Sunday Night Dinner: (vin de) table

If any of you have been folowing my twitter feed (i can’t imagine why you would, it’s mainly just me talking about tables) you’ll know that i recently completed building a table for my kitchen while listening to Daydream Nation on repeat. Last sunday thursday i finally completed it and decided to have a friend over for burgers so i could show it off.

Lately, it seems, that i have become mildly obsessed with making the perfect looking burger. i feel that at the end of the day i can make a burger that tastes good, but looks like…well you know. Usually, in the style of all serious eaters, i don’t particularly give a damn what the food looks like when i cook it at home, but for some reason burgers are exempted (this is where you give me advice on how to shape burgers prefectly. i have already queried linecook aka Richie Nakano so you better come with some serious tips).

So i laid out all the ingredients on my MASSIVE new table (it’s six feet long. i could butcher an entire average sized person on it just in case cuisine de Donner comes back into vogue) and got to work. The final result looked something like this (actually it looked EXACTLY like this):

To drink we had a wine that is on the very edge of viability for natural wine, a 2007 Catherine and Dominique Derain St. Aubin “Le Ban” from Burgundy. This is the type of wine that rapidly oxidizes in the glass, leaving the overwhelming taste of rotting hazelnuts the only thing in the glass. For the first twenty minutes, however, it is fantastically light, fresh Burgundy, perfect for simple burgers as long as you drink it fast enough.

Located in the small village of St. Aubin, Catherine and Dominique are among a handful of producers working supernaturally (biodynamic, sans soufre (i believe)) in Burgundy, and while i think the wines are well worth checking out, this is certainly not “traditional” Burgundy. There is zero heaviness to the wine, something that horrifies me about some Burgundies (Dominique was a barrel cooper before becoming a vigneron, and the respect for wood is shown in the wines ie. almost non-existent).

So we gulped down our glasses as fast as we could, lamenting that we couldn’t let the wine open up a bit more, but as Luc said, that’s what you have to understand when buying these wines, some of them aren’t stable. Luckily this wine had a drinking window, where as some other natural wines have none. So it goes, at least the table is sturdy.

Question of the post: What are some good natural beers? Any non-Belgian stuff you’re digging (because everyone will say Belgian)?

~ by Cory Cartwright on February 5, 2010.

10 Responses to “Sunday Night Dinner: (vin de) table”

  1. Cory,
    which “other natural wines have none”?

  2. Hank,

    There are a few natural wines that come out of the bottle “fucked-up” to use a non-technical term. Some of Tony Coturri’s wines (I like some of his stuff) never have a chance. Same thing with some of Olivier Cousin and Marc Pesnot’s stuff. It just comes with the territory of making supernaturnal stuff.

    – Cory

  3. I do think that the act of bottling is an act of preservation, so what goes into the bottle has to be sound. Obviously, from your examples, that is not always the case!

  4. It is something that you have to put up with if you want to get the truly brilliant wines of someone like Overnoy or LaPierre. i would rather run into flawed bottles from time to time rather than have every winemaker try and control every aspect of winemaking, but that is just me. Not everyone will agree that bottle variation and fucked up bottles are worth it.

  5. as to the burger, get one of those manual pattie shaping presses italian butchers use. apparently italians eat hamburgers although i’ve never seen one do so, just the butcher grinding the meat and then pressing it into perfectly shaped burgers. and i, who love a burger, never eat them here, only there. it’s the bun, i don’t feel like making them myself and where to find bread that soft in italy? nice toasty edges on yours, by the way.
    what about Zidarich? i Clivi? Vodopivec? i am in love with the Friulani…

  6. Cory,

    In the natural beer department, the list of things with wildness to them isn’t that great, aside from lambics and other super funky belgians (I can make recommendations, especially 3 Fonteinen Gueuze) the list isn’t super long, but there are a few breweries and beers to look out for. Right in your backyard in Santa Rosa is Russian River brewing, now their hoppy things are excellent (Pliny the Elder) but their really good stuff is of a vaguely belgian/wild style. They have things fermented solely with brett (Sanctification) aged in chardonnay oak with brett/lactobacillus (Temptation) wood aged and blended in part with ambient yeast, (Beatification) Cherries, brett/lacto and pinot barrels (supplication) You may find some of these at City Beer, or at least on the bottle list at the Toronado. Another brewer you should look out for is Jolly Pumpkin. They are out of Michigan, but their beers are widely available. Reccomended bery highly, especially the Bam Biere, which is 4.5% alc, hoppy and dry/funky. Phenomenal really. Hope that helps.



  7. Agree with Kevin above. Most “wild beers” in the US are innoculated and then aged in a barrel where wild yeasts can act. Although, Allagash in Maine has built a coolship to begin brewing traditional lambic. I do not believe their first attempt went so well but they are still having a go at it.

  8. Hell yes. Fucking LOVE Daydream Nation.

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