My birthday fell in the midst of a very hectic stretch for Jodi and me, so we decided enjoying a home cooked meal would be the way to go. We decided to invest some of the money we would have paid for a restaurant meal on a good wine (or two) and headed to The Spirited Gourmet for their Saturday evening tasting.
We picked a good day to go. They had a lineup of about 10 bottles, and save for the dessert wine with chocolate flavoring added, I liked them all! And the knowledgeable but down to earth host of the tasting made it quite enjoyable. My favorite was the 2003 Bell Claret, a blend of some of this Napa cab maven’s finest. A bottle of it is now in our cellar awaiting the appropriate meal.
Two bottles from the Graziano Family of Mendocino wound up being the match for my birthday meal. We started with their 2005 Sauvignon Blanc. This was a nice light version of the varietal with hints of melon and mineral backdrop. A nice accompaniment to the strong brie we had for starters.
I figured a zin would be the best bet to match the kick in the garlic horseradish sauce I was making for our steak (stay tuned for that recipe). The Graziano 2004 Zinfandel turned out to be a good choice. This zin had a nice blackberry taste with a bit of pepperiness, and some complexity as well. After the wine had breathed for awhile, I picked hints of chocolate toward the end of the meal (dessert!).
It wouldn’t be hard to convince me to repeat this tasting/home cooked meal with a good bottle of wine for my next birthday! And to top it off, the next night my father cooked the traditional family spaghetti and meatball recipe for the extended family—matched of course by another great bottle of birthday wine that was given to me.