“Wine to me is passion. It’s family and friends. Its warmth of heart and generosity of spirit. Wine is art. It’s culture, it’s the essence of civilization and the art of living.”
I was recently asked about why I do not write more about my wine journey and share more of that passion on my blog. This thought has been on my mind too.
It’s important to me that wine is approachable and enjoyable. The moment wine becomes complicated and sounds snobbish, it’s no longer fun.
There is something magical that happens when you bring together good people, good food, and good wine. This is where it begins, in my world-around the table.
Women Who Wine is a fabulous group of women, who enjoy wine, and good food. We meet monthly in my home to eat, to laugh, and to learn about wine.
This month our local wine merchant and friend Louis from Market Square joined us to share a line up of wines based on our request to explore the wines of Northern California through Washington State. He did not disappoint.
There were three notable wines worthy of a description here.
The first, was Kelley Fox, 2022 Nerthus, Willamette Valley. A white blend of Early Muscat, Pinot Gris, and Riesling. $26.
Winemaker, Kelley Fox has been making wine in Oregon for over twenty years. Her production remains small, and she remains true to her art.
Riesling is rarely blended with other grape varietals so; this was a surprise. Each wine was allowed to ferment separately and then blended after all the wines were finished. The wine is bone dry, complex, with lots of fresh acidity. This is a wine you can enjoy on the patio all summer or pair beautifully with a dish.
During our conversation we brainstormed around the table what dishes we thought would pair with this white blend. Here a few of the ideas:
Spicy chicken salad on a fresh croissant, Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa, Roasted Salmon with a Fruit Salsa, Cheesecake with a Pineapple Topping, Roasted Halibut with Capers and Butter, and an Egg Omelet with a sharp gruyere or a creamy brie cheese.
The second wine was Echolands, 2019, Cabernet Franc, Walla-Walla Valley, Washington State. $70
We nearly lost our mind on this single varietal Cabernet Franc wine. This wine stands on its own, but we quickly surmised to truly enjoy this wine, you must enjoy it with food.
The Cabernet Franc grapes are grown in one of the coolest sites in the Walla Walla Valley which allows this wine to retain the abundant fruit, floral, and herbal elements.
We were swooning about the dishes we would serve with this Cabernet Franc.
Roasted Lamb with Rosemary, Thyme, and Garlic with plenty of butter bastings. Pasta Bolognese, Steak with Béarnaise Sauce, Shepherd’s Pie, Beef Stew, Slow Roasted Short Ribs, or Bacon Wrapped Filets.
The third wine, Lava Cap, 2018, Syrah, Sierra Foothills, California $22.99
The grapes here flourish here in the loamy volcanic soils of Sierra Nevada foothills. This wine is deep, and complex. Imagine the flavors of cassis, clove, and violets. This wine has the tannin and acidity to be age worthy. Still, it’s very approachable now. Drink up! Enjoy! Buy a case and put a few bottles down for a few years. A $23 bottle of wine age worthy does not happen often.
What dishes did the ladies imagine pairing with this wine.
Sausage and Peppers, Chorizo Stuffed Peppers, Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe or an Italian Deli Sandwich.
I encourage you to grab anyone of these bottles at your local wine shop. Invite a few friends and enjoy together.
During the evening while we were brainstorming dishes to pair, someone said “Brussels Sprouts” our local wine expert Louis rubbed his brow with his fingers and pronounced “nothing pairs with Brussels Sprouts” and laughed.
Any thoughts on what you would pair Brussels sprouts with?