Wine Meets Music – The Weekend Splurge

29 Mar

beroniaIt’s my blog which allows me pronouncements, foibles, poor syntax, and clearly wrong-headed positions. With this absolute power in mind, I think Whipping Post is the best rock and roll song of all time. Or perhaps Cowgirl in The Sand? Depending on the mood I’m in. When I hear them, I have to say, “I love this stuff”, “It’s the best”. Go ahead, I’ll wait for you – give me your picks. Sympathy For The Devil? John Hiatt’s Paper Thin, you say? Yes, in contention. But, I repeat, it’s my blog. This week there’s a wine that will have you saying, “I love this stuff,”  “It’s the best.” I mentioned last week a Rioja Gran Reserva that wowed my friends. Well, here we are again but it’s from my favourite readily available winery, Beronia www.beronia.es . You’ve provided tons of positive feedback about their ‘07 and ‘08 Beronia Reserva. Well, a Gran Reserva is made with grapes harvested from better vineyards, in exceptional years, and aged longer in wood and bottle. Result: it’s almost always a more complete wine. By more complete, I mean more things going on, smoother, truer expression of the fruit and the place. Classy, elegant, and in this case ‘just about perfect’. This week, taste the difference that the four letter word, ‘gran’, makes and grab a bottle or three of the 2005 Beronia Gran Reserva #940965 $32.95. You will not regret it. I love this stuff as much as Duane’s and Neil’s riffs! It’s the best! Well, until next week when I tell you something else is the best. Sunshine of Your Love? Pump It Up? Ripple? OK, I’m waffling. After all it’s my blog.

peninsularidgeStaying close to home, I visited Peninsula Ridge www.peninsularidge.com on a recent trek through the region and sampled their fares – great winery, great food, great wines done in a French fashion, in my mind. Did I mention the great food? This week, there’s a perfect Easter meal wine – 2010 Peninsula Ridge McNally’s Vineyards Proprietor’s Reserve Pinot Noir #257543 $24.95. This isn’t one of those ubiquitous big, bold New World pinots that I can’t help myself getting used to. I hate myself for that. It’s more feminine which is a wine bull schist description. It’s just hard for me to describe beyond the strawberries, smokiness?, the necessary and balancing acidity, and, interestingly, a wee bit of the region’s greenness – didn’t expect that. The review at www.vintages.com suggests red roses. What happened to red roses? They don’t smell anymore. What happened? Can anyone solve the mystery of the disappearing fragrance? GMO? Wimpy roses conforming to a scent-free environment policy? Tar sands?

And, remember, just because you’ve squirreled away splurge wines doesn’t mean keeping them for that special occasion which, oddly never quite seems to materialize. I know, not even my best friends seem special enough (apologies to my best friends) for some of my stash. Family – well forget it. Do not treat splurge wine like your good china – hidden deep in the bowels of your cupboard never to see the light of day – break it out for friends and family. Make any occasion special and pop a cork on one of those more expressive and expensive wines. First day of baseball season? Open the 2000 Chateau Duhart-Milon. Just crested 4 o’clock on a Monday? Perfect time for 2002 Chateau Montelena Estate Cab. Squirrels leaving your bird feeder alone? Well of course 1997 Chateau de Beaucastel. Go ahead – you and maybe a mooching friend or two are special enough. Splurge up!

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