Dinner tonight was a spur of the moment idea. I had a bottle of wine sitting around waiting for the proper meal. I had a 1.25 lb ribeye resting in the fridge. It was my best friend's birthday (or close to it), and my biggest tomato had reached a state of perfect ripeness. Some would call this a perfect storm; I called it dinner. I dropped Paul an e-mail last night, he responded in the affirmative, and dinner was on.
Nothing special was done with the meat, aside from the usual ground pepper and kosher salt on the outside, as well as letting it rest at room temperature for half an hour before being grilled over hot coals until nicely rare. The tomato shown in the photo is a slice from my biggest Brandy Boy specimen, weighing in at little over a pound (about half a kilogram) and dusted with kosher salt. Also pictured are some blueberry corn muffins (recipe may follow some day), as well as some grilled radicchio quarters with fresh mozzarella, using a recipe from the great Michael Chiarello. Everything had powerful flavors and deep intensity. In the background, you might see the remnants of a mint julep in a highball glass. I had bourbon, and lots of mint, and sugar in the pantry. Plus it's hot outside, so why not?
Paul's a big fan of the Bogle Petite Sirah, so I served the 2003 Bogle Phantom. I've been extremely happy with all of Bogle's $10 offerings, and this was my first foray into their higher end line. The label is dark and mysterious, but it's a really delightful wine. This is a mixture of 59% Petite Sirah, 39% Old Vine Zinfandel, and 2% Old Vine Mourvèdre. Surprisingly mild beginning, with a full bodied mouth feel and a slightly tart finish. 14.6% alcohol, so it's a little strong, but not overly harsh. Deep, dark plum and cherry flavors, some blackberries. The Zinfandel really helps with the body, providing a rich full experience without being too much. Elements of leather and tobacco show up later in the drinking of this wine. I'm really impressed with this wine, and it went exceptionally well with the unique meal at hand.