It’s been over 5 months. I arrived on August 21, and lived in someone else’s house until February 4. In that time take all of the problems of living with roommates, having your stuff in storage, and living out in the country, and add them all up to get something that wasn’t exactly hell, but more a sort of purgatory – living like a tourist in one’s own life.
Wade and I both love to cook. Ironically, we kind of got out of the habit living in San Francisco for the last two years. Finally having our own kitchen, our own dutch oven, our own knives, etc, we’re eating at home every chance we get. The goal is to make chez nous the best restaurant in Austin, and while there’re a bunch of great places to eat here in the capitol, I think we’ve making a pretty good showing.
The best burger in the world, for two:
¾ lb American Wagyu ground beef
2 fresh whole wheat buns
2 slices thick cut bacon
some Blue Chevre (from Pure Luck dairy if possible)
some baby spinach
a few slices of heirloom tomato
thinly sliced red onion
The meat is cooked in a cast iron skillet, as hot as possible. The buns are toasted, spread with mayo, layered with spinach, and the hot burgers rest on top for a few minutes to wilt the greens and melt the dressing.
So, after a busy day of unpacking and moving around boxes, Wade treats me to this meal – really, it was the best burger I’ve ever had, better than Zuni, Cisco, you name it. After unpacking our wine collection, I decided that we should drink well – after all we deserve it, right? So, I open a bottle of 1996 Edmunds St John les Côtes Sauvages.
This was a wine that was intended to be something of a simple bottle. I retailed well under $20 when it was released, and was Steve Edmunds take on a simple Côtes du Rhone. This is not a wine that one would usually think about holding for 11+ years. I’m glad I did.
Making this bottle more significant is the fact that 1996 was the last vintage that this wine was produced. Some of the old Mourvedre vines were ripped out by a new owner. The label clearly states "Fin de Siècle" - end of an era. Fitting since this meal felt like the beginning of a new era for us. We moved to San Francisco in 1996, I volunteered for Steve Edmunds and Cornelia St John during there holiday tastings for 6 or so of the 11 years we lived in CA. This bottle was given to me by Steve - drinking it to celebrate what we left behind and what we have to look forward to was really special.
The burger tasted of charred meat and tangy cheese, with a subtle hint of smokey bacon. On it’s own, the wine tasted of black licorice (specifically reminded me of these Italian pastilles that my friend and former co-worker Joel loved), with food the meaty elements of the wine really shined. There’s a good chunk of Mourvedre in the blend here, and there’s a really gamey aspect that I attribute to that. The marriage of the two was heavenly – delicious food made with love, and a fantastic bottle of wine, made to be drunk.
I’m enjoying a second glass of Dogfish Head Brewery’s Fort as I write this. We’ll undoubtedly end the evening with a few scoops of Brazos Supreme ice cream (Chocolate Surprise). Things in Texas are good.