The world may be going to hell in a handbasket...but as long as we can score a few cheese ends from the deli and bottles of wine from the remainder shelf, it ain't all bad. Here are a few new finds we've enjoyed recently:
Simon Hackett 2005 Old Vines Grenache: This very modestly priced red wine, which FT found at the Ann Arbor Whole Foods last week while in town, is absolutely wonderful -- elegant, but berry-fruity and light, and very food friendly; we had it with burgers.
Boskydel 2002 Soleil Blanc: This dry white is from a quirky little vineyard in Lake Leelanau, Michigan. (Check out the curmudgeonly vintner at www.boskydel.com.) It's like biting into a crisp, tart Granny Smith apple. We drank it sans meal, but I'm thinking it would be a great accompaniment for poultry or fish.
Kingfish 2004 California Shiraz: I retrieved this $3.99 bottle from the bottom of a last-chance cart in a local supermarket. It's a rich, somewhat raisiny Shiraz that doesn't have that sweet, soda-pop cheap-wine quality at all. We had ours with a variety of cheese end-bits-and-pieces from the Whole Foods cheese case -- parmesan reggiano, manchego, Appenzeller, St. Nectaire, buttermilk blue, feta and sheep's-milk Brie; what fun. We liked the manchego/shiraz, parmesan/shiraz and Appenzeller/shiraz combinations the best. And here's a tip for a Shiraz-and-cheese-evening "dessert": Drizzle some honey over feta chunks and snack on them in between sips.