Okay, so not everybody got that last post right now. Yes, there’s enough in there to satisfy some DaVinci Code breaker. Fine. Wait another 70 years and it will be hailed as some idiot savant post as I wheel myself to the podium at my induction into the Washington Wine Bloggers Hall of Fame. Move on.
So, let’s try something new. Ho! Welcome to WAwineman’s movie preview issue! Like any other silicon geek out there, I’ve spent many an early morning watching “Nothing But Trailers” trying to get a beat on those future Hollywood blockbusters before every other knucklenut throws in his two cents on a movie blog. The following is a list of what will soon vie for your entertainment dollars and what wine to pair it with:
“The Future” Omg. I’d rather smell my farts. Some dealy-bob about a cat with a wounded paw, a chick w/eff’d up views on pregnancy, and a spineless dood. Sounds like last summer’s Sean and Barbara Winegal hookup. Not worth getting vaccinated. Golden Gate Vintners chardonnay. (August)
“Final Destination 5” Guy predicts bridge disintegration and saves lives only to chased by hellish guy (some black dude) and finds out his life can be spared if someone else dies. Gory and still dull. Airfield Estates tempranillo.(August 12)
“Fright Night” A Twilight knockoff. Jerry the bloodsucker meets a male Clarice. For teens and tweens. *Snore* Columbia Winery merlot. (August 19)
“I Don’t Know How She Does It” Yet another NYC yuppie comedy about a neurotic female executive. Pierce Brosnan, Sally J Parker, Greg Kinnear. Girly Girl Wines unoaked chardonnay. (August)
“Sarah’s Key” Yet another WWII tragedy with yet another twist. This time, it’s the damn French hating on the Jews. The French suck at everything, huh? Kristin Scott Thomas. Quilceda Creek red wine. (July 12)
“The Help” A lighter ‘The Color Purple’ movie. 50’s. The South. Only this time, the maids get even. Des Voigne Cellars ‘San Remo’ sangiovese. (August 10)
“Spy Kids (All The Time In The World)” cornball pre-teen snoozer. An unpregnant Jessica Alba. In 4-D (smell cards). Welch’s boxed grape juice. (August 19)
“Our Idiot Brother” Hippie busted for selling weed to a cop. After jail, readjusts to life with sisters. Mid-life crisis monkeys. Paul Rudd. Gramercy Cellars pinot noir. (August 26)
“30 Minutes or Less” No. Don’t even bother. Lame! But, if you do–> Efeste ‘Feral’ sauvignon blanc. Jesse Eisenberg, Danny McBride, Aziz Ansari.
“Straw Dogs” Noobs move into Hicksville, hire a horndog to fix the roof, get a violent stalker in return. Mark Ryan ‘Water Witch’ red wine. (September 16)
“Colombiana” A South American ‘La Femme Nikita’. Zoe Saldana. Cooper Wine Company merlot. (September)
“What’s Your Number” A female ’40 Year-Old Bachelor’ version. Forgeron Cellars marsanne.
“Captain America” Another live-action superhero. Gard Vintners ‘Old Vines’ cabernet sauvignon.
“Warrior” Rocky meets UFC. A dude flick. Mark Ryan Lonely Heart cabernet. (Fall)
“New Year’s Eve” A superstar cast that glorifies all that is New York City. Gramercy Cellars John Lewis syrah. (Fall)
“The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” Euro punk creepy thriller. Chateau Ste. Michelle Tempestade. (December 21)
“Arthur Christmas” It’s the Arctic version of ‘James and The Giant Peach’. Kiddies. Davenport Cellars Snowflake white wine. (Xmas)
“Haywire” Hitwoman betrayal. Gina Carano. Alta Cellars cabernet sauvignon. (January)
“Apollo 18” Another sci-fi conspiracy ‘what if’. I think the monster is Tom Hanks. Sparkman Cellars ‘The Kindred’ red wine. (September 2)
“The Dark Knight Rises” Meh. Better to wait for Superman vs. Batman. Darby Winery ‘Aunt Lee’ syrah. (summer 2012)
Gramercy Cellars, if you haven’t figured it out by now, makes some killer red wines. The owner and winemaker, Greg Harrington, is the only Master Sommelier within our borders that has the balls to not only make wine but also manage an estate vineyard. I’ve covered his history previously so, no, I ain’t repeating like other numbnut wine bloggers do.
If you like Greg Harrington, I bet your reason is all about his wines. Not with me. If you followed my previous ‘Inigo Montoya’ post, then you know I tried to stir up some lame crap about Greg’s opinionated personality. It would have been all too easy for Greg to strap on the latex and play proctologist on me as I was fully ‘bent over’ and ready to receive. And, a weaker fool such as Paul Gwine would have gladly accepted. Not Greg.
He took the high road and with precision and ultra-coolness, accepted my backpedaling and concession with the grace of a pure gentleman. He didn’t rub it in or lecture me and showed no passive-aggressive tendencies, ala Sean and Josh and every other wine blogger. He doesn’t hide behind his title like so many other smelliers who like to flaunt their status by putting up some ‘wine awards’ garbage. Yo Channy, take your ‘double golds’, shine it up real nice, turn it sideways, and STICK IT STRAIGHT UP YOUR CANDY-ASS! All you smelliers schlepping at those hoidy-toidy restaurants, I know how little you make. That’s why you moonlight at Wine World. Who are you without your title? A broke-ass nobody, that’s who.
