Dinner at Home

I am quite not sure, how there are two distinct cooking methods at my house, but I am always amazed. When I cook, there are multiple sets of dishes that are used just in the prepping of the food and it is an all-day affair. I work up a sweat to try to achieve a dinner, for the most part successfully, but like I say it is a day in the kitchen. My Bride on the other hand creates dishes that are wonderful and totally efficient.

alexander-valley-vineyards-wetzel-family-estate-merlot-1997
The other day, she decided that she was going to make us some lamb stew. I am very partial to stews, especially in the fall and winter months, but I am just amazed at the speed that she accomplishes her goal. I think I would still be dicing and cubing the meats and vegetables while her meal is already half-way done. The other thing that always surprises me, is that she does it all with one pot and just a carving board, which would never work out for me. I guess that I just keep chopping and putting everything in separate bowls to make sure that I like the mix and balance before I start. Maybe time just slows down for me when I get in the kitchen. One great thing about stew, is that there is never any concern about plating the dish for presentation, it is pure and simply comfort food.

avv-cork
I went down into the cellar to look for something different to try with the stew. Lamb tends to be a showy meat when it is roasted or made into kebabs. I find that the taste becomes more delicate when it is in a stew, so I was looking for something a bit more mellow and not something that we would normally have at home. I went and looked at some of the splits or half-bottles that we have accumulated over the years and found a wine that I thought should be ready for drinking, and hopefully I didn’t keep it too long. I opened up a bottle of Alexander Valley Vineyards Wetzel Family Estate Merlot 1997 from the Alexander Valley in Sonoma County. I like a good Merlot and I enjoy how it works so well with red meats. Now I sometimes forget about the splits that we have and I sometimes worry that they age quicker, but the cork gave me a battle and it came out totally intact with no crumbling at all. Immediately I could smell the Merlot perfume and I looked at the bottle and notice that there was a decent patch of sediment near the neck of the bottle, because the bottle has been resting in the same location probably since we purchased it, as there was a time when we were buying a lot more splits, but they do not seem as easy to find anymore. I didn’t bother decanting the wine, but just poured it directly into the glasses and watched to see if I saw any sediment and towards the end of the third glass I saw a little bit, so I stopped. I was a little concerned, because the wine had a bit of brown in the color, but the taste was excellent, the tannins and the fruit both had softened and it was a pleasure to drink this wine and it was so mellow with the stew.

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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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