After the DC area got what seems like enough rain to frustrate Noah, the weather cooperated enough last night that Caitlin, (Kopek) and I could eat outside. The menu consisted of roasted red potatoes, squash and rockfish. The latter two items were prepared on the Crate and Barrel Bucket Grill. The bucket grill is exactly what it sounds like – a bucket that has been modified to be a grill. Since the fire code in Arlington prohibits gas and coal grills on balconies, the bucket grill is a wonderful and portable way for people who live in apartment complexes and condos to be able to cook on a real fire. As handy as the Foreman grill can be in a pinch, it is not a real grill. And every time you use it, somewhere, a bag of charcoal is laughing at you.
Accompanying last night’s meal was a Pinot Grigio from Dill’s Run Winery in Aurora, NY, which is on Cayuga Lake. Caitlin and I visited Dill’s Run last time we were in the Finger Lakes. It is a small winery that gets by primarily on its charm, its friendly and hospitable proprietors, and its curly-haired lab Abe, who is the winery’s mascot and inspiration for some of their wines. I am a huge fan of places that allow dogs, especially when they are big, friendly, and goofy ones like Abe. If you are able to get to Dill’s Run, ask one of the owners about how Abe came into their lives. It is a great story. Abe and I became fast friends, and I am sure he is part of the reason why we left Dill's Run with several more bottles of wine than expected.
As for the wine itself, the pinot grigio was not to my liking, though I am sure that it would be ideal for some people. It was a little too apricoty for my taste, and a bit more buttery than I would have liked. I tend to like the crisper, more fresh-tasting whites. Still, the heaviness of the wine went well with the rockfish. Since the food was grilled on cedar planks, the smokiness of the fish went well with the heavier body of the wine. I would not, however, recommend the Dill’s Run pinot grigio for those heavy, hot and humid days that are just around the corner in DC. When those hit, the wine needs to be light and refreshing, regardless of what comes off of the bucket grill.