So some musician friends of Betsy's were in NYC for* a few days, Betsy
invited them up* for dinner (and to crash in our living room) last
night. Polly and Roy are pesce-vegetarians, and I went to work
thinking we were having seafood risotto, an easy match. But I
discovered later she had changed her plans, and main course was a
butternut squash risotto, with a few Indian spices added. Now that's
not so easy, and I headed to cellar confused..

As they arrived, Betsy started frying some shrimp wontons, and I
served the NV Egly-Ouriet "Tradition Grand Cru" Brut Champagne (July
2008 disgorgement). Full-framed for NV, yeasty with apple fruit with
brown sugar, good acidity, sourdough bread with a touch of nuttiness.
Good, young, satisfying. B+

It turns out the butternut lasagna was more wine friendly than I had
imagined, so nothing really clashed, but still not something I'd serve
at a wine-centric dinner. I tried both off-dry and dry whites, as well
as a ripe red simply because that's what I remembered our guests as

2005 Zilliken Saarburger Rausch Riesling Spatlese (AP 13)
I had some fears this would be shut down, but it was actually showing
quite well. A bit bigger/fruitier than classic Saar, as you might
expect from 05, but still with an electric backbone of acidity. 8%
ABV, very long finish, beautiful. A-

2007* Mothe "Bougros" Chablis Grand Cru
I had found the Chablis from this producer to be clean and typical, so
decided to try the GC.* This showed apple and pear fruit, some oak/
toast notes, a little hazelnut. Medium acidity, decent mouthfeel. A
perfectly acceptable village Chassagne! OK deal at $30, as long as
you're not looking for Chablis-ness . B as a Chardonnay (C as a

2004 Ch. La Fleur du Bouard (Lalande de Pomerol)
As expected, not so great with food, but ok on its own. Black plums
and berries, oak, cocoa, very modern. Good length, some tannins, but I
think this style is best young and might as well drink now. B

Tonight we went to a comparatively upscale Indian place in Irvington.
Good appetizer assortment (spinach/fenugreek/paneer patties, samosas,
okra fritters, more) and poori, but rather pedestrian lamb korma and
saag paneer (and runny raita). Boring wine list, I had a glass of the
Willamette Valley Winery Riesling that seem short and flabby, but
might not be the wine's fault, from the oxidative notes I'm guessing
bottle had been open couple days.

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an
excellent*wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I
wouldn't*drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I
offer no*promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of