Kathryn’s Rack of Lamb 2) 2-pound racks of lamb, trimmed 6) cloves of garlic, finely minced 2) tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely minced 4) tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Sea salt Freshly ground black pepper Place the lamb racks fat side up on a large rimmed baking sheet. Combine the minced garlic and rosemary with the olive oil. Rub the garlic-rosemary mixture all over the lamb. Season with salt (to taste) and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 450°. Roast the lamb in the upper third of the oven for 25 minutes for medium-rare meat; 30 minutes for more well done meat. Transfer the lamb to a cutting board, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Carve the racks between the rib bones and transfer to plates. Season with black pepper, if desired, and serve immediately.
Greg at the tasting table If you’ve ever wondered why so many wine “experts” consider Reisling the greatest wine grape, take a few minutes to watch Greg at a recent tasting with visiting winegrower, Jochen Ratzenberger. Here, Greg tells the story of how Riesling became so important, and proved its reputation.
Sophie, Maxime, and Geneviève Barmès in the Clos Sand (photo: Greg Moore) The late François Barmès wholeheartedly embraced the Austrian philosopher Rudolph Steiner’s belief in the interdependence of the forces of life, earth, and the cosmos. So in 1995, in order to undo the damage caused by decades of chemically dependent viticulture, he began the transformation of his vineyards to biodynamics. One of the first principles of biodynamics is the belief that the farm is a self-contained living entity, which gives rise to the rule that a biodynamic farmer may add no organic substance to a product of his farm; if that organic substance did not itself grow within the boundaries of the same biodynamic farm. Which means that the “Champagne Method” isn’t an option in producing biodynamic sparkling wine, because it requires the addition of sugar to a tank of dry wine just before bottling (needless to say, beets and sugar cane don’t grow on the chalk soils of Champagne, or pink sandstone
When climate change effects the replanting of vineyards Climate change plays a part in Germany. It used to be that the Ratzenbergers could count on frosts in winter, which help break up soils in the spring. It hasn't happened in a number of years now, so out comes the tractor. Jochen Sr. and Jochen Jr. explain to Greg what's happening.
Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn. — Deuteronomy 25:4 A spring visit to Domaine-Barmès-Buecher where we come across Mathieu, Maxime Barmès' best friend who is plowing the domaine’s Hengst Grand Cru parcel. Later we return to the vineyard with Geneviève Barmès to see the results, and the difference careful farming can make. Spring déchaussage at Domaine Barmès-Buecher by “Ursus” (the horse), Mathieu (Maxime Barmès' best friend), and “Pikachu” (the dog).
Miss Nancy’s Shrimp ‘n Grits I’m the luckiest guy in the world. Every husband says that, but I’m empirically correct—no one makes shrimp and grits like Bridget (except for her mother, Nancy, who wrote this recipe): Grits: 1 14-ounce can of chicken broth (or 1 and 3/4 cups homemade) 1 cup milk 1/2 tsp. salt 1 cup grits 3 ounces shredded cheddar cheese 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 tsp. Louisiana hot sauce 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper Preparation: 1. Bring chicken broth, salt, milk and 1 1/3 cups of water to a boil. Stir in grits and reduce heat to low, cooking the grits until thick, approximately 10 minutes. 2. Stir in cheese, hot sauce and pepper until melted and incorporated. Remove from heat and plate, topped with shrimp mixture (below). Shrimp Mixture: 2 slices of bacon 2 tsp. vegetable oil 1-2 lbs. peeled and cleaned uncooked shrimp 1/2 cup chopped green onions 1/8 tsp. salt 2 gar
So here's the deal. It is accepted wisdom that storing wine in oak barrels may in many cases be beneficial. Storing wine in barrels may add flavors and/or textures that add desirable complexity to wine. Myriad decisions regarding the quality (and/or “qualities") of the various types of barrels (French vs. American, vs. Slovenian oak etc., new barrels vs. used, or “neutral,” etc.) have to be made by any winery regardless of scale. Over 20 years ago, as “oaky” became a synonym for “high quality” (I'll reserve discussion about aesthetics for another time), large-scale producers were faced with a big challenge; how do you get “oaky” when you need to sell wine at supermarket prices? You see, barrels are expensive. The typical barrel holds 300 bottles. A new barrel that will impart that “oaky” flavor (a barrel used once, is considered neutral–incapable of imparting oak flavors), will cost anywhere from $250 to $1500 per barrel, depending on where the oak comes from, quality of the ba
Jochen Ratzenberger riddling his single-vineyard sparkling wine - Bacharacher Sekt This is about eight minutes long, and worth the watch. Here’s Greg explaining how hand-made Champagne Method sparkling wine is produced, whether in Champagne itself or in all the various areas that produce sparkling wine using this traditional technique.
polyoxyethylene 40 monostearate…looks appetizing… The following is offered without a whole lot of comment–well, here and there I may have added a comment. This is a by no means comprehensive list of ATF approved chemicals and processes allowed in U.S. "industrial" wine production: polyoxyethylene 40 monostearate (I think that's what the formula above is about. I'll have to ask Greg's daughter. She knows these things) dimethyldicarbonate diacetyl (gives your cheap Chardonnay its "buttery" flavor - and Orville Redenbacher popcorn its flavor) silicon dioxide dimethylpoly-siloxane sorbitan monostearategyceryl mono-oleategyceral dioleate (nothin' says "love" like an oleate, and a DI-OLEATE is even more special) copper sulfate calcium carbonate ascorbic acid erythorbic acid ammonium phosphate [mono- and dibasic] (I prefer the mono, but, you know, thats just "how I roll") gum arabic dimethyl dicarbonate catalase ce