In the oppressive heat and humidity of August in New York City, it is the simplest food that I crave. I can't do the amazing things that my friend Peter, for example, does in the kitchen. He is a down-to-earth guy who composts and re-uses and grows his own vegetables, but his food is not simple. Everything has yuzu, agave nectar, smoked poultry broth, and homemade bacon in it, and then gets plated with lovely little edible flowers. I would like to eat the things he makes, but I cannot/do not have the will to cook them. I have to keep things simple. But I want delicious food too - simple doesn't have to mean plain.
Now, what about wine? I think it would be pretty hard to take a wrong turn here. This is simple food that will go with just about any wine. I thought about an Alsace Pinot Blanc, but that made me want to add eggs and cheese to the tart and eat it in January. It's late summer, it's hot, and I used Herbs de Provence - we went with the 2008 Château de Pibarnon Bandol Rosé, $26, Michael Skurnik Wines. This wine turned out to be absolutely excellent, as good as any Bandol rosé I've had this year, including the phenomenal 2007 Terrebrune. I have yet to drink the '08 Tempier, so the jury is still out for me. Anyway...Pibarnon's rosé is 50% each of Mourvèdre and Cinsault, and it is a beautiful deep orange, with vibrant and spicy aromas of peaches. The lavender in the herb mixture brought out something floral in the wine - this was one of those times when the wine and the food elevate each other. But it was the texture that made the wine stand out, for me. It is voluptuous and thick, almost viscous, but the fruit and mineral flavors are so clean and bright that the overall effect is one of elegance and balance. This wine has plenty of stuffing, and If I had a case, I would drink half while young put half of it in the cellar for at least 5 years before checking in.