One of the best things about winter are the long, cozy dinners in the tiny neighborhood bistros. Flickering candles, jazz music floating melodiously through the sound system, quiet laughter from the next table over; all can make you forget about the cold and darkness outside for a few hours. This little oasis can sustain anyone through the worst of the season. In all honesty, I sometimes get pangs for these places in the middle of summer (and then feel incredibly guilty for not wanting to be at some alfresco restaurant or rooftop bar).
Recently, we tried one of these little bistros, one that has been around for ages that we frequently walk by, say, "we should go there one night," then promptly forget about. Oh, how remiss we were in waiting all this time! Between the ambiance and the food, I was going to need to be pried out of my booth. And the wine?
Chateau Saint-Dominique Puisseguin Saint-Emilion 2008
This Bordeaux was an 80% Merlot/20% Cabernet Franc blend, which meant that it would have a lot of deep fruits balanced with some tannins and astringency. True to form, plum, dark cherry, blueberry were immediately noticeable on the nose, but then white pepper and earthy essences came through on the back end.
In the mouth, there was a round juiciness balanced with some tannins and acidity, giving it structure. Ripe berries and plum hit the tongue first but were quickly followed by cedar and black pepper. The delicate balance of fruit and savory lingered for a bit on the tongue, but not such a long finish that it interrupted the next bite of food. Delicious.
Did I mention one of the perils of these adorable places is the tendency to get two desserts in order to prolong your stay? Mmmmmm........