I can’t remember now when it was that we went out to visit the Boudreaux winery. Maybe summer before last? Anyway, it’s not all that far from my parents’ house, but it takes a while to get there, being way way up Icicle Creek and over a slightly alarming bridge. We know Rob, the winemaker, from back when he worked at KOHO radio – he interviewed our band several times. Now he’s making really kick-ass wine from some of the best vineyards in the state, working out of a winery which is completely off the grid. Not bad.
Rob’s wine isn’t cheap, so we didn’t exactly stock up while we were at the winery, but we did indulge in a bottle of his 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon. We were saving it for a special occasion, and we finally decided there was no time like the present – as in, last Friday. I am pleased to announce that the wine was worth the wait – it’s definitely a fruitbomb, but it’s a fruitbomb with character and nuance. It had woodsy, charry notes along with the jam, and every sip seemed a little different, depending what food we were eating at the moment.
To support the wine, we decided on a dinner of lamb rib chops, rubbed with salt, cumin and berbere powder, alongside our new favorite side dish of chickpeas cooked with garlic, pomegranate molasses, saffron and cilantro. The combination was amazing. We did do one thing differently with the chickpeas this time: we actually followed the full recipe and added fresh pomegranate seeds. I don’t always like the fibrousness of the seeds, but it seemed worth it this time.
Maybe everyone else in the world knows how to get the seeds out of a pomegranate, but we can be slow learners around here. I used to just take the approach of breaking the fruit up into chunks, then picking the seeds out with my fingers, which is a real pain. I remembered reading a suggestion somewhere of breaking it open in a sinkful of water to avoid juice splatters, but I still haven’t tried that – again, sounds like a lot of trouble. But this time Jon tried a new technique of cutting the fruit in half, then whacking it hard with a large wooden spoon (now we know what that spoon is for!) to knock all the seeds out into a bowl. Man, it worked like a charm.
The juicy seeds were wonderful with the lamb and the wine.