had no beer in the refrigerator and I used wine (which we are never out of in this house). So when I got to the point where the wine should be added, I went to the cellar to search for a likely candidate. It has been told to me often that while I should not use top notch wine for cooking, I should never use wine that I would not actually drink, and that has been a good lesson for me. I was looking for the wine to use and was wondering if perhaps some of the wine may have been stored too long, which can happen in my cellar and I am sure that it happens in other cellars as well. I saw a bottle of wine that was given to me as a gift, because people know of my collection of wine labels that I have wall papered my cellar with. The bottle of wine was Cantine Leonardo da Vinci Monna Lisa Sangiovese Toscana IGT 1999, and of course the label depicted the famous Mona Lisa. The question to me that I pondered as I went back to the kitchen was, will the wine be over the hill? As I removed the foil cap, the cork look fine, and it came out intact without any difficulty and no crumbling, which were all good signs. Then the final and most important test came, as I poured some into a wine glass. The color was soft, as was to be expected for a seventeen year old wine, and the nose was soft, as some aged wines get, and then the taste proved that with proper storage, this wine had made the trip successfully. It was a very mellow wine, not a lot of nuance, but totally fine for the sauce and for me to have as I watched the progress of the pot. I venture to say that I may have enjoyed the wine at this stage more, than I would have, if I had opened right after receiving it. Trying to discover a bit more about the wine, as it only listed Sangiovese on the front and back label, but it carried the Toscana IGT designation, I had to do some research and as best as I can discern this wine was a blend of Sangiovese and Merlot, hence the Sangiovese Toscana IGT labeling, as Sangiovese is the grape of choice in Tuscany. I do feel that it made the day more interesting as I made my mess in the kitchen.

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About thewineraconteur

A non-technical wine writer, who enjoys the moment with the wine, as much as the wine. Twitter.com/WineRaconteur Instagram/thewineraconteur Facebook/ The Wine Raconteur
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5 Responses to Easter and Birthdays

  1. Beer in the ‘bog, love it! Great blog.

  2. Would think there was probably a big splash of cab/sav in the bottle too, as most IGT’s follow the successful style of the Super Tuscans, using a Bordeaux blend.

  3. Funny, I was just wondering recently why it is that I use wine that I wouldn’t normally drink in my cooking and wondered if I used a better wine, if it would make a difference (but I couldn’t bring myself to use my drinking wine!! haha)
    And btw, I also cook enough to feed an army.. it’s my Italian heritage!

    • I think that first, I only have wine in the house that I would drink. LOL. Otherwise I guess it would net get purchased. Though the rule I mentioned may have actually come about because during the Prohibition Era, “cooking wine” was still produced and is still offered today, but it is highly salted to prevent drinking of it. I also find it difficult to cook for two, though my Bride makes it seem easy. Thank you for stopping by. – John

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