Birthday week chugs along with lots of food, wine, football, and a few blind tastings!

Day 3 of Birthday Week brought us some lasagne, which I made with a new bolognese sauce recipe and the fresh noodles I had made earlier in the week.

Lasagne with homemade bun

So, my concern with the fresh noodles not standing up was unfounded. The texture was fantastic. The issue with the lasagne was the bolognese sauce, which wasn’t really much like sauce at all. It’s a great recipe (from the BC wine cookbook I showed earlier this week), but it’s not very “saucy”, and that took away a bit from the lasagne. It was still good, but my lasagne is usually amazing, and this wasn’t my best effort. Next time I will use the same recipe as the flavor that it imparts on the beef is wonderful, but I’ll double the amount of tomatoes to ensure it stays more like a sauce that befits lasagne.

To go with this, we went deep ‘into the cellar’ for a wine we had bought from a couple of years ago. We’ve been aging it, and honestly it could have probably benefited from further aging. It’s a biggie.

It actually didn’t pair well with the lasagne, but the lack of sauce and preponderance of cheese would have made it a difficult pair anyway.

Day 4 of birthday week was a write-off, I just wasn’t feeling great. Not sure if it was just “Covid fatigue” or what…..but there have been days when I’ve felt really cooped up and this was one of them. For the most part, we are really lucky. The wife has always worked from home, we have everything we need…but from time to time, it would be nice to be able to go out again. Patience, I know….the vaccines are coming. It’s our job to make sure we are still alive to take them!

Day 5 got us back on track in a big way. Prime Rib night!

Now, I absolutely love prime rib, and the wife really dislikes it, so this was a treat for me. Having said that, it wasn’t just regular prime rib.

Prime Rib with a Morel Cream Gravy, Pureed Parsnips and Steamed Asparagus

The morel sauce made it much more palatable for the wife, and much less enjoyable for me! Not that it wasn’t good – it was – it was just unnecessary. Other than that, it was a lovely dinner which we paired successfully with a classic. I had originally reviewed this in 25 and at that time gave it a range of 88-91. It has definitely hit the high end of that range with a few more years.

After dinner, we decided to have some fun and do a little informal blind tasting, so the wife went a selected a wine for me in secret. I don’t actually even remember what I called, but I was nowhere close. This was a Napa Cab that didn’t taste much like a Napa Cab. I actually think I settled on an Argentinian Malbec. Not close.

This is generally a great value, one that we pick up from the BC Liquor Store just to use as a “drink now” Napa Cab while our more serious stuff ages. This was the first bottle we have aged for a few years, and it sure didn’t need it. Well, now we know. BTW for those of you of the ‘budget conscious’ variety, their Sonoma County Cabernet sells for just $21 at the BC Liquor Stores, so probably less than that in other places, and is always a decent wine. Nice value….generally a $20 Napa Cab would make you question your sanity!

Since our motto of “life is too short to drink OK wine” applied here, we moved onto something else. I picked one for the wife to blind taste. Oh, and let me tell you, my wife has been CRUSHING blind tastings lately. Before we get to tonight’s taste, here is one I blinded her on last week. Her call was “Gewürztraminer from Alsace, 2014”. She was so disappointed when I told her that she was wrong; but then I had to come clean and confess that all she was wrong about was missing the vintage by ONE YEAR! Very impressive.

So back to the wine I chose tonight, which I knew for a fact she had never tasted. Not only had she never tasted this particularly wine, she had never tasted this varietal from this country. Never. So clearly she wasn’t going to get this right, but I thought we’d see how close she could get.

She was all around it; she had the old world for sure, she was close to naming it a Pinot Noir, but she knew it wasn’t from Burgundy and that led her astray a bit. Her final call was a 2014 Barolo. Not totally dissimilar from the actual wine.

Given that this was totally unfair and she couldn’t possibly know what a German Pinot tastes like, she did really, really well.

She then picked one more for me, and I got the region correct, and the vintage, but totally missed the grape. I was sure it was a BC Malbec. It seemed way too jammy to be what it really was.

Now we are up to date! Tonight’s dinner will feature one of our go-to chicken dishes, so I suspect there may be a delicious Chardonnay or something similar to report on tomorrow. Stay tuned!

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Wine blogger, foodie, traveler.

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