Or maybe the wrong osso buco. For once I’d cooked the shanks to off-the-bone lushness. The Malbec was like velvet, too. You see the problem, the 2008 Festivo, one of my favorites, was simply too good. I needed a Malbec with rough edges, not a wine so suave. Both meat and wine were sumptuous, an embarrassment of riches, like falling into an overstuffed easy chair where the cover is warm and the down stuffing deep. I loved them both: the Festivo is ripe with lots of blueberries and chocolate, and the osso buco a personal best with lush marrow.
Not a complaint so much as a challenge. The solution came when we tossed the gremolata onto the veal and the lush marrow: That fine dice of parsley and garlic in lime juice and olive oil was the sharp foil I needed. Next time I’ll look for the spiciest Rhône or Zin I can find. And I’ll save Michel Rolland’s lovely Festivo for a peppery pasta fra diavolo, something that needs gentle taming.