Thursday, September 19, 2013

Cooking Up Some Great Barbeque Wines

It’s just about time to exchange the barbeque tongs for a leaf rake. We managed to find a nice late summer day to cook out with some shrimp, chicken and beef kabobs accompanied by an impressive line-up of wines.
We started out with a refreshing white, the Red Rooster Winery 2011 Reserve Gerwürztraminer from the Okanagan VQA in British Columbia. Glorious T missed out on our trip to Penticton for the Wine Bloggers Conference, so I wanted to be sure she tasted some of the great Gerwurz from there. This is a whole cluster pressed wine and it shines with clean pure flavors of spiced pear, peach and citrus. There is some floral – but not the heavy rose petal flavor that drives my wife away. This is fresh tasting and well-balanced.
Due to busy schedules, we hadn’t had a chance to drink wine with the Cabinator and Glorious T, so we were breaking out the good stuff. From the cellar I grabbed the Ravenswood 2008 Single Vineyard Pickberry Red Blend, Sonoma Mountain. This is a Bordeaux-style blend with 59% Merlot, 39% Cabernet and 1% each of Malbec and Petit Verdot. The Merlot ensures that this is a velvety wine. It is ripe with red currant flavor and a slight tobacco taste. There is a trace of spiciness that rolls into a smooth finish. We could have finished three or four of these bottles. Superb!
The Cabinator rightly said that the point of having “treasure wines” wasn’t to keep them locked up in a cellar, but to enjoy them with friends and make a special occasion. He then uncorked the 2008 Organized Crime Cabernet Sauvignon. Organized Crime is an off-the-grid winery that is one of our favorites in the Niagara Peninsula of Ontario.
They produce some awesome reds and this one was a lights-out winner, especially paired with a Boston Crème Pie for dessert. This is a lush wine, but has a nice backbone – perhaps due to the cooler climate. Black cherry, plum and dried berries rock the flavor with a medium body. Dynamite finish.
The evening could have been done – but our sense of adventure prevailed. I grabbed the Belle Glos Clark & Telephone Vineyard Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara County. I was anxious to try this out with friends. It is unlike most Pinots with a bigger body and slight sweetness.
Our group loved the flavors of raspberry and strawberry. The Belle Glos is an unconventional Pinot with more power and less daintiness than your expect from this grape.
We enjoyed our final glass as our tiki torches flared away and – we learned later – the mosquitoes had a feast of their own. It was a great night of wine, food and friendship.
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