If you always confuse Burgundy with Bordeaux, you can't be friends with a Frenchman -- but come sit next to me. Aaron Pott, our In the Vineyard winemaker, gives us one in a series of memoirs of working in Bordeaux, including in the ridiculously named Château Troplong Mondot, something out of Waugh, as were the habits of the counts and self-styled aristos he worked for and among (watch for the maid and the talc-ed undies). Don't worry, he has lots about the actual wine coming up. But part of the raison d'etre of this site is understanding the people who make the product, so today's post goes fairly far in justifying my feelings about much French wine (even if Pott had no such intention!).
Later today we'll have an account of Sally Schneider's Mexican ramblings in Sayulita, with a recipe for tacos and roasted meat you'll want to try even if you can't get on a plane.
Meanwhile if you're anywhere near Washington or New York, you can do your own roasted-meat comparison, following Zeke Emanuel's merguez footsteps. What, you haven't seen merguez on a menu? Clearly you haven't looked at an urban menu in the past couple weeks.
I love Ari Weinzweig's writing, for its casual tone that is utterly his voice, its erudition, and the fact that he won't rest till he's covered just about every base he can think of when he picks a subject -- and his attention to historical context is as passionate and personal as it is careful, maybe because he was a history major at the University of Michigan, of which his and Paul Saginaw's Zingermans has become the heart.
His piece yesterday on bagels is about as good as food writing gets (and he credits other great writers, like Ed Levine! yet more bonus points). And it's unexpectedly suited to Lent, for reasons he explains and that I -- an equally passionate student of bagels who has made the pilgrimage to Montreal (I still have St. Viatour bagels in my freezer, I don't want to think from when) and a passionate consumer of bagels from Iggy's, modeled on but superior to the Montreal bagel and I would call a reason to visit Boston -- particularly liked learning. Now I can associate bagels as well as hot-cross buns with Lent, even if hot-cross buns, rich in eggs and butter, are an Easter bread that have become associated with Ash Wednesday. Subject for another day!
Now observers of Lent have a very pleasurable alternative observance -- and those anticipating and dreading Passover have time to get their fill of bagels.