September 1, 2022
Steak, baked potato and panzanella
The steak was a rib-eye – about 3/4 of a pound – that we split. Simply grilled on the barbecue this was the epicenter of this meal so the side and our wine selection was made to co-ordinate with it.
We bought this red Graves – a region of Bordeaux probably more famous for dry white wines – from Marczak’s in Denver for less than $20. And this price is remarkable for a 2016. Most French reds, I feel, are not ready to drink for at least four years from vintage. You can buy cheap at box stores like Total, but you must store them for a few years, often without knowing if what you’re saving will be any good when you open it.
I was surprised to learn from Wine Folly, that Graves produces more Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon than white grapes Sauvignon Blanc and Semillion.
Château Lubat Graves: This wine is 60% Merlot, 35% Cab Sauv and 5% Petit Verdot. This is an inexpensive offering from a big producer, F Tach.
Look: Ruby colored, with rich medium to full body.
Smell: Tobacco, earth (limestone), smoke, tomato and baked cookies.
Taste: High tannin, low acidity.
No kitchen work-arounds
The potato – one large russet – was boiled for about 20 minutes, whole. Then put on a warm barbecue for another 20 minutes, while the steak cooked – 7 minutes per side. Our BBQ is natural gas and so cooler than other heat sources.
The Panzanella was made with croutons hanging around and being in the way. They had been dried by cutting up a left-over loaf and letting the cubes dry in a baggie – not an impossibility without a kitchen. Storage is an issue. A vinigrette of good balsamic vinegar, rice wine vinegar, olive oil and a touch of wasabe paste was poured over the croutons, then cubes of fresh peeled cucumber, a blanched zucchini from the garden, and torn parsley and marjoram. Finally, a few black currents were removed from their bush and added.