Friday, July 31, 2009

Been a long time, been a long time, been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time

To be honest, I'm not the biggest Led Zeppelin fan, but given that it's been almost two weeks since I last had any wine, starting with this famous line from "Rock and Roll" just felt right.

Tonight I met up with my friends, Stacy, Wendy and Chris for dinner at Passionne (, a local French restaurant. Those who know me know that French food is among my favorite kind of food and I particularly love pairing French wine with French food. I was in a red mood so I packed a few bottles of French Bordeaux and off I went.

When I arrived at Passionne, I found that Chris had also brought a bottle of Four Vines red zinfandel. Though I expected it to be a bit spicy for the seafood I was planning to order, we had the waitress cork the zinfandel because, well, I was curious. The wine was a great, big zin with wonderful spicy pepper and a nice oak finish. Too bad it paired terribly with our shellfish!!! Ironically, Stacy, who wasn't drinking, ordered the fois gras appetizer which worked really well with the zin (or at least the bite I had worked well and I'm not a big fois gras girl). In any event, we learned our lesson and after working our way through the zin, we moved on to one of the Bordeaux I brought - a 2005 Chateau Duplessy.
I picked this up a few weeks ago at The Wine and Spirit Company of Greenville, Delaware (, one of my favorite stores near my hometown of Wilmington. I was intrigued by this bottle because most typical Bordeaux blends are made up of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc with a little Petit Verdot or maybe another grape for blending. This wine has the traditional Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet France, but also contains 10% Malbec, which is one of the original Bordeaux blending grapes but is rarely used now by Bordeaux wine makers.

Once corked, this had the jammy yet restrained nose of a typical Bordeaux wine and it was pleasantly smooth and juicy on the palette - or as Chris remarked, "chewy." This definitely would have tasted a bit more rustic and oak-y had we not had the big zin before it but it was nice to have something very mellow after the mouthful of spice. And, it went really well with Chris' chicken and Wendy and my scallops as well as two of the cheeses that came on our dessert cheese plate.
All in all, it was a lovely evening with wonderful friends. Though we made a slight mis-step with our initial wine, we more than made up for it with the Bordeaux. But isn't that what wine tasting and pairing is all about -- learning what doesn't work as well as what works?!? At least it is for me. Not all of us can be Robert Parker -- YET.

Cheers and Happy Weekend,
Alli M.

1 comment:

elliej said...

Who's Robert Parker?