Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Movie Night

It seems like it's been quite some time since we took in a movie - like it was last year or something. How will we ever be able to make our upcoming Oscar Pool picks if we haven't seen any of the year's big flicks? In an effort to remedy that at least a teensy bit, Boo, Elzee and I are heading off to see The Black Swan tonight.

We thought we'd grab a quick dinner before the movie though. None of us had been to Maenam to check out one of the hottest Thai restaurants in town. Since it's only a couple of blocks away from the theatre, we decided to give it a try. It was almost an attempt in vain because, even though it was only 6.00 pm, we took the last table in the restaurant.

I don't tend to eat a lot of Thai food - even though Pad Thai and I could be the very best of friends. So, I don't pretend to be a pro at pairing a wine to chosen dishes. I generally fall back on local wisdom that you can usually rely on a Riesling with a lot of Asian cuisine, especially if there's a bit of a bite or curry involved. After a brief discussion with our server, we chose the bottle that offered more of a hint of residual sugar over the crisp acidity that was featured in the other wines available.

699. 2009 Balthasar Ress - Hattenheimer Schutzenaus Riesling Kabinett (QmP Rheingau - Germany)

It's easy to tell, by looking at the labels and captions accompanying The List, that we don't tend to drink a lot of German wines. I should be a bit surprised by that when I consider how much I love a good Riesling. I guess it stems from the fact that we generally have some BC Riesling on hand at home and that I really don't know much about German wine. Case in point - I know that this label is supposed to tell me a whole lot about the wine in the bottle, but it's pretty much all Greek (or, more correctly, German) to me.

The winery website advises that Balthasar Ress is one of the large family owned and managed wineries in the famous Rheingau region. Now that the fifth generation of the family is at the helm, it's not hard to believe that they have access to some of the finest vineyards in the region.

Indeed, Germany has a tradition of identifying "classified" vineyards - traditional vineyards of superior quality that have displayed distinct characteristics over the years. This wine is part of Balthasar Ress's series of classified single vineyard series - their mid-range label - with Hattenheimer Schutzenhaus being the vineyard providing these grapes. I'm not so sure I would have figured that out on my own.

The VDP and QmP designations on the bottle indicate that the winery has met with regional standards in quality, vineyard maintenance and cellar practices.

As for the wine, we easily could have gone through another bottle if the start of the movie hadn't been imminent. It was perhaps a touch sweeter than I had been looking for, but that just meant that the curry could handle a touch more heat. I'm not so sure that it meant that Boo was supposed to straight up eat the chilies that adorned the plate though. He's been known to do sillier things though.

There's no doubt, however, that the wine was sweeter than the movie. Natalie Portman may win the Oscar but this was hardly a light and fluffy, date night, kind of movie. Still, a pretty good way to pass an evening though, I'd say.

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