On Sunday evening, as Hurricane Sandy started to settle in, the entire eastern seaboard dashed to the grocery store to shore up on sustenance for the coming days.
We purchased the essentials, of course, but also picked up an occasional pleasure, pork chops. With the afternoon and evening free, we had plenty of time to brine them while watching my beloved Cowboys lose to the Giants (the cathartic act of cooking helped soothe my heart).
The chops were dusted with Asian five-spice, salt, and pepper; seared for 1.5 minutes on each side; and then thrown in the oven for ten minutes until they achieved a perfect rosy center. We coupled the pork with cast-iron cornbread and steamed green beans.
“Sounds delicious,” you might be thinking, “but what were we drinking?!”
Pork, as we know, can accompany a wide selection of wines, Riesling leading the charge along with a myriad of fresh, lighter reds. Dinner was paired with two wines I blind tasted the day before.
Wine #1, the 2010 Domaine Barville Optimum Châteauneuf-du-Pape, was not my favorite of the two, yet sported an appealingly rich texture and smelled like a holiday favorite — eggnog coupled with ripe fruits and hot, stewed cherries. Grenache is quickly making its way into my blind tasting repertoire.
Wine #2 was more appealing. The 2010 Domaine de la Perrière Chinon was a classic, cooler expression of Cabernet Franc. The wine was marked by red fruits — fresh, underripe strawberries, along with cranberries and raspberries — and green peppers. It’s healthy acidity (and chewey tannins) made the wine wonderfully food friendly. This wine reaffirmed my belief that the “green” aspects of wine can be a positive influence when food is involved.
This once-in-a-lifetime storm was certainly memorable. So hopefully, all our readers reached into their cellars and pulled out some memorable wines to pair with the storm! Please let us know what you opened in the comments. A few of the the highlights leaving the Bourbon Steak cellar were the 2006 Frederic Mangien Chambolle-Musigny “Les Charmes,’ 2008 Vincent & Sophie Morey Puligny-Montrachet ‘La Truffière,’ 2004 Château Pichon-Longueville au Baron, and, oh yes, 1998 Château Margaux.
Our thoughts go out to all our readers along the east coast — especially those in New York and New Jersey, who appear to have suffered the worst from the storm.