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- hotwine - 09-01-2001 01:53 PM

1999 Maison Nicolas VdP d'OC Merlot, $4.99 at Sam's. I thought this one had to be plonk at the price, but was very pleasantly surprised last night when we tried it with smothered roundsteak, mashers and steamed veggie medley. Tastes like it's spent its short life in stainless steel and glass, with no trace of noticeable wood. A nose of clean fruit, a lot more fruit on the tongue-tip, and a softness across the palate that belies its modest origins, with a very pleasant finish. Really tough to beat for a 5-buck vin ordinaire! Picked up a few more today, along with more of the Nicolas Chardonnay and Berteau CdR.


- Drew - 09-01-2001 07:05 PM

Smothered roundsteak?

Dreew


- hotwine - 09-01-2001 07:18 PM

Yup. It's beef roundsteak cooked in a skillet with milk, stewed tomatos and onions. Very tasty!

[This message has been edited by hotwine (edited 09-01-2001).]


- winoweenie - 09-02-2001 06:20 AM

Hotwine, tell Drew that we Oakies and Texans would smother gravy If'n we culd figger-out how. WW


- hotwine - 09-02-2001 11:56 AM

You're about right, WW.
Drew, the roundsteak is pretty tough, and needs tenderizing somehow. It's from the hip area of the critter, and provides the meat for Swiss steak, stir-fry, smothered steak, and probably some other beef dishes that I'm forgetting right now. The cut of beef is known as the "round". The steaks need to be cut fairly thin, on the order of 1/2" or so, and then pan-fried or stewed in juices. You wouldn't want to barbecue one of those suckers, unless you marinated it for several hours beforehand. I've not tried it that way. Roundsteaks are usually the last part of a beef order that we consume; by the time we gnaw through a few weeks' worth of Swiss steak, smothered steak and stir-fry, we're ready for another side of beef. (I'm to pick one up Tuesday.)


- joeyz6 - 09-04-2001 09:50 AM

According to a wine book I have, Vin de Pays doesn't necessarily mean it's bad -- just that it's outside the normal appelation borders. Vin de Table, the book says, implies much more that a wine is inferior. Would you all agree?


- hotwine - 09-04-2001 11:28 AM

True enough, Joey. Vin de Pays literally means "wine of the country" or "country wine". There's no judgement call associated with it being a VdP: it can be "good", or it can be "bad" (although those words are so subjective that we rarely use them here). The region of the Oc is actually producing some very interesting wines at bargain prices, so a VdP d'Oc gets my attention.


- wondersofwine - 09-04-2001 11:59 AM

I second the roundsteak for Swiss steak or stir fry. I like to stir fry it with broccoli or celery, a little crystallized ginger, soy sauce and perhaps onions.


- winoweenie - 09-04-2001 05:32 PM

Think I posted my world-famous Italian steak receipe. Made from the pounded round. WW (If not I'll squirtantly do so post- hastey)


- joeyz6 - 09-04-2001 06:32 PM

By the way hotwine, where in Texas is Helotes?


- hotwine - 09-04-2001 07:39 PM

Helotes was once a day's ride NW from downtown San Antonio, on the stage line to Bandera. Today, SA has us surrounded.

It was once the norm for towns in Texas to be 15-20 miles apart, depending on terrain and water supply, to allow a rider to easily travel from one to the next in a day on horseback. Now, they're frequently contiguous, with the city limits of one butting up against the limits of another. Or in the case of our little township of 4500 souls, being surrounded by a sprawling city of 1.2 million. (Helotes tripled in size from 1990 to 2000.)

BTW, Helotes (hell-OAT-is) is taken from the Spanish word for corn. When Spaniards entered this area in the early 18th century, they found the local tribes cultivating corn in the little valleys among the hills, and they began to refer to it as "the corn place". Today, an ear of corn is featured prominently in the township's official seal.


- Bucko - 09-04-2001 08:23 PM

Where the h3ll are you fiding all of these wines, Helotes Boy? Are you daring to venture to the big city?


- Drew - 09-05-2001 01:58 AM

Sounds like the city ventured to him!

Drew


- hotwine - 09-05-2001 05:54 AM

You guys are both right. My preferred wine shops are about 12 miles from home, in the north central part of the big city. And until recently, the nearest Sam's was almost as far; but a new one opened a few weeks ago that's half that distance, and it has a pretty fair wine selection. And a Costco is being built barely a mile from them. Out here, we now have a Loew's and Home Depot within a couple of miles of us, along with a bazillion other shops, all within the last two years. It's time to get out of Dodge and head for the hills!