Leftover food, free food and the best pairing of the week. Maybe the best pairing in a month. Freezer chicken. Freezer lemongrass barbecue sauce. Leftover big-boy arugula that HAD to be eaten (from my second attempt at rucolino - here's hoping this batch doesn't taste like rotten olives). After a delicious mid-afternoon Semiramis lunch, Wednesday went from no idea what to eat to a pretty gosh-darn good food day.
Food: Chicken in lemongrass barbecue sauce and wilted arugula over rice
Chicken drumstick meat dumped in a crock-pot with "lemongrass barbecue paste," (preserved lemon substituted for lemon leaf), chicken stock, soy sauce, and fish sauce. That sauce later reduced and strained. Brown rice cooked with lemongrass and green thai chilies. Arugula wilted in sesame oil. Scallions, cilantro and lime juice dumped on top.
This was a Mrs. Ney "let's throw all this on the wall and see what sticks" concoction. And boy, did all of it STICK! So Asian, so clean, yet so deep with the perfect amount of spice, green-fresh flavor and fish sauce awesomeness. Frankly perfect stuff when put in the context of "what the hell is this gonna be?" during the making of it.
Such an Asian integrated wonder.
And served with a wine that gave so much space and length.
Wine: 2010 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett Mosel Saar Ruwar ($25 - Binny's)
Poached pears-apricots-peaches in cinnamon with lime zest on top. Ripe fruit and perfectly ripe fruit at that. Lovely acid. LOOOOONG finish. Oh-so pretty. Just kept going. Such great balance with a pro-style acid that shows what acid means to wine. A lilting, medium mineral quality pretty much throughout. Here's you go. For $25, this is captital-G Great riesling on the cheap.
Sparkled by itself, stunned with the food.
Pairing: Yes, please. Always. SO. MUCH. SPACE!
This was one of those pairings I wish I could give to people that don't give two poops about food with wine. It's why these two things SHOULD be given time and thought. Sure, eat and drink what you like. It might be good. But wouldn't you want better? Better is better than good in life. This was better.
It was better because of the space offered. The light Asian spice mingling around in various forms throughout this food opened this wine up to ridiculous places. And space in a different, more important sense as well. It gave the wine a stupid-great length, stretching it out, but stretching it out while offering 10,000 different pauses, slow turns and space to think. Kept changing yet kept giving its pure essence.
The food turned the wine into a great album. It turned it into Peter Gabriel's Us.
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