Sushi and my last bootle of 2004 Four Gates Chardonnay
On the week of August 26th we had a hunkering for comfort food that was not cooked or mangled by heat, clean and precise flavors were what we needed; enter sushi. We love making sushi, that said, I am a crazy stickler when it comes to the fish. Far too many times, there are advertisements for sashimi grade salmon or Tuna, only to be disappointed with metal tinged fish that may be OK cooked, but my palate picks it apart in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, it is not a flavor I can pick up when smelling the fish, so that means buying the fish and being disappointed 😦 We used to buy our sashimi grade fish at a local fish monger, until he started serving up metallic fish, so we moved on to Whole Foods, who recently failed twice with metallic fish, so they are gone now too. So far, we have been lucky with fish from a Japanese market, but given my track record, it is only a matter of time, until I will be forced to find a new fish monger. The funny thing is that when we throw our annual sushi bash (which we skipped this year), we use a whole side of Hamachi, and that is always fantastic. We break it down so that we use the fatty stomach for sashimi and the sides for rolls. The reason? We buy USDA grade fish that is flown in from Japan and there is a little sensor on it that tells you when the fish is starting to go bad. Also, when buying the entire side of fish, which is far too much for just the two of us, it is always fresh and the fish monger is very particular about it. One final note on this, you need to call up the fish monger and ask for the side of fish, it is not on the counter or the shelves, rather it is the very product from which all the packages are made from. So, they are not very motivated to give you the entire side of fish, as they would rather have you pay for the more expensive cut fish, but hey, if you have enough people and you do not mind bugging them a bit, it is the ONLY way to go!
Well, we once again hit some great fish, we made both hamachi and salmon rolls, and they were a real joy. We rolled all the rolls on Friday night, in hope that the rice would continue to stick well to the sides of the rolls on Saturday day, after staying the night wrapped in ziplock bags in the refrigerator. The rice on the rolls were ok, but we still have not found the answer for how to create great rolls for both Friday Night and Saturday day, without recooking the rice of course!
To pair with the lovely fish, I pulled out my last bottle of 2004 Four Gates Chardonnay, and would you know it, the wine was awesome! I have blogged about this fantastic wine, that seems to be bi-polar or two sided. At times it is a near twin to the Castel ‘C’ and Covenant Lavan, with burnt toast, caramel, and butterscotch. At other times it is a fruity and bright forward Chardonnay. Well this time it was the perfect blend of bright fruit and toasty oak. I was so happy that my last bottle showed its true colors.
The wine note follows below:
2004 Four Gates Chardonnay Kosher (USA, California, Santa Cruz Mountains) – Score: A-
It is truly apropos that the final bottle of this wine would be its best incarnation to date! This bottle was of the oaky ilk and it was truly killer from the moment e opened the bottle till the last drop the next day. The nose on this electric gold colored wine is filled with heavy and luscious toasted oak, a whiff of burnt oak, lemon, melon, peach, toasted almond, spice, Crème brûlée, and butterscotch. The mouth on this full bodied wine is spicy with Crème brûlée, layers of concentrated toasty oak, along with butterscotch, lemon, melon, peach, and a hint of almonds. The mid palate is packed with more oak, lemon, and bright acidity. The finish is long and spicy, with tasty oak, butterscotch, and lemon. The oak never seems to take center stage, the wine’s body and fruit makeup easily handle the wood while showing the butterscotch, lemon, and melon with great panache! What a true treat!