Au Lait Cru: Part One

Inspiration is a funny thing. When it strikes, I often feel the need to sustain it, to hold on to it so tightly it never leaves my grasp again. This of course has the adverse effect of promptly abandoning me, leaving with a great whoosh of deflated energy. So I vow to relax, let it all flow over me, the next time I feel that gentle intake of breath that lets me know I'm on to something. I often long for that which I don't have, but I always believe that it's near-inevitable arrival is just a few moments away. Marriage, a career that is utterly fulfilling, financial stability, children, travel , a house, publishing a book that becomes a wild success... And sometimes I get so wrapped up in longing I forget that it actually is up to me to somehow gently guide my inspiration with real live action and just do it already. Hm. Maybe I've seen too many Nike ads recently.

camembert
camembert

So when inspiration arrives, fresh off the plane from Paris, in the form of not one but TWO wheels of raw milk Camembert, I think of how best to document this glorious experience. I post a photo on the Facebook. I snap a dozen more iPhone pics with the intention of writing a blog post all about cheese and the demented US regulations that keep such lovely (and totally harmless) products out of our everyday grasp.

But then I eat. And I forget to take notes, instead closing my eyes and breathing in the ripe aromas. I nibble, letting the cheese melt on my tongue. I sip some Vouvray. I smile widely at my boyfriend. And I let inspiration just be, Nike be damned.

*Eternal gratitude to Mike and Angela for acting as illicit cheese couriers.

Drink More Rosé!

I'm starting to see the first 2012 rosés come into the shop, and I couldn't be happier. It's always disconcerting to see people come in and so readily dismiss rosé as frivolous or sweet or something only for picnics on hot summer days. I keep hearing other industry people write and talk about how the tide is turning for rosé, but I'm not feeling the love yet.

Image

My current personal favorite is the Raventos 1999 Cava ($25), which is supremely elegant without being precious or too austere. And in the land of still rosé, I find myself unable to get enough of the 2011 Casamatta Rosato of Sangiovese  ($13), which is such a good match for grilled flank steak, it's hard to imagine ever pairing that lean meat with a red wine ever again.

Rosé is also just about the most versatile wine around. Its acidity makes it supremely food-friendly, and the character extracted from the juice sitting around with the skins for a day or so makes it stand up to heartier dishes you would normally reserve for a pinot or a cab.

Please do yourself and the entire wine industry a favor: pick up some charcuterie and an inexpensive bottle of dry rosé. Go home and dig up whatever cheese you have leftover in your fridge. Maybe track down a can of these. Add some good crusty bread, and call it dinner.

Seriously. Go do it right now! I promise you will thank me later.