Wine. Cheese. Tuna. Fire.
She comes around here
Just about midnight, (er, I mean, cocktail hour)
Ha, she make me feel so good, Lord
I wanna say she make me feel alright
...And her name is G-L-O-R-I-A...
Van Morrison may not have been talking about a sweet little flute of sparkly, but his enthusiasm was spot-on. Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noir Sparkling Wine ($25?)was a fun, berry-bright glass of bubbly that made for easy sipping. Unpretentious and light, it just fit the bill for chatting with friends on weekend's edge.
As it's never a good idea to wine alone, we noshed on DucCat's newest acquisition from The Warwick Cheese Shoppe: a suitably soft and stinky Taleggio.
Purr it out through the vowels, but don't let the lilting cadence fool you- this is some seriously stinky cheese. DucCat likens the scent to gym socks that have been left in the locker over a long, hot summer. While I suppose I concur on the scent, the flavour is by contrast smooth, mellow and nutty. And utterly addictive.
Somewhere along the line, a bottle of Silver Sands Sauvignon Blanc was polished off by the gang, but I never had a glass. The empty bottle leads me to believe that it was, at the very least, palatable.
As the evening was creeping forth, I switched to red: a Robertson Winery Prospect Hill 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon ($16).
Thick, rich and dark are qualities I enjoy as much in wine as I do in sausage, and this well-balanced cab straddled all three quite nicely. Dark fruits were firmly in check with the tannins, settling into a thoroughly enjoyable glass of wine. Go get 'em, South Africa!
While DucCat fired up the grill, I pulled out the main course.
The tuna was lookin' mighty fine at Harris Teeter that day, and DucCat was in the mood for something light, simple and flavourful. Be still my heart. A little lemon juice, a gentle dusting of wasabi powder, some salt and pepper, and he was soon cookin' with fire.
A short grill session later, dinner was on, rounded out by black sesame asparagus.
A new room, a new wine, right? We opened the bottle brought by our friends, a Patton Valley 2003 Pinot Noir.
While the previous wine had been no slouch, I literally laughed with joy at my first, potent sip. Awash in a black velvet jungle, where cherries and raspberries languidly gazed at the dark side. In my mouth, a smooth midnight tidepool coiled with more elegant dark fruits and a restrained hint of oak. Each wonderful taste picked up the previous note, and re-worked it passionately, eloquently, and intently.
Once again, friends, our thanks for sharing this!
Sadly, not everyone was on their best behaviour that night.
Miffed at waking up too late to join in the fun and festivities, Shishi exacted some uncalled for revenge.
No tuna for you, little one!
Grilled Fresh Tuna
4 fresh tuna steaks
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder
Mix together, and drizzle evenly over tuna steaks. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill over a medium-hot fire until exterior is seared, and interior is still juicy and pink, about 3 &1/2 minutes per side. Do not overcook.
Let sit for a few minutes, then slice thinly. Serve with a drizzle of soy sauce and freshly made wasabi.