Wine Tasting and Dinner
We recently had some wonderful friends stop by for a wine tasting and dinner. There were 10 adults upstairs and 17 kids downstairs! The children played games, watched movies, and played pool. The adults decided to sit around the upstairs wine cellar and tasting area near the kitchen. We cooked steak on the grill, made linguine with clams, enjoyed assorted antipasto of cheese and meats, as well as several dishes each family contributed. I am not sure who had a better evening, the adults or the children, but I can tell you the adults gave them a run for their money!
Having the wine cellar and tasting area on the main floor makes for a terrific way to spend time with friends sharing wine stories and great memories. We started with Amavi from Washington State, one of my favorite bottles in the $20 range…this wine is medium dark purple, berry and coffee flavors…a pure Walla Walla inside and out. Most of my guests had never tried it and most thought it drank like a $45 bottle.
The next wine was the magnum of Palazo della Torre 2008 which is great for parties with people who are so so into wine. It’s a great pizza wine, medium body, red fruit, and fairly priced at $40 for a magnum (which I highly recommend for any party of 6 or more).
The next wine, the 07 Magnificat Cab, was delicious. I have several 97 Magnificats and it was fun to taste the differences between the years. The 07, which is an incredible year for California wine, seemed to be tight but full of promise. It needs to decant for a couple hours … a Bordeaux blend in every sense….dark fruits and tannins and a little spice. Most felt it would be better resting a few more years in the cellar.
Then came the two best bottles of the evening, Creator and Silver Oak. Both were decanted for a couple hours with the 2007 Silver Oak being paired with the grilled Flank steak and tuscan cheese and chorizo bread. It did not disappoint. This wine is everything people love about California wines…beautiful fruit right upfront, long easy drinking finish – the fruit explodes… a real crowd pleaser. But then I had to dig through the cellar and pull out my “go to” wine…Creator. For around $60 I think it’s one of the best values on the market. Charles Smith’s 08 Creator is a masterpiece in a bottle. Classic WA Syrah nose, with black fruit and smoked meats. Muscular and smooth, with fine tannins and will sure to be cellar worthy for a minimum of 10-15 years.
Overall the evening was a great success, a wonderful time which we all seem to have less and less of these days..I even heard a few cigars made the rounds in the backyard! I may be biased but a wine cellar and tasting area are truly a magical way to spend an evening, whether with love ones, family, or friends. Salute!