Summer is here and sweltering heat is encompassing most of the country. Not here though, the summer is mild and pleasant with highs in the low seventies. Perfect weather for dinner on the patio. I wish we had a patio table so we could have dinner on the patio, but for now I only get to surmise what dinner on the patio would be like.
There would be a slight breeze just enough to keep the air from being stagnant. There would be no bugs, flies, bees or mosquitoes. Even though the sun is out, the table would be in the shade of the tall cedar trees. There would be the smell of honeysuckle in the air, mixing with the aroma of grilled meat. The steaks on the grill would be cooked to perfection and the wine, a bottle of Opus One Cabernet Sauvignon, vintage 1998 served at cellar temperature of 65° would be served in oversized wine glasses. The steaks would complement the wine, not the other way around.
A nice dream, but in reality, there is no patio table and no bottle of Opus One. (We drank that bottle with best friends and a frozen pizza, very classy). The steaks were cooked to perfection along with grilled vegetables, but dinner was served inside and the wine was a Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, California. The wine, BearBoat vintage 2008 had an alcohol content of 13.8% and cost under $15.
The wine was a strawberry red color in the glass. There was strawberries and alcohol on the nose when I stuck my nose in the glass. The first taste had a slight taste of strawberries and vanilla. The wine was dry with a slight bite at the end. It didn’t have big fruit taste of some other Pinot Noirs I’ve had. It was okay, but not something I would buy again. In all, it was a bit of a letdown to drink with a good steak. I should have gone with something else.
I love wine. I love exploring the wine store for new wines and I love tasting new wines. A lot are not ones I would buy again but there are a lot more that I like. I’m an equal opportunity wine drinker, red, white, rosé, I love trying them all. When I go wine shopping I always try to get a few new bottles in addition to my mainstays.
One of the latest wines I bought was a rosé from France. Dune Sable De Camargue Gris De Gris, vintage 2015 with an alcohol content of 13%. The wine was a pale peachy orange color in the color. The smell of honeysuckle on the nose when I stuck my nose in the glass. The wine was semi dry and had a soft peach taste with a dry mineral finish. Overall the wine didn’t have much flavor and didn’t wow me.
It wasn’t a bad wine, just not one I will buy again. One down and a million more to go.
Tonight I called my best friend to catch up since she lives six states away, we can’t get together easily. So a phone call has to suffice most of the time. And of course we were both drinking wine, hers a red and mine was a white. I opened a bottle of Radius Riesling, a Washington State wine. I’ve had other varietals from Radius, a red blend and a Cabernet Sauvignon, both of which were very good. So I figured the odds were in my favor finding another winner.
The wine, vintage 2014 had an alcohol content of 11% and cost under $15 a bottle. The wine could almost pass for water; the color was almost colorless in the glass. I could smell honeysuckle and peaches when I stuck my nose in the glass. The wine was soft and smooth with a fruit forward taste, I could taste peaches at first taste and a hint of vanilla on the finish, very creamy with a soft medium finish.
This is a good wine to drink with spicy dishes, the soft slightly sweet taste cooling the heat or all by itself sipping away on the deck or on the phone with your best friend. Since I drink alone more these days, this is a good wine to sit and sip.
The heat is on and it’s only the first of June. It’s the Pacific Northwest for crying out loud, everyone told me it rains all the time, it’s cold and cloudy, everyone is depressed because of the rain. Well right now I’m depressed because of the heat and no rain. We haven’t had any good rainy, cool, cloudy days for a long time. We’ve been hotter and drier here than in the Midwest where I came from. So in order to dampen my “depression”, I drink more wine.
For dinner I grilled a large ribeye steak to split between us and opened a California Cabernet Sauvignon from Benziger Family Winery. The wine came from Sonoma County, vintage 2013. The wine was a dark red purple in the glass and had a blackberry jammie smell when I stuck my nose in the glass. The wine had a dark cherry taste full of fruit, smooth and supple. The wine was dry with a smoky wood finish. It had an alcohol content of 13.5% and cost $18 a bottle.
You can find Benziger online at http://www.benziger.com. I’ve had their Zinfandel a long time ago and was very pleased with it, so when I ran across a bottle of their Cabernet Sauvignon I wanted to try it too, just to see if the Cab was as good as the Zin. I was not disappointed, the Cab was every bit as good as the Zin, just different. This is definitely a wine to rebuy.