Domaine des Terres Dorées (Jean-Paul Brun) Moulin-à-Vent 2010

This is my wine right now: Domaine des Terres Dorées (Jean-Paul Brun) Moulin-à-Vent 2010.

If you invite me to a dinner party, here’s what you’ll be getting. If you host me at your house upstate, here’s what I’ll be bringing. If you catch me at home on a weeknight, this is what I’ll be sipping with dinner. I get it at Garnet Wines in person for $22 but I don’t see it for sale from the site.

The Domaine des Terres Dorées is run by the able Jean-Paul Brun, and imported by the very selective Louis/Dressner Selections. Moulin-à-Vent is among the best of the Beaujolais appellations, all situated in the Burgundy region of France. Beaujolais wines are built on the charms of the gamay grape, an ancient and hearty varietal that produces a richly colored but light-bodied wine.

The Moulin-à-Vent 2010 feels like something you’ve been working towards, like all of those fruity wines, earthy wines, dry wines and spicy wines you’ve tasted over the years have settled down into one sensible location (sort of like when you meet the right person!). Yes, fruit is the star of the show, in both the aroma and on the palate, but that’s somehow perfectly balanced with a grounding minerality. Nod your head with a knowing ‘right,’ this is what wine is supposed to do.

I’m going to leave the professional description to someone more qualified – you can read the Vins Rare review at Snooth here.

Happy hunting . . . Anne


Pirogues and sorrel soup

Today I stopped in to Monika’s Polish Meat & Deli, located amidst the busy Jackson Heights shopping district at 80-10 37th Avenue, to buy some pirogues ($3.59/12). I didn’t mess around with anything frou frou or chi chi – that’s not what pirogues are about.  I got potato cheddar.

I also picked up something I’ve never tried before – sorrel soup, or zupa szczawiowa ($3.99).  This is a classic Eastern European dish sometimes called shavel or green borscht, made with the leaves of sorrel, a hearty herb. The sorrel soup at Monika’s is hand-made on site and has a simple list of ingredients including chicken broth, sorrel, eggs, carrots, celer, parsley, sour cream, flour and spices. The eggs are hard boiled and come to you whole in the liquid. Apparently spring is the best time of year to pick and cook with sorrel, but today the slightly smokey flavor was intriguing to experience now that the temperature outside has dropped and fall is on it’s way.

The story of Monika’s Polish Meat & Deli is so wonderfully American because it’s run by a woman of Dominican heritage, Digma Guzman, who saw a great business opportunity when the previous owner decided to sell.  She was ready to change gears and try another line of retail business if the Polish merchandise ceased to sell, but the local clientele was so loyal, there was no need.

The shop is small and clean and filled with Polish and general Eastern European meats, cheeses, cookies and condiments. GMP It’s no-nonsense and easy and straight to the point.

Happy hunting . . . Anne

What’s new, Buenos Angie’s?

I’m going to hold back on the Evita quotes and references and get right to the point: Buenos Angie’s alfajore is the best cookie I’ve ever tasted.  Yes, that includes the iconic Thin Mint, my personal gewy oatmeal raisin recipe, and buttery Mexican wedding cakes.

dulce de leche cookie from Buenos Angie’s

Buenos Angie’s specializes in the traditional Argentinian alfajore, an extraordinary little sweet sandwich made from two soft sugar cookies held together with dulce de leche (milk-based caramel).  Iterations of this magical composition proliferate all over South America as convenient street food – so, everyone down there must be swooning in ecstasy all the time.

Angie asserts “they absolutely melt in your mouth” and “you have never tasted anything so delicious.” She is not lying.  When a bite hits your mouth, the buttery cookies crumble seamlessly into the caramel filling, creating a flavor that balances sugar, flour and salt in a gentle dose.

photo – Buenos Angie’s

Buenos Angie’s has been presenting at the Queens County Market so if you’ve been attending those, you can catch up with her there.  The company currently bakes to order –  minimum 12 cookies – you can place orders to ship on the site.

Happy hunting . . . Anne

an obsession with spoons

Have you noticed how many people over on Pinterest seem to have a special place in their hearts for spoons?  Along with ‘old doors,’ ‘Halloween costume ideas,’ and ‘ads from vintage Vogues,’ ‘spoons,’ in and of itself, is a pretty solid category.

stainless steel grapefruit spoon, $3.95 at crate and barrel

Spoons are wholesome and useful.  Spoons rest nicely together, as do humans.  Some enthusiasts collect old spoons, wondering where they came from and whence they were used.  Some craftspeople produce beautifully rendered pieces that are meant to be used in kitchens and on tabletops for decades.  Some designers cleverly twist the intention of these utensils and make thought-provoking objects on which to gaze.

Brit Nic Webb, who lives in South East London, collects wood from all over the UK and, working in “green” timber, which is yet living, produces a plethora of cooking and serving pieces.  This is high design stuff, which is often on exhibit, no prices given on his site.

Little Freckle Designs over on ETSY will custom-design baby spoon + fork sets engraved from vintage pieces for $48.  Just really really cute.

Sidsel Dorph-Jensen is another haute designer, this time Danish.  She’s a silversmith who does mostly tabletop and decorative pieces.  This serving spoon set is made with bog oak – contemporary in design, medieval in material.  Website just for admiring.

Caroline Swift’s ceramic oeuvre is light and airy and feminine and pleasing.  Swift lives in Spain and her collection of spoons is fashioned after the classic silver varieties – then made slightly skewed – the effect is very romantic.  The smallest ones start at £12.

David Clarke calls his pieces hand-made/readymade mashups and that about sums it up. Hearty, elegant and quite subversive.  No shopping from the site.

In Los Angeles, Avesha Michael, renders these lovely spoons using ceramic and roughish wood, $48.

Tomii Takashi, sold on Mjölk, hand-carves these long spoons from oak using plum flower designs. inspired by ancient Japanese crest motifs.  $85 each.

If you just can’t get enough of spoons, The Shop at Cooper-Hewitt sells a book on them by Jasper Morrison for $23.50.

Happy hunting . . . Anne