Speaking of titles… gawd, doncha just love it when someone brags on their bio that they are some ‘certified specialist on wine’, a ‘certified sommelier’, a ‘wine century’ clubber, and all the other half-ass’d flaky “I’m better than you” words they can attach to their worthless names? WHO CARES? Those rinky-dink tramp stamps will never translate into a high-paying wine position with a national company so why bother? Oh, you’re a “level 2” or “level 3”? Hey, if the State doesn’t give a shit about licensing your ass to legitimize your status, then why should I give a shit?
And lastly, Greg (and all the other Master Sommeliers) is not the final word on what a wine tastes like. Even Master Yoda Harrington guesses wrong on a blinder with friends. Does he care? FUCK NO! What the hell does he have left to prove in wine tasting? Nothing. So, note to all those wannabe ‘wine experts’: Get. A. Life. Loser.
Ahh, to the wine (and food)…
Get into the mindset that it’s a perfect summer Friday in Woodinville. Of course, I’m grilling! Duh! But, to get there takes some ingenuity and savvy. Anyone can flip steaks on a grill. Here’s how I did it.
First, shuck the ear of the corn so that you can almost see the kernels. Chop off the silk as it will catch fire on the grill. Throw the ears into a pot of tap water with a pinch of salt. Make sure the tips are under water. Hydrating the stalks will greatly reduce the chance of burning the cob. Use a heavy object to keep the cobs soaked. I used a frozen pack of hot dogs.
Next, make the basting sauce. Use a pint-sized Pyrex mixing bowl (dirt cheap at any Goodwill store) to hold: minced garlic, rosemary, thyme, parsley flakes, ground white pepper, and a few drops of Sriracha rooster hot sauce (no, Sean, not that ‘cock’). Stir and let them get all happy together.
Then, start prepping the food. For portabella mushrooms, I leave about a ¼ inch stalk. For bell peppers, choose yellow and orange at the market, then remove the stem by stabbing into the fruit. Cut in half, remove the seeds, then cut into quarters. Wrap new potatoes in foil with a little tap water. For Brussels sprouts, cut off the fibrous stump then slice in half. With the sliced side up, dress with garlic or butter in a foil tray.
Then, make yourself an amouse bouche tray of tasty cheeses and Marcona almonds (do not skimp) and open up that bottle of wine.
As for the steaks, go get the Costco USDA Prime ribeye ($14/lb). Best deal in the area. 20-30 minutes before grilling, slather that basting sauce on each side of meat then sprinkle coarse-to-medium ground salt. DO NOT SKIMP HERE. I paid $20 for just under a half-pound each of a smoked bacon chipotle habanero sea salt and a Molokai red clay sea salt. If you know anything about the history of salt, understand that men have died to secure the very best salt for their countries. Pick New Zealand, Brittany Fleur de Sel, Greek, or Italian. Black lava, pink Himalayan, or French grey. Just do not grab a Morton’s or any other mass-produced, iodized salt. I despise folks who take short-cuts to success.
Starches take a long time to cook so always toss on first and pull last. The coals are hottest when first placed into the grill so watch it when throwing all those veggies/fruits. At anytime when nothing’s on the grill, toss in some mesquite/hickory wood chips. Yeah, I know some bags say to hydrate the chips beforehand or wrap in foil and let it smoke on the grill. Nah. Toss straight on the coals.
Steaks take about 3-4 minutes then turn them 90 degrees to get the checkerboard sears. Keep the cover and top aerator CLOSED to allow the smoke to penetrate the meat. The coals have to be superhot so it’s not a guarantee to get those tv-perfect grillmarks. More importantly, do not overcook the meat while hoping for those scars. Ask yourself, what’s more important—grill marks or tender, melt-in-the-mouth beef? After 6-8 minutes, flip ‘em over. There should be a nice formation of crust on the meat. Turn perpendicular again after 3-4 minutes, then you are done. I like my steaks medium-rare since any leftovers will stay primed for reheating later. Plus, that’s just the way a steak should be eaten off a grill anyway. Place on platter and let rest for at least 5 minutes. That’s it.
At the table, OMG! The steak was emitting lethal flavors of blood, herbs, and spices, with a formidable slap in the cheek by the habanero. No, I didn’t cry or sweat, but the savory proteins prepped my palate for its companion…a good wine. Tempranillo generally has a higher pH than other red wines and contributes a softer ‘mouthfeel’ which likely explains why it goes so well with Spanish/Mexican/Latin cuisine. Whatever the chemistry, this was an obscenely discreet food-wine pairing. Absodiculously good.
Tasted at 61-72 degrees on the IR temp gun. Black cherry colored with fleeting blue streaks in the Riedel, this tempranillo displayed soft aromas of blueberry and raspberry. Feathery on the palate but enduring with delicate flavors of tobacco, plum, violets, blueberry, red pepper, cinnamon, and velvety tannins. Sick!
Alcohol: 13.9% (I guessed 13.7-14%). Aged 15 months in 2nd-fill American oak. 90% tempranillo (Les Collines and estate), 5% Les Collines syrah, 5% Alder Ridge mourvedre. 693 cases. Power: 2/5. Depth: 3/5. Balance: 4/5. Finesse: 4/5. Rated: 93. Value: $35. Paid: $40. Music pairing: “Blue Navy” by Diane Renae. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.