Sunday morning in the country is for sitting around with a book or newspaper, making light conversation, doing a puzzle, stepping out in the garden to pull a weed, cut a flower. We organized a little walk around town, chatted with a neighbor, then, before we knew it, it was time to start preparing lunch.
Weisswurst, also known as summer sausage, is an all veal sausage that you brown on the grill until it bursts, then serve up on a hotdog roll with mustard and relish. About ten years ago, our butcher lost his supplier, so we had to make due with bockwurst or bratwurst from the supermarket. Loeffler’s makes a decent wurst, but you can only find their weisswurst at special outlets around Trenton. The market at Grand Central Terminal had a reasonable facsimile of weisswurst, a long, thin item that got lost in the roll. Recently, however, Schatzie moved his eastside store to Amsterdam Avenue at 87th Street, and there I discovered the real deal.
While I tended the grill, Carol and Ken prepared the table on the patio. The sky was starting to cloud over, but overall the day was fine for dining al fresco. We picked lettuce from the tubs by the door, marinated sliced cucumbers in water, vinegar, sugar and dill. Margaret brought out plates of cantaloupe with prosciutto. I opened a bottle of Perrier Jouét.
Back in the 80’s, before our discovery of crémant, PJ was our house champagne. It is made typically with all three champagne varietals, perhaps with more Pinot Meunier than others of its class, giving it a white fruit and creamy mouthfeel. We still keep a few bottles on hand when only champagne will do. The wine was fresh, clean, and less yeasty than the VC.
Now the weisswurst, and with it 2008 Marche Rosato by Saladini Pilastri. This organic wine is a favorite of Carol and Ken, from the Marche region of Italy, on the Adriatic, east of Umbria. Probably made from Sangiovese, giving it its deep red color, the wine was more muscular than those French rosés we’d auditioned. “Goes great with a hot dog,” Ken agreed, reaching for another. It was flowery and tasted of wild berries, pleasantly bitter at the finish.
Later that evening, when it was just the two of us, we opened a bottle Ken had brought, 2009 Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc, which packed that New Zealand citrus punch we like. It went just right with tonight’s leftovers: lobster on a bed of lettuce with a handcrafted cocktail sauce, dilled cukes, and the memory of a wonderful weekend with friends.