Home > Daily Glass, Food and wine pairing, wine, wine ratings > Daily Glass: Great Red, Interesting White and Amusing Pairings

Daily Glass: Great Red, Interesting White and Amusing Pairings

September 5, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Let me start with a little disclaimer. When I use the word “interesting” in conjunction with food, typically it’s a bad sign. I use that word really to say “well, yes, it is probably not that bad… but I don’t like it!”. The reason I need the disclaimer is that this is how I would describe white wine called Conundrum – interesting. The wine is made our of 5 different grapes, all grown in California, with the different proportions every year. The grapes are Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Chardonnay, Muscat Canelli and Viognier, all blended together of course. So the bottle we had over the weekend was from 2007, had being rated 88 by Wine Spectator in the May 2009 issue. The wine is extremely aromatic, with fresh flowers, honey, white peaches and pear on the nose. But my challenge was that all those great aromatics on the nose where not integrated with the rest of the flavors on the palate, so the wine was not balanced – and hence the “interesting” disclaimer comes to play. This is the second time I fail to fall in love with this wine ( feel kind of bad, as wine gets a lot of great reviews) – but the great thing about wine is real unpredictability – every year is a different year! As I do have a bottle of 2008, I will definitely make another attempt, but for now, the verdict for 2007 is…

Drinkability: 7-

Now, let’s talk about different experience. Burgess Cellars had being making wines in California since 1972. One thing which I find very interesting (ok, just to be very careful – here “interesting” is a good thing ), is a Library program, started ion 1980, where the wines would age at the winery before being released to the market. So this weekend we had a chance to try Burgess Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Vintage Selection 1997, which was recently released (and I have to thank Wine Till Sold Out for an opportunity to get it at a great price, $24.99). As I’m referring to Wine Spectator ratings in this post, this wine had a rating of 90. Also, if anyone is curious, this wine consists of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cab Franc and 9%Merlot. Now, in the terms of my “pleasure”-centered ratings, this was a great wine – it had a layered complexity with dark fruit, such as black currant and blackberries, hint of earthiness, eucalyptus and cedar, all supplemented by fresh acidity and round tannins. The wine is ready to drink now, but will continue to evolve for another 5-7 years,  and I’m looking forward to that experience.

Drinkability: 8

Now, talking about amusing pairings  – of course chocolate and red wine is a classic combination, what’s so amusing, right? Take a piece of a good dark chocolate, glass of Cab or Syrah, and you practically guaranteed a good time (I have to note that I usually fail to identify with Port and chocolate, which is also considered classic, but doesn’t work for me). Now, if your chocolate is called Mo’s Bacon Bar made by Vosges Chocolate, the story get’s more interesting – can you dream of such combination on your own? May be not? Mo’s Bacon Bar is a milk chocolate (45% cocoa) with addition of tiny pieces of applewood smoked bacon and applewood smoked salt – and it effectively tastes like that, each and every element is noticeable and surprisingly well integrated together. So this chocolate is fine by itself, now what about wine pairing? It actually did work quite well with the Burgess Cab! I would think that the reason for the tasty pairing is in the ability of Cab to work well with the steak, so it was cutting through the fatty component of the bacon and bringing in fresh acidity to the total combination. In the interest of full report, we also tried the same chocolate with nice LBV Port ( Quinta do Infantado LBV 2000), and the pairing didn’t work all that well – but there is always next time…

So here is your call for action for today: be amused, try something new – and make sure to share your experience!


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