We were debating how to enjoy an otherwise cold, dreary, do not leave the house day when we stumbled upon the idea of a Yankee Doodle Dandy Saturday Sipping ’n Snacking at home day.
Fortunately, we have more than a lot of USA wines – mostly California – in the cellar so the difficult question was which bottles!? Equally, we encountered a similar difficult question as to which music to play that would compliment the wine? Finally, we turned to the question what food to cook and consume over the 9+ hours event?
We started with wine as we are oft to do! Et voila, the lineup with notes and photo…with, of course, the matching socks:
2011 Sea Smoke Sea Spray. We are, self-admittedly and unashamed, fans of Sea Smoke. We like their style, people, vision and, most importantly, their wines. We equally understand why quite a few CTers do not reach deep in their pockets for Sea Smoke’s Chardonnays, Bubbles and Pinot Noirs. 100% Pinot Noir. 8.5 g/litre dosage. 6 months in French oak barrels. Tasting Note: Fairly Rosé-like visual…given our lack of interest in Rosé, we are not seduced. The aromas changed all that as you feel the big-bone structure (Nicole Kidman), slightly yeasty-rotten-eggs with a hint of brioche. Nice. Fresh, vibrant, bubbled-Pinot Noir with a tangy finish. A bit too much bubbly bubble for us to consider a “meal”, but a most excellent aperitif…sadly at nearly 2x the price of comparables. No problem…we do not sip every day!
2012 Fisher Vineyards Chardonnay Mountain Estate. We like this wine family. Their estate is stunning, their staff friendly, the family members we have met are passionate and, well, the concept of “unity”, which is their new label, in a modern day family is, well, inspiring. The little tidbit on their website speaks volumes: Unity is the result of our entire family working together; as a wine, it demonstrates our continued dedication to quality from one generation to the next.” Stand-up and applaud, folks, this is outstanding family spirit!!! Of equal importance, they make some top-shelf wines. We opted for a 2012 Fisher Vineyards Chardonnay Mountain Estate. Tasting Note: Lime greenish-yellow optics, nice oak (18 months in 40% new French barrels) on the nose along with sweet almonds, honey and citrus, well-balanced but evident, fresh acidity and buttered, toasty bread with a powerful and fairly long finish. Tres yummy! A winner that has several more years of development when we expect blossoming barrel flavor and perhaps a more mellow, albeit elegant, finish.
2008 Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon Annum. Only the third vintage of this blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot (why the subtle blend?). Dark, black red on the eye. We love the depth. Breathing now for 3+ hours in the bottle…ready, but will continue to evolve in our glasses for another few hours. Tasting Note: Powerful, dense aromas of ripe, dark fruits, toasty oak and cedar. Wow, enticing! Full bodied, great structure, blackberries, cherries, hints of mint, spice and candy-caramel. Very yummy! Delicious, voluptuous and simply stunning! We have one more bottle that we intend to let rest peacefully in the cellar for at least 10 more years. She only has one direction in her future!
We have several thousand albums “synced” onto our Apple device that allows us to contemplate difficult music choices. We settled with the following oldies, but goodies:
The Monkees. For the young people in the audience or those who somehow missed this gem in “the day”, The Monkees were an American rock band that released more than a few songs between 1965 and 1971 primarily for the television series of the same name, which aired from 1966 to 1968. The fab four were Americans Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork and Englishman Davy Jones. Dolenz described The Monkees as “a TV show about an imaginary band that wanted to be the Beatles, but that was never successful.” Well, let’s beg to differ as The Monkees have sold more than 75 million records worldwide and had international hits, including “Last Train to Clarksville“, “Pleasant Valley Sunday“, “Daydream Believer” and “I’m A Believer“. At their peak in 1967, The Monkees outsold the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined…wow, we think they were more than successful!!!
The Beach Boys. The Beach Boys were an American rock band consisting of brothers Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and their friend Al Jardine. Epitomising the “California Sound”, the band combined their local culture of surfing, cars and girls with jazz, 1950s rock and roll and doo-wop sounds. The Beach Boys are considered by many as one of the most iconic American band and one of the most critically acclaimed, commercially successful, and widely influential bands of all time. The group had over eighty songs chart worldwide, thirty-six of them USA Top 40 hits (the most by an American rock band), four reaching number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The Beach Boys have sold in excess of 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time. Famous songs included “Good Vibrations”, “Surfin’ USA”, “Surfer Girl”, “Little Deuce Coupe”, “Help Me Rhonda”, “Barbara Ann” and “Sloop John B”…among many others!
The food, albeit not terribly American, included some of our favourite snacks:
Vegetable dumplings. We love dumplings…especially when they fool us into thinking our health is the priority. Tres yummy with two different chilli sauces.
Potato cakes (Oisix). The good people at Oisix (hk.oisix.com) really make some good stuff. Quality is key, taste is tops, happiness guaranteed. We simply put them on a Japanese ceramic grill and 20 minutes later, life is luscious!
Peppers, Onion, Garlic and Cheese Tortilla Wraps. The hit of the day with veggies from Oisix that arrived that day! Their peppers, onions and garlic are second to none! Cheap and cheerful cheese and tortillas, et voila, another voluptuous victual!
Seafood Rice. Sautéed onions, carrots, garlic and chillies, add Tipsy Wo’s red prawn sauce, fish and rice (left over from the night before), cook on low heat and we were transcended to Barcelona…well, pretty close given we did not have to visit the airport…or La Paloma, Fofo or Catalunya (our favourite Spanish restos in Hong Kong).