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Friday, August 10, 2012

Hopefully, someone, somewhere will catch that reference. In the meantime, the bad bottles have grown less and the damn good all the more.

Something to bear in mind is that while you can drink wine all by itself, I can't stress enough how much better it is with food.

And the food doesn't have to be fancy. This is not the meal that was paired with the following bottles, but it gives an idea of how dining al fresco is a genuine joy. Good conversation, open air and fruit and cheese don't disappoint.

That said, these were matched with a ginger salmon, fresh corn and veggies grilled to perfection and before anyone can retort: yep, red wine. Trust me, this was a good marriage.

I'm not a huge fan of Chiantis, but I've been surprised at how long they live and how subtle the flavors of older ones can be. The Brolio at 16 was ready to be drunk. It had a nice understated pepper tone and a bit of a tannic bite, but it was light enough to not overpower the food. The Le Volte Barolo was a stunner at a year younger and there is one bottle left as I write this.

So what's the deal of pairing red wine with fish? One, there was no chilled white around and two, I go by other details. In this case, salmon is a pretty big fish when it comes to flavor. This was either mitigated or enhanced by the ginger that was rubbed into the fish. Plus, we had tri-colored rotini in a lighter arrabbiata sauce. Somewhere between the spice of the pasta and the zing of the ginger, a red (or two) made sense.

The second bottle, had more heft and was more solid and bold in flavor. The earlier La Volte had been fine, also from the same year ('97, I think); however, this married the meal well.

The following night, we cracked these two:

The Barbaresco and the Rossi di Montalcino were both fine, but my heart was won by the former. Redolent with plum and hints of chocolate, I was ready for a nap. The Ucceliera was good, but I preferred the Moccagni. As for the Ucceliera, it too was flavorful, but struck me as one-note, perhaps fading from it long years in the bottle. I'm not complaining.
There is certainly more to follow, but I'll call it a night. Well, almost.
I've returned to Harvard and have landed at the Medical School and have to say, my new colleagues are outstanding. My former colleagues are as well, but it is time to make new memories.
We had an all-staff retreat where some participated in simulations at the Gilbert Museum of Medicine and Medical Innovation. Dr. Jim Gordon, not to be confused with a city police commissioner of the same name, walked us through the simulation and Phillip Johnson got us over to the Bullfinch Building for a look at the ether dome and how it got its name.
Here are three of those remarkably medically adept colleagues consulting with Dr. Gordon over a simulated patient (though, when you come around the corner and his eyes are blinking and you see the chest rising and falling, a double-take is certainly likely).

The Ether Dome, perhaps the alternate title for a Mad Max movie:

The lecture hall:

Looking south to Boston:

Looking north to Cambridge:

The Zakim Bridge in the distance:

The Charles River:

A couple of other vantage points.

Dunno. Just like it.

Lastly, I think I'll toast your health:

Akira the Wonder Cat says "cheers!"


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