Got home from a pretty productive day at the shop, got lots of wine up, helped a bunch of customers and gathered a few goodies to smuggle back to the kid in Louisville for our upcoming trip. I felt good, I love those busy days when the hours fly, the team is working together to get everything done and my department looks full and ready for the picking. Came in the front door and rather than plug in my laptop and flip on the television, which is my regular routine, I grabbed a few trash bags and started cleaning out our way too small pantry. It’s amazing the crap that gets piled up in that thing, odd oils that I needed for a dish that I never made again, multiple containers of unsweetened coco, used for our once passionate, now dead, ice cream making…junk like that. Three bags and a damn near empty pantry later, I poured myself a Pastis and made my way to the couch.
Call-o called from the driving range….the “what do you want for dinner” call…I was expecting it and had given it some thought. “Let’s just do hotdogs” I told him “it may be boring, but it’s cheap, easy and satisfying in that ghetto way” he had to agree and headed to the market. He came home with wheat buns, (I was very impressed) and hotdogs….but not the Nathan’s that we usually get when we are hankering for a dog. I looked at the grocery bags and figured out why, he went to the store that doesn’t carry Nathan’s, so we were going to have something new…Farmer John’s hotdogs.
Looking at the pale dogs I noticed that they were on the teensy side, both kind of skinny and short, sizing them up to the big fluffy whole wheat buns, I could tell that we would be tearing hunks of bun off to correct the bun to dog ratio, (shrugging) no problem. Now we are normally a boiled dog house but I wanted something a little different, so I asked Call-o to toss them on the, “oh-so-crappy” shared apartment grill. This is always an adventure, the thing is as uneven as hell in the heating department and not everyone that uses it is great about cleaning up after themselves, so the likelihood of a fire is always high.
There was a fire and Call-o returned with a plate of, black on one side and perfect on the other, hotdogs….sigh. While he had been out fighting fire and punishing our hotdogs, I had assembled the toppings, mayo, mustard, chopped onion and one twist, diced kim chee. Amy threw a hotdog party for Jeremy once, grilled dogs with every topping you could imagine, I brought the kim chee and it was a freaking hit, so remembering that we had some, I diced it up and put it out with the rest of the toppings.
In their scorching the already tiny dogs had gotten even smaller, so there I was hacking my bun to fit this burnt offering, seriously had to whack off about half the bun…both at the end and across the top. I dressed my modified bun with a swath of mayo, little mustard and a sprinkling of kim chee, plopped my puppy of a hotdog in the bun and took a bite…an abomination. Holy hell was that a nasty hotdog, Farmer John, stick to bacon dude…blech! The spicing was weird and the thing was a little on the sweet side, who makes a sweet hotdog?! I piled on a mountain of kim chee and only then could I choke that nasty bastard down.
I went to the fridge and grabbed one of the bottles that Amy and I had cracked into the night before, we had opened more than the four that I wrote about last but thought 4 bottles for 2 people was probably just about enough…..so thankfully there were leftovers!
2008 Pascal et Nicolas Reverdy Sancerre Rose, ($21.99) now I will tell you that we didn’t continue with this wine that first night because it has one of my least favorite smells….banana. I have heard that a yeast is responsible for this characteristic, and I know tons of people that rather like it…I don’t, that being said, beyond the banana there is some beautiful stuff going on, I just had to get past that initial, “ewe”. Clearly Pinot Noir on the palate, plenty of dark cherry, watermelon and gentle spice. Very delicate on the palate, light and airy with just enough snap from the racy acidity. The wine was delicious with the spicy sweet hotdog, something about the softness went well with the spicy topping and the tangy bits of the wine were a nice contrast to the slight sweetness of the dog.
Got me thinking about the other night when we had a table full of beautiful food, (When Only Rose Will Do) that just clashed with the exquisite bottle of 1999 Pierre Peters, absolute disaster…two beautiful things that beat each other up in the mouth. Well here I had two things that I didn’t really like that were made better when brought together, the wine was much tastier with that hotdog and the hotdog was much more palatable when washed down with this wine….this is the shit that just geeks me out, just proves that there is no perfect answer to this whole pairing thing and we can never know it all….which of course makes this business that I adore even more interesting…man, I dig that!