Of course, it wasn't as simple choosing the wine to go with our meal. After much deliberation and a frank discussion with the sommelier, I narrowed it down to a couple of choices on the wine list (and one off the wine list that the sommelier told me they had a few more bottles of). Ultimately I decided on a 2006 Peter Franus Zinfandel. I'd had a Franus Zinfandel a few years ago and remember enjoying it. It did not disappoint (http://www.peterfranus.com/).
The nose was full of fruit and a little spice and the flavor lived up to the nose. The wine had a lovely berry flavor with just a hint of pepper and a slight taste of oak. Very smooth and not very acidic and nicely matched with our respective dishes of mussels and vegetable risotto. I was a little nervous trying to pick a wine that would fit a couple of different palattes, but the Franus 2006 Zinfandel seemed to appease everyone. What was even nicer is that after the meal, my friends tipped off the restaurant that it was my birthday and they gave us complimentary glasses of a very elegant sparkling muscat with lovely lush pear flavors and a nice citrus finish. It was the perfect end to a lovely night.
Actually, as nice as the wine was, the more perfect end of the evening came as I was driving back to New Jersey. Poison's "Talk Dirty to Me" came on the radio and seeing as this is one of my guiltiest pleasure songs, I had no choice to blast it and open all the windows. The young twenty-somethings in the car next to me looked over at this "old lady" rocking out and gave me a thumbs up and some air kisses. Thanks to those kids for reminding me I still "got it!"
Happy birthday to me and happy drinking to you.