Marching towards the Bird (but not a BCS Bowl)

dux1.jpgBeing an SC football fan is a lot like loving Barolo and Burgundy. You hope every year will bring a championship banner but it just cannot be. Just like with Burgundy, we never really understand why every bottle labeled Chambertin is not championship quality. And, like USC football, there is always a year that just does not measure up to the highest expectations of the only team in this cow town that has a chance of realizing high expectations. Like 1995 in the Cotes de Beaune and Piemonte…nnhhh. Those Toe-jams just about broke Mrs. tBoW’s Cardinal & Gold spirit!
Thank goodness there is always The Bird. Thanksgiving approaches and we have to start thinking about wines to serve. Let’s be honest. I’m talkin’ Dotor√© honest. The tension is between serving the lumpen good wine while simultaneously matching a wine to the demands of an over-the-top meal. It’s like wine calculus! This day of celebration demands some great wines. We have the time to enjoy but we cannot throw pearls before turkeys. Or can we? [ed. how ’bout Ducks or Huskies]. It is the season of giving. Pour a decent Pinot Noir – Willamette or Cotes de Nuits – then follow it with an older Barolo.
With the meal wine hardly matters. Many guests’ palates are already impaired by plonkification [ed. consuming too many wines purchased at the supermarket]. They will be unable to discern between a Franciscan Cabernet and the 2008 Touraine. Make sure there are plenty bottles of Cabernet and Zinfandel on the table. Hoard the Beaujolais, Cahors and Rhone wines. Hut hut.
And do not forget dessert…wines. We begin with a couple of special dessert wines recently tasted.
ridgeLHzin78.jpg1978 Ridge Zinfandel Late Harvest High Residual Sugar: Paso Robles fruit. 10.5 residual sugar referred to as Essence. I suppose the equivalent of a German TBA. Soon as I sipped it a vision of cups of sugar being poured into a pitcher of citric ade popped into my head. The sugar was tactile. Balance was perfect and complemented the cooling late summer early fall evening. 16%
lamborn78.jpg1988 Lamborn Family Vineyards Autumnal Harvest Howell Mountain Zinfandel: One of the old time Napa cult wines…from the 70s. The winery specializes in Zinfandel and Cabernet. The history of winemakers includes Randy Dunn and Heidi Barrett (currently). They make 900 cases. This particular wine showed firm acidic, caramel flavors. It smoothed out with some time. Ripe prune flavors at the finish. The tasters generally preferred the Ridge. 17%
Here are several recently tasted dinner wines.
KCSBNZ08.jpg2008 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough $14: Refreshing, restrained grassiness so true to the varietal and not overwhelmingly grassy the way many New Zealand SBs can taste. Good fruit. Tasty. Unlike the older dessert wines above this U20 prize can still be found around town. Try K&L. 14%
stcosme06.jpg2006 St Cosme Gigondas $35: Another wine that can actually be located in your local wine store! This Rhone blend features Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault. You get all the thick dark fruit and smoky flavors you can ask for. It is NOT like an 07 monster wine from the Rhone. Compared to those blockbusters this is almost tame. It is nicely balanced and still powerful. Not at all rustic so expect a smooth delivery. Also at K&L. 14.1%

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