When I started my new gig last month, some dear friends sent us a bottle of really good wine (Ridge 2003 Lytton West Syrah - PDF backgrounder link.) According to the best research available, we could have safely cellared it for ten years or more, but (1) We live in a tiny NYC apartment that does not feature a wine cellar, and (2) We're gluttons, so we decided to drink it young. That is to say, we decided to drink it now.
The trouble is, we've both been so busy with work that we haven't been cooking much, and it certainly didn't seem like a smart thing to do to drink this exquisite Syrah with a takeout supper.
Finally, this weekend, we both had enough breathing space to consider composing a dinner that would be worthy of the wine. In fact, we made the wine the centerpiece of the meal, and spent Saturday afternoon hunting and gathering the ingredients for a fine repast.
From Faicco's Pork Store, home of Italian cured meats and other delightful comestibles, we bought homemade sweet sopressata, an economically ruinous amount of San Daniele prosciutto, and a pound of cracked Sicilian olives (no link to a cracked Sicilian, unfortunately, though it was tempting to point to this guy.)
From Murray's Cheese Shop, a hunk of sharp Bravo Farms Silver Mountain raw-milk cheddar (tangy, with a buttery finish) and a small wheel of gooey French sheeps'-milk Perail, a cheese that you really almost scoop more than slice or cut.
From Amy's Bread, a couple of fresh baguettes ("is that a baguette in your tote, or are you just happy to see me?")
And from our favorite local greengrocer, fresh grapes, Bosc pears and Fuji apples.
Here's what it looked like all plated up, with a not-glamorous but very serviceable tumbler holding a generous slug of that marvelous wine:
It was very, very fine.