Thomas Keller’s 2009 cookbook “Ad Hoc At Home” is a staple of our kitchens. It has dozens of excellent recipes, many with Keller’s notoriously complicated ingredients lists. But others are simple, relatively short, and just delicious.
Minerality is most often used to describe white wines, such as Chablis or Muscadet. But it’s also sometimes found in reds, particularly old world Pinot Noir. In reds, minerality tends to cool and freshen wine’s mouthfeel, balancing out fruit and spice and enhancing earthiness.
Châteauneuf-du-Pape is one of the most recognizable brands in wine. Made famous by French popes in the 14th century, and then again by Robert Parker in the 1980s, the appellation’s place on the winemaking map is well established. And well deserved -- the wines can be extraordinary, though they usually come at a “special occasion” price point for most wine enthusiasts.
“Puligny-Montrachet is the greatest white wine commune on earth.” Thus begins the chapter on the town in Clive Coates’s seminal tome on Burgundy. The tiny appellation covers less than a single square mile, and though neighbored on either side by the legendary towns of Meursault and Chassagne, most consider Puligny the source for the world’s finest white wine.
One of the most powerful trends in winemaking today is a movement toward wines that are “natural,” a word with much controversy and many definitions. Whatever you take “natural wine” to mean -- biodynamic, no sulfites, organic, unfiltered -- the goal is generally the same: to create wine with little intervention between grape and glass.
The scale of winemaking in Burgundy is remarkably small. The entire town of Chambolle-Musigny, for instance, has a population of 320, and covers about 430 acres, just under 0.7 square miles. The wines from this town have been sought after since the 15th century.
Moving to Maine has dramatically increased the percentage of seafood in our diets. Most East Coast metropolitan areas have great access to good fresh shellfish and fish, but in Maine the fruits de mer are so abundant you might trip over them. This has caused us to discover some excellent seafood recipes, and perhaps none simpler (or more popular chez nous) than this one.