I awoke about one hour later. My pockets were empty. I was still intoxicated and hazy as a hand roused me and a voice called my name. I was numb, stung – my stomach the site of a strange warmth that continued to pulse through my body. I tired to collect my senses and to focus on the voice. The voice grew more urgent, telling me it was time to leave. My eyes snapped to focus and I was staring into the face of one of the people from the table.
I realized in horror that…..nothing. It was my girlfriend. My pockets were empty because they were empty when I fell asleep. I was not pricked by some voodoo curare, nor was I delirious with dengue. Indeed, the slumber-inducing agents were intentionally consumed: Malbec, Tempranillo, Cabernet, Chorizos, Pollo, Matambre and Colita de Cuadril.
I had taken a glorious nap after eating a glorious meal. I felt rather glorious, too. I could only feel more glorious if my name was Gloria and was picking Morning Glories while listening to Oasis.
I kid you not: as I sat at the table I could feel my body absorb the juices of the meats and the vital power of the spices. Curling together with the wine, this formed a potent cocktail that invaded my being. I felt like a sponge that was absorbing pure power and powerful opiates at the same time. I felt stronger, primitive and very tired.
In absolute seriousness, as I lay down on the bed and dissolved into a sleep, I could feel pangs of pure pleasure course through my body. My abdominal muscles loosened. Each peristaltic pulse sent waves of relief emanating outwards. I felt unburdened and delightfully un-tethered. I felt like a suspension bridge deciding to loosen the cables and stretch a little bit. Atlas shrugged and ate barbecue.
I will spare you the background and get, quite literally to the meat of the story:
- Chorizo – These were handmade sausages brought by the host. They were spiced and filled at home by his son’s girlfriend. She’s a keeper.
- Pollo – Known to us gringos as Chicken, we ate a whole bird cut down the center. The Argentines call this Mariposa (butterfly) but it has other names as well. My favourite is spatchcock (tee hee hee) a word I learned from watching Steven Raichlen’s Primal Grill.
- Matambre – this word has several meanings. In this case we are talking about Pork Flank Steak ( it can be beef or pork). Grilled, you can eat it alone, with fries or on a sandwich. Confusingly, it is also a kind of grilled meat-wrap. The flank steak is rolled with egg, veggies and spices inside, baked, sliced crossways and grilled. This was seasoned with red pepper and garlic.
- Colita de Quadril – This is a Tri-Tip in the English meat lexicon. It is from the rear legs of the cow. There is a nice fat cap on the top side that helps make the meat incredibly juicy. This was marinated with some garlic and seasoned only with salt.
|Pollo aka Chicken|
|Matabmre de Cerdo (pork)|
|Colita de Quadril (Tri Tip)|
The wines were all divine and were chosen by people who drink a fair bit of wine. I tend to trust the wine selection of retired and semi-retired professionals (especially when the bottles as brought as gifts). They don’t mess around and they won’t hesitate to spend and extra buck on a solid bottle* Buying bad wine is an absolute waste of retirement.
Haroldos - Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008
The lack of depth to the noted belis the fact that this was a close favourite to the Weinert I had next. I would rate this as Very Nice.
Don Domenico - Tempranillo, 2009
This wine was noticeably darker, taking on a more brown/purple tone. It had a musty chocolate nose…quite a foreboding smell to be honest. This wine was a touch saltier and fruiter and the chocolate note popped much more as I tore into my steak. The overlapping chocolate flavours were quite interesting. I really liked this wine. I felt like I was exploring and thinking a lot. This is the first time I had ever had Tempranillo. It is native to Spain but this wine was made in Argentina.
I rate this as Very Nice.
I rate this as Very Nice.
This had a smokey and smelled vaguely like some kind of decay. This is going to sound bad, of course, but it really wasn't. It was something mildly funky sort of like a cheese rind. You'd smell strange too if you sat in a bottle for eight years. It had more of the taste that comes with a raw grape, but with a strange funky twist to it. The tannins tied it all together.
This wine was tough to describe and I liked it the least. That said, all three were delicious. This one was just outshone.
Overall, it was a Very Nice wine but in the context of the three I rate this as Nice. That isn't really fair but life isn't fair either.
A note on my wine notes: I like wine but I am a neophyte compared to Josh. My current goal with wine is to learn, loosely, what to expect from different varieties of red grapes.
I read the front label, smell, do a thorough job of coating the mouth and coaxing out flavours and I repeat. I think. I take a quick note. Then I look on the back label to see if anything there matched my notes or put a finger on an elusive taste. I am going slowly.
*That said, I have seen all of the wine brands we drank that day (but not all the same vintages) in grocery stores here and they weren’t terribly expensive.