This past Saturday my family celebrated my dad's 75th birthday (I can only share his age because he doesn't look 75). My mom planned a dinner at one of my dad's favorite restaurants that also happens to be a great BYO. I had the pleasure of picking the wine.
As there were going to be 12 people and I didn't know everyone's palette or what they would be ordering, this proved to be a bit of a challenge. I decided to start with pinot noir. Not only does my dad love pinot noir, but it also pairs nicely with a wide variety of food.
My obvious choice - Merry Edwards. Merry Edwards' pinot has a classic nose and palette - lots of jam and pepper with a hint of spice.
From there, I decided to go a bit bolder and spicier and chose a few bottles of St. Supery's "Elu," which is their meritage. A meritage is what we Americans call our Bordeaxu style blends. The blend primarily consists of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet France and usually 5-10% of Petit Verdot and/or Malbec. I chose St. Supery's because it's always been a favorite of mine - it's spicy, but not overpowering and you still get a lot of fruit on the nose and in the glass. Plus, I had recently picked up a few bottles of 2000 that would be well aged and perfect for an occasion like this.
So that left the whites. My mom requested that we start with a toast so we needed some sparkling wine. I don't know a great deal about sparkling so I consulted my friends at Amanti Vino. They recommended Domaine Parigot Cremant de Bourgogne Blanc de Blancs. To round out the whites, I chose Bridlewood's Viognier. Viognier is a classic white grape from the Northern Rhone region. Since Bridlewood does a lovely job with Syrah, another classic Rhone grape, I assumed their Viognier would be quite good and it didn't disappoint.
All in all, the wine was a success. My parent's and their friends have an obvious bias, but they all told me I did a good job. Moreover, a few of them who "never drink champagne" really enjoyed the clean, crisp, acidic and slightly creamy Domaine Parigot. The Merry Edwards Pinot Noir, St. Supery Elu and Bridlewood Viognier were all enjoyed as well.
Then again, I don't think anything was enjoyed as much as the celebration as well as my dad's reading of the poem "Hmmm" from the book "I'm Too Young To Be Seventy: And Other Delusions."
Until my next swirl, sip or quaff (I'm thinking Wednesday's class),