Thursday, November 22, 2007
2006 Mollydooker Shiraz
I'm finally getting around to trying the juggernaut that is Mollydooker. The name means "left hander" in the often bizarre Australian patois. (Though honestly, is it any stranger than southpaw?) It's also the first wine I've ever purchased that has a weird aeration technique suggested as part of the serving recommendation. You can't see the full label here, but it's a 1930s cartoon boxer with two left gloves. The other wines of this line have equally interesting designs. There's also a stamp that tears off the back label.
2006 Mollydooker Shiraz, McLaren Vale, Southern Australia. $20. Big, fruity nose, rather hot because of the 16% alcohol. Once you let the alcohol fumes blow off, you get a nice hint of cracked black pepper. The flavor is mild, with a cherry and pastry flavor that later includes prunes and stewed fruit. Medium tannins and a decent finish. Because of the alcohol, this wine has big ol' glycerol legs that hang on the side of the glass.
The Girlfriend was craving pork loin, so I roasted one with a little twist of orange. After an application of Dijon mustard and black pepper, I ran a navel orange through the mandoline and got a lot of delicate slices. Things shifted a bit in cooking, but overall the slices provided a pleasant hint of flavor to the pork loin. And damn, there's something to be said for a presentation like that.
I started at 350°F, and over the course of two hours backed the temperature down to 200°F until the meat reached an internal temperature of 150°F. It then rested under a foil tent for about twenty minutes as I readied the sides... some simple green beans, and a more complicated soup.
I reconstituted some dried cherries in the Shiraz as a simple topping for the pork. The ramekin contains a portion of sopa de plátanos verdes, or green plantain soup, which is either Puerto Rican or Venezuelan in origin depending on who you ask. Slice up some green plantains, pan-fry in butter, add to some simmering beef stock (homemade in this case), add a sofrito of garlic and shallots, then blend with an immersion mixer to the desired consistency. If it's too thick (and the starch in the plantains will make it set up like cold gravy), add water or more stock. I threw in a bunch of hot sauce, cinnamon, and Old Bay Seasoning to enhance the flavor. It's thick and rich yet slightly refreshing. It's also a lighter use for plantains than tostones or mofongo.