Guest Blog from Warren Gale,
The Lone Star State’s Wine Reviewer
I would like to introduce you to a new wine loving friend of mine from the Lone Star State of Texas. My Sister-in-law Becky has been asking me to write about some wine and wineries from Texas, well Becky here you go. Warren Gale is a great guy and here is a little bit about his mission.
Warren’s goal is to reach out, by the way of a wine blog, to novice wine drinkers and the drinkers of wine who have a limited budget. He hopes to inspire his audience to reach out to and explore wines from vineyards they have not experienced and try wonderful wines they produce.
Here is this week’s wine review from Warren’s Wine blog; http://www.warrenswineblog.com/ http://warrenswineblog.wordpress.com/
This review is a two-fer; two for the price of one! My wife Karen and I enjoy having our next door neighbor, Dave, over for dinner on Sunday’s and we all like pork ribs. I caught a great sale on pork ribs about a month ago and bought 4 racks. We’ve had them on two occasions now – but with different wines.
Wine #1: Llano Blush, Americas Table Wine
Well, of course, Texas Barbeque deserves a Texas wine and the Blush was a great choice. The bouquet was aromatic and caught everyone’s attention at the table before it was poured.
Served chilled, it was sweet with a tender fruit flavor that was full but not overpowering. It sported a nice, crisp finish leaving us with the desire for more.
Wine #2: Chapel Vineyard’s Merlot Reserva, 2010
This Chilean wine was a delight. Visually, while being poured, it caught our attention due to the small purple colored bubbles and its deep purple shade in the glass. The bouquet was robust with the scent of berries and cherries creating a delicious invitation to taste the wine. My experience with wines from South American wines has left me with the feeling they were a little behind in achieving the quality found in other countries. NOT this time! The young wine was ripe with the flavors announced at the opening. Its texture was smooth across and around the tongue with a solid and fulfilling finish. I really enjoyed this wine and I will be watching for more fine wines from Chapel Vineyard.
Which one did I prefer with the Barbeque, you ask? The Llano Blush. I know what you are thinking, “yeah, but he’s from Texas”. True but I grew up in New York State! Both wines were excellent and I know the Merlot Reserva would win out in pairing with a good beef entree. Try them and see if you don’t agree!
Llano Blush, America’s Table Wine, Llano Estacado Wines,
Purchased at Wal-Mart’s
Price: $5.47 + Tax 8.5 Corks
Merlot Reserva, Chapel Vineyard, 2010, from Chili
Purchased: Laithwaites Wine
Price: $7.00 8.5 Corks
Barbecued Pork Ribs, Mash Potatoes, and Cream Corn
The ribs were washed in cold water, having been frozen and thawed. We had two racks of ribs and each one was wrapped separately in aluminum foil, one of the two with barbecue sauce added. Place in the over at 250 degrees and cooked for 4 ½ hours. Results were extremely tender meat that was falling off the bones! Enjoy!
I’m not sure whether it is pairing and cooking, or cooking and pairing. It seems to be a conundrum that is constantly changing. Tonight it was cooking and pairing. We were having a shrimp salad that looked wonderful in the cookbook; and it was. As a Shrimp dish, I choose a white wine; I choose the Clos Du Bois Pinot Grigio. It proved to be an excellent choice. Its freshness was appetizing. The seductive floral and lemon favors poured in deliciously with a low amount of tannins which registered lightly on in the rear areas of my tongue. It had a smooth, almost buttery texture and it consumed finishing with a moderate, but gently finish. I wish this had come in a 1000ml bottle instead of 750. This California gift, a 13% alcohol gem, is a wonderful wine to behold.
Clos Du Bois
Produced and bottled by Clos Du Bois, Geyersville CA.
Price: $9.97 9 Corks
Scenic River Riesling is a delight from the get-go. This Qualitatswein (quality wine) comes in an unusually long bottle with a front window that looks through the wine to a landscape painted by the grower, Heinz Ames. Grown in the Mosel Valley this wine opens with a fresh and promising aroma of fresh fruits causing the wine drinker to ponder, momentarily, the delights hidden within. Served chilled, this wine felt cool, crisp and refreshing as my first taste was taken Sweet, but not too sweet, yet rich with fruity flavors. All this was followed by a long, subtle, velvety finish. This is a perfect wine to be paired with German food, which is what I did, yet it can stand alone as an outstanding cocktail wine.
Note for beginners…
Two additional categories of Riesling to be noted here are:
Spätlese – meaning “late harvest”
Typically semi-sweet, often (but not always) sweeter and fruitier than Kabinett. Spätlese can be a relatively full-bodied dry wine if designated so. While Spätlese means late harvest the wine is not as sweet as a dessert wine.
Auslese – meaning “select harvest”
Made from selected very ripe bunches or grapes, typically semi-sweet or sweet, sometimes with some noble rot character. Sometimes Auslese is also made into a powerful dry wine. Courtesy of Wikipedia
The quality improves from Qualitatswein to Spatlese then to Auslese.
Purchased at Walmarts
Price: $12.97 + Tax 9 Corks
This was an unusual dinner event in our house. There was no real recipe for dinner this time, dinner, yes, recipe, no. Now how can that happen you ask? I have this wonderful friend, Richard McHenry aka also affectionately known as “Padre”, to his friends and a retired Episcopal Priest. We enjoy breakfast together almost every Wednesday morning. As we left the restaurant last week he asked me to step over to the trunk of his car, as he had something for me. Now you might laugh but he had a trunk full of German food, all purchased from the Vermont Country Store. He begins handing me Bokworst, Sauerkraut, German potato salad, red cabbage, 3 grain bread and a box of assorted cheeses. It probably looked like a drug deal going down to the passersby, but it really was just the way “Padre” says thank you to his friends. I am blessed that “Padre” is my very good friend.
Dinner was warmed, as not necessary to be cooked. If you are not familiar with the Vermont Country Store you should be. Here is their web site:
Note: For those of us still young in dog years pay particular attention to Brands from the Past
Normally I wouldn’t have picked a similar varietal so near another like “Thea.” This wine, however, came about after a discussion of a recipe with a friend instead of the other way around. That recipe is posted below. The combination of this wine and this dish made for an exciting evening of culinary anticipation.
Nobilo, a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, was our choice of wine to go with this “hot” dish, and it was served chilled. It was delightful from the get go. The aroma of fruit was apparent from the start, a bouquet of fragrances and I new then that this would be a better than average wine. This 2010 wine had good “legs” and a delightful clear appearance with only a twinge of yellow so characteristic in many white wines. With the initial sip the tip of my tongue alerted me to the sweetness of this wine and the side of my tongue gave me a hint of acidity that was just right with a proper, but low key, finish. This seemed to be the perfect wine for this dish. It will go well with other spicy foods as well as with fish, rich cheeses or consumed all by itself!
Nobilo, Regional Collection, Marlborough Region, Sauvignon Blanc, 2010
Sold thru: www.WineChateau.com 30% discount by case.
Purchased at Tom Thom Grocery Store
Price: $13.99 + Tax 9 Corks