Photo by Marni on Flickr.
Wine is perhaps my favorite thing to give as a gift. Holiday gifts to colleagues, presents for the host or hostess of a dinner party, house warming presents or a token to celebrate one of life’s surprises or successes, wine has a place in almost all situations where a gift if necessary.
I often find myself culling through the racks of bottles in my cellar trying to decide which wine would best fit the occasion and recipient. For intimate friends, a bottle that tells the story of a road trip, a memorable meal, or a visit to Sonoma County. For colleagues, the bottle they might like best and for family, the wine closest to your heart.
Lately, I’ve been giving the 2010 Gunfighter Eberle Zinfandel. The wine has received many accolades over the last several months, from Gold Medals at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair and Houston Wine Competition to a best of class award from the San Francisco Chronicle. It is a dark purple wine that almost jumps from the glass in a fruity explosion. I’ve enjoyed it with Korean style flatbread pizza, smoked pork shoulder, and beef ribs finished on the grill with a spicy dry rub. The beauty of gifting this bottle is sharing a glass with friends.
2010 Peterson Old School Zifandel
We can read the online reviews, the producers information, the tasting notes, and even consult our friends, but eventually we have to stare down our wine racks and make an educated guess about which bottle will best compliment our meal.
The other night I found myself facing a dilemma. The meal. Two poblano peppers stuffed with chicken, rice and cheese. A healthy dose of home canned salsa and some salty, blue corn tortilla chips. I must have stood looking at my bottles for 20 minutes. This was a dish with loads of flavor. I finally decided on the 2010 Peterson Old School Zinfandel. As I opened the bottle I notice the top of the cork read, “no soulless wine.” I knew I’d need a wine with some serious soul to enhance this meal.
I sad down to eat and began working my way into the peppers. A few bites of the stuffing before cutting up the whole pepper; a little salsa here and the crunch of the chips. Every few bits I’d stop to taste the wine. The initial flavors remained and the finish was peppery, but the middle really fell off. My consideration of the wine continued as I finished eating, but half way through, I realized this bottle was not enhancing the meal. I set the glass aside, finished the meal and retired to the study to grade a few term papers. The glass and the bottle accompanied me.
As a post meal drink, the wine opened back up. The fruit returned and I’d almost say the glass achieved a cooling effect on my palate. The wine had soul and I can think of the other dishes I would pair with the wine. Something less spicy maybe a plate of dry rubbed pork ribs finished on the grill, or grilled strip steak. I was happy I’d opened the bottle. Sometimes we have to miss the mark to discover if the soul of our wine compliments the soul of our dish. Luckily with these mistakes, there is still wine!
Hey you Locals fans the Dog Days of summer are here. Time to be sure to get the barbecue out and pair your meats with some heart healthy red wines from Locals. Try The Gunfighter 2009 Zin it’s on sale and will pair great with your Burgers, Steaks and Chops. Gunfighter Zin is 10% off on every bottle, 15% off on ½ case and 20% off on a case or more, get it while it lasts. Another great Zin for your BBQ is Pendleton 2008 Ponzo Vineyard Zin on sale for $20 a bottle. Ponzo Zin is a perfect pairing for those red meats and hearty chops and sausages. Once these are gone they are gone for good, first come first to enjoy the best of Sonoma in their back yards. Cheers.
Locals Tasting Room