Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Murray's Cheese - and wine too

Cheese, Murray's Cheese ... and some wine too ...

Enjoying a get-away weekend with son Ryan and daughter-in-law Michelle, visiting son Alec in NYC, we dined at Murray's Cheese Bar in Greenwich Village, one of his favorite haunts. The eatery is a few doors down Bleecker Street, from the legendary cheese retailer and wholesaler. As in earlier adventures there, we left it to the 'Cheese Monger' to select our cheese flight - one of five and one of eight different cheeses or meats.

Each cheese meat combination is paired with a sauce, spread or associated delectable accompaniment such as a orange marmelaide or a pistachio paste, both shown below.

The presentation of the cheese plates by the Cheese Mavin servers was masterful, poetic, professional and informative, a performance deserving of more attention and respect and worthy of an ovation! Following the cheese meat plates came Mussels in white wine broth, grilled Kale sprouts, and Lamb meatballs in a tomato fennel sauce and feta cheese.

For pairing, we selected three wines from Murray's winelist, one white and two reds. For the white, there's always room for a bubbly, a sparkling wine, we selected Domaine Huet Vouvray Pétillant, a Chenin Blanc based wine from the Vouvray in the Loire Valley in Northern France.

Chenin Blanc is not normally associated with sparkling wine, the specialty and province of Champagne in France, rather the incredibly versatile grape is used across the range of dry whites, to semi-sweet to luscious sweet wines.

This version of sparkling wine is considerably less expensive than a Champagne of equivalent quality.

Domaine Huet Vouvray Pétillant Cuvée Huet Brut 2010

This was light, straw colored, crisp and minerally with a bouquet and flavors of floral, peach, ripe pear and sweet spice giving way to almond and a layer of yeast that came across as a bit pasty that diminished the fruits.

RM 87 points.

Laurent Betton Saint-Joseph Syrah 2013, Rhone Valley, France

The tangy acid was a nice accompaniment to the hearty bold cheeses and meats.

Son Ryan favors and drinks a lot of these Northern Rhone Valley Syrahs. This was much lighter than those we are accustomed to drinking, from the Rhone Valley, or Syrahs we get from Australia or even California.

This was ruby colored, medium light bodied, crisp bright acidity with black berry fruits, tones of black pepper and a layer of graphite creosote with a tangy spicy finish.

RM 88 points.

La Poderina Brunello di Montalcino Sangiovese 2010, Tuscany, Italy 

This bigger bolder more complex and concentrated wine rounded out our flight with a different style and character that matched the boldest and most forward cheeses, and the meats in the tasting.

This was ideally paired with the Lamb meatballs in tomato fennel sauce. 

Dark blackish garnet colored, medium full bodied,  complex, concentrated layers of rather subdued dried blackberry and black cherry, tones of smoke, leather, tobacco and hints of cedar spicy oak and graphite on a smooth polished moderate tannin finish.

This was so good, we ordered a second bottle! 

RM 91 points.

A highlight of the weekend was seeing Alec's new apartment with its spectacular views from Midtown to the financial district, shown below.

Murray Cheese Selection