Wonderful wines, food, fun, friends and some friendly competition as to who brings the "winning" wine.......of course, there are no losing wines!
The evening is hosted by Paul and Ellen...and this has been designated: PETITE SIRAH NIGHT!
As we enter the den we are greeted, by chance, with a glass of Per Cazo Tres Blanc (the white wine for red wine lovers, as Lynne Teckman of Per Cazo describes it), a perfect prequel for what would be (another) memorable evening. Along with the wine, a tantalizing spread of appetizers welcomed us, an eclectic array of small bites to stimulate the senses, and prepare us all for a bacchanal evening.
The evening's special guests, Ethan and Rebecca from Atascadero, have prepared a plethora of unusual appetizer treats, the standout being a duck prosciutto---OMG...amazing in every way! One day Ethan will definitely own a restaurant, and treat his guests with unusually creative and tasty gourmet delights.
In addition to the duck prosciutto some of our other gastronomical delights included: jumbo shrimp, an assortment of gourmet cheeses, duck port mousse, marinated feta with capers, stuffed grape leaves, salmon collars, smoked salmon goat cheese spread, hummus, tasso ham, chili spiced pecans, almonds....and the list goes on. (Calories not included).
After getting our fill of appetizers...it is time to wine! Tonight's brown bag event features 5 Petitie Sirahs. No restrictions as to vintage, AVA or country of origin...only that it be 100% Petite Sirah.
The evening progresses as we sip, reflect upon, talk about and rate each bottle. Some are huge and jammy, others subtle. Long finishes. Lighter, yummy, jammy, dark fruits, tobacco, leather, sexy, fruit forward, full mouth feel, good nose, balanced, young, layered, chewy, incredible. Each person with his (or her) own analysis and opinion. No "right" descriptions, no "wrong" description. Just individual tastes and preferences coming together in a friendly competition, to share some really good wines and food. Among jokes and laughter.
Agreements, disagreements, opposite opinions, concurring opinions, individual scores being recorded. But one thing everyone can agree on: All of the wines are wonderful. And everyone is having a grand time.
It is now time to tally up....see which wine received the highest score of the evening. The "winner" not having to put in their $$ contribution to the wine kitty we are building for a special night out. (Invited guests don't contribute to the wine kitty).
We tally up....and then the suspense builds: Unwrapping each bottle we get to see what we have been drinking, and how it is rated:
Bag #1: Arata's, 2008, Napa
Bag #2: David Fulton, 2006, Napa
Bag #3: Jacob Franklin, 2009, Napa
Bag #4: Alta Colina, 2010 Ann's Block, Paso Robles (about time there was a Paso wine in the group!).
Bag #5: T-Vine, 2009 Frediani Vineyad, Napa.
among all the Pasofiles in attendance!
The scores are announced from lowest to highest. They are close, but wait, what's THIS? Re-adding, re-calculating...just to be certain. Yes! This has NEVER happened before in the history of our wine-off!
The #1 Wine(s) of the evening.....as determined by our panel of sippers and wine lovers...turns out to be:
(Dana and Matt's)
Full bodied with an enticing nose. Easy on the pallet without any harshness.
Full of dark fruit, blackberry quite evident and a hint of slight pepper on the finish.
The intense dark fruit flavors blend and evolve. Full mouth feel but subtle and
somewhat sexy. This wine is ready now and is a WOW!
(The 2010 Ann's Block is anything but "petite." This isn't a wine for sissies.
Right out of the bottle, there is definitely some hotness and rough edges. But, it's very
young, recently bottled, and needs time. I decanted 4 hours, and all I can say is: WOW!
A nice nose, and the first sips amaze the senses. Firm, well balanced, the hotness gone,
Nicely smoothed out. Predominant flavors of dark fruit, dark cherry, licorice, light hints of tobacco and leather on the very long finish.
This wine fills the mouth, is well structured and layered.
Given another few years in the bottle...I think the only way to describe it will be AMAZING.
Frankly.....get it, decant it, and it's already amazing.
Definitely a 95+)
Mike: Hand over that $5.00! Way to go Paso! Paso once again proves that they produce wines equal or superior to their Northern California Big Brother! First it was the Cabernet in the now famous Daou blind tasting Napa vs. Paso (check out the U-tube video). Now it is Petite Sirah from Paso.
Fully sated and relaxed....one more course is now served: Turkey and Beef Hot Dogs, with mango salsa, avocado mash and cilantro mayonnaise. Accompanied with crepes stuffed with mushrooms in a cognac, Marsala reduction. And on the lighter side, a refreshing baby lettuce salad with watermelon.
Sitting around the table, eating (some more), drinking (some more), re-visiting the wines...laughing, enjoying the company and the "fruits" of the evening, it is another successful wine group gathering.
But wait...Ohhhhhhh...more food! It's desert time! And Pamela has made two different and delectable mini cheesecakes: One cherry, the other chocolate. Sweet, flavorful, just enough for a bite or two so as not to over indulge.
But...just when you think you have eaten all you can eat...Ethan and Rebecca bring out plates of vanilla ice cream, drizzled with Kiler Ridge late harvest olive oil (yes..I DID say olive oil), and lightly salted! You would SWEAR you were eating vanilla ice cream with a butterscotch topping! How amazing and different and creative!
As the evening comes to a close----all of us are now ready for bed. Now the planning begins for our NEXT wine night in November. The writer and his wife will be hosting our November get together. A wine type to be decided, rules to be laid down, side bets most likely to occur. Food to be prepared and enjoyed. But most of all, the great wines and food, bringing together a group of good friends along with another invited guest or two, to share in the whimsical, wonderful evening of wine.
If you have enjoyed this recap of our latest wineventure, please comment, email me, become a fan, post this on your website or FB page....I love to hear from you.
Cheers to the next time,
(email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org)