Friday, October 10, 2008

Susuhi in Uruguay

They always say Wednesday is the hump, but Thursday is the bump for me in the kitchen. I have worked hard all weekend, because that is what chef's do, shop on Monday for my own home meals, cook, cook, cook, and then I see the busy weekend starting all over again for me on Friday. I usually feel like going out for a light bite, or threaten hubby with a boring salad again; then he agrees to pick a bottle from the cellar and then we find a nice quiet BYOB meal.

This week it will still be light, soup and salad with maybe an appetizer thrown in to start, or finish in the case. I confess like always that hubby is a food snob and getting him to go to the same places more than once, or twice can be difficult. He feels that there are too many places in this world to try, and Jersey is dotted with BYOB eateries all over, and his wine cellar can only hold so much. We do like to pair a variety of wines with food and just see what happens, and so we are off.

We have errands to run, and Fiji is on our route. This will be our second visit, and the first experience was good, so he agrees and brings a white and red that will depend on our menu choices.

Tonight a light nosh of choices for the two of us. I realize not everyone likes Sushi or even Japanese food, but most have other choices different taste. We decide on soup, salad, vegetarian dumplings, two kinds of Maki rolls, and he orders BBQ Calamari. Out comes the white wine for this dinner.

The waitress pops out the cork and pours into our glasses a deep golden liquid that seem to fizz around the top edges, and in the bottom of the glass there appear to be tiny bubbles. I smell- floral and light; I taste- light, citrus, dry with hints of sweet; I think it must be a Muscato, so I ask hubby what kind of wine we are having tonight, and he replays, Argentina. He picks up the bottle and reads that it is from Uruguay. Huh?

I confess I am not up on all the wines from south America, and usually we hear about Chilean wines. This label has a map and reads like a short story. How many people can point to where the country is on the map? I am curious what made me think this was something familiar and I look at the description- 60% Gewurztraminer, 30% Chardonnay, 10% Muscato Bianco; well my taste buds are not to far off- It continues to read...Obscure uruguayan blend with an added Alsacian flair denotes Uruguay's traditional wine making style...silky white tones are exsentuated by tart passion fruit wrapped in pineapple skins...someone drank more than one bottle of this to write this description (me)...zucchini flowers...sauted...citrus oils...almond cream...but does it go with the meal? (me)

Yes, it does! With each bite of the tart ginger dressing on the salad, the nori in the miso soup picks up interesting flavors, a tangy bite of BBQ Calamari, and the spicy tuna in our Maki rolls. OK, so we ate a little off the chart tonight. I even feel that if they had a fruit dessert like a Mango sticky rice; it would have been a good finsih, but we were done, and I had to go home and research this wine region and share.

Uruguay is a small country situated below Brazil and just northeast of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Unlike neighboring Argentina, which boasts vineyards at the highest altitude in the world, Uruguay is relatively flat. Though a range of rolling hills sits on its Brazilian border, the inland of Uruguay consists mainly of wild grasslands. I thought that was one of the things I could not describe as well, grassy tones. This is one of those things that make some people not dabble in wine education is the use of descriptions, but it does make sense when you take time to learn about what you are putting into your mouth. Most of the information I found was about how south America is a big producer of red wines because they raise and eat a large amount of beef.

Wines coming in from this region is rare but they are out there, so if you find some buy it. Especially a white wine like this one, and only around $13 a bottle. Nice for serving with guests, and just sipping it chilled with some fruit and cheese.

The Wine- 2007, Estival, Produced and Estate bottled by
Vinedo De Lost Vientos

The Restaurant- Fuji Hibachi Steakhouse and Sushi Bar
485 Georges Rd, #114, Dayton, 08810 (Route 522/South Brunswick)

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