Monday, March 30, 2009
Go forth, blindly
I don't usually taste wines blind. But last night, Chris showed up at Brad's with a bag. Two wines were within. Somehow, a 2006 Ridge Monte Bello, previously decanted and rebottled, metamorphosed upon the table, where we were eating thick-cut dry sausage (it's better that way, per Brad) and hacking into some stinky cheeses.
Chris felt best to repair to the balcony to pour his mystery wine into a decanter.
It awaited us on the table, thereafter.
So, accordingly, some time later, with steaks, we poured the mystery wine. I swirled and sniffed. Hm, very young and fruity. But with a richness to it that wasn't of a young wine from a cold climate. It reminded me of the nose on young Côtes du Rhône. I sipped. Smooth, lacking any hard angles, and very pleasant to drink.
"This has got to be Syrah," I opined. (And we'll smooth over the fact that I don't like that grape.)
Brad said, "But no, there's no peppery, garrigue thing going on..."
I shook my head. "It's got to be that! There's a kind of loamy taste there."
We debated the wine's tastes for a while, and finally, Chris showed his hand.
Yes, it was Gallo Hearty Burgundy. No vintage noted.
Chris described having drunk this (or watched it being drunk by his parents) many a year ago, before the American wine world's new flowering. A jug wine, now utterly reviled as a distant, benighted drink of yore.
But, amusingly enough, this was more than "correct" to drink. It was even quite proper.
We surmised it might be a blend of Zinfandel and Petite Sirah, perhaps somewhat highly cropped, resulting in lower alcohol levels.
But not a bad mass offering by any stretch of the imagination.
A truly unexpected, wonderfully nostalgic thought!
Bring out the rumaki.