Monday, August 19, 2013

Memphis & Priscilla - No One's Leaving Hungry

Ever since Skipper decided that spending a good portion of the winter in Palm Springs was more fun than curling and drinking with us, I don't see an awful lot of the dude. Luckily, we managed a few brews over the summer - but not nearly enough wine. We managed to link up with Skipper and GQ for dinner and drinks - starting with a bit of a cocktail at our place.

1396.  2010 Paolo Conterno Barbera d'Alba Bricco (DOC Barbera d'Alba - Piedmont - Italy)

GQ announced that he enjoyed discovering the Paolo Conterno so much awhile back that he went out and bought a case and declared it his "house wine for the summer." I don't think I've seen this Barbera before but, on the whole, I quite enjoy Barbera's as a "category" of Italian wines.

Paolo Conterno is a multi-generational family run winery. Having been founded in 1886, the Conterno family now in its fourth generation. They don't make a lot of wine - apparently only around 4200 cases annually and that's inclusive of Nebbiolo (both Barolo and Langhe DOC), Barbera and Dolcetto wines. That surprises me a bit that our market would see much of it. Maybe GQ bought up most of it.

The Barbera is single vineyard - "Bricco Sant'Ambrogio" - designated and it was pretty big for a Barbera. It might be worth trying to snag a bottle off of GQ before he finishes them all off.

The idea for dinner was to hit The Drive and settle in wherever it struck our fancy. After a false start or two, we settled on Boo's favourite: Memphis Blues and their Priscilla Platter.

Brisket, pulled pork, chicken, sausage, ribs. There was no chance of anyone leaving hungry. Luckily, there were no vegetarians in our midst! Although I suppose even they could have been happy with the fries, slaw and potato salad.
1397.  2010 Le Paradou Grenache (AOC Cotes du Luberon - France)

We didn't bring any of GQ's "house wine" with us; so, we went with the Grenache, thinking it would likely go with the smorgasbord that was our platter. Memphis Blues' wine list is always small (like four reds and four whites) but it is generally well thought of and reviewers often refer to the amount of thought that goes into choices.

Le Paradou is a young project from the folks behind Château Pesquié - the well-recognized (at least in Vancouver) Rhône producer. The name comes from a "centuries-old farmhouse" belonging to the Chaudière family and the wine hails from the Côtes du Luberon, a region to the south-east of the Rhône.

Unlike so many of the bigger Rhône wines, this Grenache is meant to be consumed to be right away especially since this version of France's "King of the South" is fermented and aged in stainless steel and cement. The resulting freshness lends itself nicely to the different meat flavours and smokiness that was served up by Memphis Blues.

It would have been nice to try the two wines next to each other. As it was, we didn't try the Italian wine with our meal and that makes it hard to tell if one is preferable over the other. I'm thinking not as we had no trouble polishing off either of the bottles.

Thankfully, instead of a third bottle of wine, we opted for another Drive favourite - Dolce Amore and their incredible gelato!

Red wine. Good friends. Memphis Blues. Gelato. Talk about "sweet love" and la dolce vita. Keep it coming. Please.

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