Saturday, August 10, 2013

Two Big Reds: Zinfandel (California) and Shiraz (Australia)

The night started with a lovely bottle of Chateau des Charmes 2012 Cuvee d'Andree Rose and ended with a big Aussie Shiraz, a bond fire that did not quite get going and a morning after with wax on the ground and burnt holes in chairs (you know it's a good party when ...). We had some new friends come over for dinner, something simple really, a little pulled pork (so you have to know what wine is coming), beans, slaw, and my wife's famous pea salad.  We started with a light welcome wine (the Rose, listed and linked above) ... we then moved to a Gamay from Malivoire (full review coming to the website) and then dinner was served.  With pulled pork or ribs you just know I'm pulling out a Zinfandel and so tonight's gamble was with a 2006 L de Lyeth Sonoma County Zin:  this one was good, not great, but passable for all the right reasons, yes it is 7 years old but I have tried some amazing older Zins ... this one stood up, but seemed a little muted, even after an hour of being open.  Dried plum (but not prune-y) with a hint of pepper and subtle vanilla, silky yet drying, it was a good match to the pork.  One of our guests was driving so he was out for the next round (in fact he does not drink red, so he partook in a little white wine with my wife); but his wife expressed an interest for Shiraz, so down to the cellar I went for a bottle of Sister's Run 2011 Epiphany Shiraz - smooth and supple with lots of dark fruit, hints of cocoa and not too much spice on the finish, but with some pepper to make you know it's still Shiraz, a perfect wine for in front of the fire.  Which is where we enjoyed it; to steal from an old phrase:  We drank while wood burned.  Let's hope we can all get together to do it again very soon (minus the holes in the chairs of course).

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