Leftovers: Holiday Dinner Edition

When your boss is a very successful woman with a big fashion tooth, it is not easy to buy her presents. So after three years, I gave up and invited Mindy Kaling over for a three course Italian holiday dinner, everything chef'd from scratch by my boyfriend Ben and somm'd by yours truly.

The great thing about coursing out your meals (and your wines) is that you have a lot of leftovers, and tonight I am revisiting the wines I served last night.

All the wines served are from Silverlake Wine and are under $40 (I know, the price point is high on this post, BUT FUCK, IT'S NOT EVERY DAY YOU'RE HAVING MINDY KALING OVER TO YOUR HOUSE AS A FUCKING PRESENT).

Course One: 
Pan-fried Truffle Oil Gnocchi 
Paired with ARPEPE Rosso di Valtellina Nebbiolo 2012

Truffle oil is not to be trifled with, and when you're serving dishes that prominently feature it, you need a wine whose flavor profile is not going to try to compete. Nebbiolos are similar to Pinot Noir in that they are an extremely delicious and versatile red wine and go well with nearly everything.

Nebbiolos in particular are great for pairing with truffle because they have a lovely earthiness to them that really compliments the truffles and enhances their flavor. This Nebbiolo smells like a big red fruit that is grown in the middle of the Forbidden Forest from Harry Potter, but like, more green and not so scary. And it tastes really delicious. Light, fruitful, vibrant, and slightly floral. A really great wine. I would drink this with anything.

As for the leftovers...
This bottle got left open all night cause, oops. It's now super acidic, but still better than most anything you'll buy in a grocery store. I'll take tang over sugar any day of the week. But please cork this. I feel like such a fucking fool. Like, I spent MONEY on this shit! I shouldn't be allowed nice things (JK GIVE ME ALL THE NICE THINGS, I BRUSH MY SUEDE SHOES AND NEVER LOSE SUNGLASSES).

Leftover Ross Test: 
Prickly, but doable. 

Course Two:
Winter Salad featuring Radicchio, Savoy Cabbage, Belgian Endive,  Parmesan and Walnut Oil dressing
Paired with Rojac Royaz Sparkling Rosé 2010

So this wine is dope because normally bubbles are added after the wine is basically already made, whereas with this Rosé gains its bubbles from its natural fermentation. It's also from Slovenia, which I've found recently has amazing wine (RE: the Cotar Terran from my Halloween tasting). The color of it is absolutely astounding. It's the most perfect coral pink, with a pretty cloud to it. I want a drawer of jewelry the color of this wine, and I'm not even that big on jewelry. 

This wine paired excellently with the salad because the leaves were so bitter. Bright, spring fields of strawberries, faint floral and thyme notes really complimented the bite of the dish. I really, really enjoyed it (although I almost took off my face opening the damn thing, and I mean, I was opening it like a normal human, unsealing it, and it just tore the fuck off the bottle on its own, so BE CAREFUL). This is something I wish I could just have in my fridge at all times. It's familiar in a sense that is a dry Rosé, but it is so unique in, for lack of better words, how it sits in your mouth. Its feel mimics its cloudy appearance. It just like, hangs out. But in a good way. Like a marine layer in your mouth. Wait this sounds kinda gross I PROMISE ITS NOT, IT'S SO GOOD.

As for the leftovers...
Still really good. I'm probably going to drink the whole bottle. It's definitely less bubbly and more acidic than it was yesterday (and, I corked it sooo,) but it's still so drinkable. Tastes like "sour" candy melted down. I say "sour", because it's not that sour. But it's not bad. You know those candies? You're like, "Alright this is kinda false advertising but whatever, still delicious."

Leftover Ross Test:
Not my favesies. Has a vodka aftertaste, which is too sad for me. :(

Course Three:
Braised Short Ribs with tomato Cabernet sauce
Paired with Praesidium Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Riserva doc 2009

Normally with a dish like this, I'd spring for a Cab. I know, terribly boring, but the truth is, I just really love Cabernet. But since this was an Italian holiday meal, I needed something Italian.  Italian wines are a vast sea of knowledge I've barely snorkeled in. I'd never had a Montepulciano d'Abruzzo before (which is odd considering its popularity in Italy but ok), but I love them now  because this shit, was the fucking shit.

This inky dream smells like an herb garden in late summer, still fresh but a little dusty, and tastes like the bulkiest plum you've ever bitten into with rugged, clayish tannins. It went so fucking well with the ribs. They were falling off the bone, and the wine just grabbed them and held them. It's like they were hugging in my mouth. And it was straight up true love. I would highly recommend this for any stewed meats you're making this season, especially ones with slightly spiced sauces. Just remember to decant for at least an hour beforehand.  

As for the leftovers...
Have you seen American Hustle? Remember how Jennifer Lawrence talks about the sweet trash smell of her nail polish? Yeah it smells like that. Like, kinda gross, but you're also 100% addicted to smelling it. Definitely lost a bit of its original complexity to acidity, but still tastes so good. 

Leftover Ross Test:

marissa ross test.jpg


Overall Best Leftovers:
The Praesidium and the Short Ribs. 

I legit just crushed a cold rib while downing the rest of this bottle and I couldn't be happier. The other reason this is the best Leftover, is that the braising sauce from the short ribs is going to go on some rigatoni later this week and I'M ALREADY SO EXCITED.