1997 Monsordo Berdardina - Printable Version

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- hotwine - 05-07-2001

This is a big wine in the international style from the Langhe DOC. Haven't been able to pin down its composition, but seems to include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese at a minimum. A nose of ripe berries, earth and green olives on a breath of alcohol (13%), with the olives receding and fruit resolving on the palate (black currant?) to a gorgeous long finish. Probably consumed much too soon, but I'd been chomping at the bit to try it since buying it a few months ago ($31.95).

A local supermarket ran a special yesterday on filet mignon ar two for $6.99; and since we've consumed all of the choice cuts off this last Charolais steer, we thought what the heck, we'll give 'em a try. Went through the whole two-hour drill of burning down an oak fire to a bed of coals, as well as baking spuds, boiling corn on the cob, etc. Grilled the steaks to perfection: a light dusting of dry rub, cooked four minutes on each side, yielding steaks that were cold dark ruby inside, with light charring of grill marks on the outside. And the result? They might as well have not even been there! No flavor! She said, "Where's the beef?!" Even the bacon wrapping was in vain. Left me cursing the feedlot operators who ruin their stock and give beef a bad name.

Friends, do yourselves a huge favor the next time you want to grill steaks: go to your local gourmet food store and tell the butcher you'd like some free-range beef - clubs, T-bones or a nice sirloin. Then grill them as lovingly as you know how. And literally taste the difference between those free-range animals that are grass-fed, and the feedlot products that are sold by your supermarket. It is really amazing!

We won't make the mistake again any time soon of trustng the supermarket stuff.

- Innkeeper - 05-08-2001

Seems to be getting harder and harder to find a pedigree on some of these esoteric Italians. Tonight we had one with cheese that was of the same ilk, we think. It was a 1995 Paola Di Mauro, Colle Picchioni, Vigna Del Vassallo, Vino Da Tavola Del Lazio ($15.50) from Convito Italiano in Chicago. Could describe this one almost the same as the one you had right down to the 13% alcohol. It was a great end to our trip tonight.

Agree with you 100% on the steak diatribe. Last night we got a reminder of how steak should be. We went with Scoop, RAD, and Mrs RAD to Sparks Steak House in the Apple. They will be posting more later, but all we can say is WONDERFUL.

- hotwine - 05-09-2001

Glad to hear that Spark's still knows how to find and prepare good steaks, IK. We have a lot of upscale steakhouses in this area, but the good quality beef is only available to a handfull. A very large percentage of production seems to be shipped out of state (our own included).

On the subject of new-style Italian blends: Picked up a few bottles of Centine yesterday, a blend of 60% Sangiovese and 20% each of Merlot and Cab. Sauv. At only $8.99, it could be a bargain - but would probably make Roberto cringe!

- Innkeeper - 05-09-2001

Centine is a perennial Best Buy from Banfi that is as steady as the Rock. Wish we weren't so adventurous. Recently ordered a Brunello from Roberto that he bottom fed off of Hope to have it for our 50th anniversary in 2013! Couldn't just order one bottle of wine so we got some of his Puglia stuff along with it. Then on Monday at Foodie's Is Wine we included a Salice Reserva in our mixed case. So we are almost awash in negromaro. Now we need to figure out what eat with it.