sabato 22 giugno 2013

Music, wine, and pasta

One would think that the order of things would be pasta, then wine, then music.  This evening, it was the opposite.

They called me to accompany the recital of a tenor in a local church.  A student.  A student.  Forty-ish-year-old pianist that I am, after decades of accompanying tenors of high professionalism ... Well, I entered the situation with low expectations.

Photo: Maria Nunes
Instead, it was a very great experience.  In 1918, Enrico Caruso said to Rosa Ponselle, "A singer must have something here (pointing to her forehead), here (pointing to her throat), and here (pointing to her heart)." This Trinidadian gentleman, named Stephan Hernandez, student at the Eastman School of Music (the best music school in the United States, Juilliard included), possesses all three things prescribed by Caruso.  He has the potential to become a great tenor, and the concert was for me a rich and rewarding experience.

At the end of the concert, Mr. Hernandez gave me a gift: a bottle of "Deadly Zins." In my opinion, the finest varietal of Californian wine is "old vine Zinfandel."  Several Californian vintners make a good old vine Zinfandel (Bogle, et al.). But this wine by Michael & David Phillips (Graton, CA) is the best that I have ever tasted.  What a marvelous treat! 

The powerful yet suave taste of this wine brought the desire for a simple yet bold pasta.


½ lb penne
extra-virgin olive oil
1 o 2 garlic cloves, diced
Cabot hot habanero cheddar, grated in slivers
freshly-grated pecorino
(no salt, no black pepper)

Sauté the garlic in the oil until it is "blond" (not brown).  Shut the heat.  While the penne are cooking, grate the cheddar and pecorino.  When the penne are cooked al dente, drain them, combine everything, and Buon Appetito!

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