2007 Aaron Wines “Swell” Petite Sirah Paso Robles

A few weeks ago, I went to the Garagiste Festival in beautiful Paso Robles (http://californiagaragistes.com/).   All of the participating wineries were small producers, so there were quite a few I hadn’t tried or heard of.   One was Aaron Wines, and I decided to pick up a bottle of their “Swell” Petite Sirah.   Petite Sirah is full bodied, dark and bold in character, so I knew this would be a food wine.    The Swell smells like blackberries, black pepper and paprika.   This is dry and I can feel the grip of the tannins on the mouthfeel right away.   The fruit is bright, and then the tannin quickly evens out the juiciness.   Finish is spicy and bone dry.  

This is not a California fruit bomb that is easy to chug, this is a powerful petite sirah that is much better with food.   I wouldn’t have it with any meal with too much heat because this wine is so dry that you’ll end up drinking a whole pitcher of water just to counteract it…  but something a bit spicy and fruity at the same time would be awesome.    And I just need to smell this again.   This wine just smells HUGE and I’m liking that every time I smell it again, different spices come out.   



Happy Beaujolais Nouveau! 2011 Georges Duboeuf

I’ve had some feedback from followers on the East Coast lately that I keep blogging wines that no one can find there.    So for this entry, I am going in the extreme opposite direction.  I am blogging a wine that you can find EVERYWHERE.

This wine is purple in color of course, because it is as young as it can get.   It smells like a raspberry fruit roll up – juicy and candyesque.   And that is exactly how it tastes – like fruit punch and raspberry Jello.   Beaujolais Nouveau is not meant to be taken seriously, and I just like the tradition of the day – I’m a fan of any day that is dedicated to celebrating the release of a wine!    So this tastes fruity, fruity, fruity, and the finish is pretty much non-existant.   But – as promised – I’m trying it with turkey.

This wine actually was great with turkey, but hold the cranberry because if you have it with turkey AND cranberry you might as well just have dessert – sweetness overload.   If your turkey comes out dry, find this wine because this wine is nowhere close to dry.   In fact, just pour the bottle over the dry turkey!   Kidding.   But I think this wine would be great with those turkey sandwiches you will make from the leftovers.   Or some turkey pot pie.  Try THIS recipe with your leftover turkey – it is killer.



No score.  Just for fun  :-)  Happy Beaujolais Day!   

2008 Ottimino Zinfinity Zinfandel – Sonoma County

Wine #2 of my Thanksgiving turkey pairing series…   and I really hope I don’t get tired of stuffing and turkey before the real Turkey Day!

Zinfandel and turkey are a classic pairing, because the fruit and spices in Zin tend to pair well with turkey and all the sides.   Ottimino produces awesome single vineyard Zins and I was excited to try their Zinfinity which is a blend of zinfandel grapes from a few Sonoma vineyards.   Berries, vanilla, and a little smoke on the nose – this smells big and rich and lived up to the nose.   It tastes like spicy blackberries, and black pepper definitely lingers on the finish.   

I paired this Zin with turkey and stuffing, and loved the pairing.   The herbs in the stuffing definitely accented the fruit in the wine well, and the juicy berries in the zin complimented the turkey.    The Zinfinity is far from a lightweight, and definitely stands up to the richness of a Turkey Day dinner.  This wine belongs on the Thanksgiving table, or would be delicious with chili, burgers, or ribs.   Or pasta with bolognese sauce.   The possibilities are endless, this is a great food wine!


Home run!

Turkey Time! 2009 Don & Sons Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

Lets give Thanksgiving turkey the attention it deserves for once!   For the next few weeks, I will be pairing my wine with turkey… and some of the other delicious Thanksgiving side dishes too.

Does turkey pair with white wine, or red?   The answer is – both!   I’ve enjoyed turkey with a Zinfandel (which many believe to be the ultimate Thanksgiving wine) and also a Gewurztraminer.   Tonight, I am trying a Pinot Noir and I do really enjoy Pinot with turkey because lots of Pinots have notes of cranberry.

The Don & Sons Pinot was no exception, I smelled cranberries and some strawberry too.   It also smelled a bit spicy – like the spices you would put in a pumpkin bread.   This Pinot was definitely more acidic and less fruit forward than I expected.   And those pumpkin bread spices lingered at the finish.   

And now to try the wine with the turkey and stuffing (I did not cook this myself – though I’d love to take credit, I got this from the buffet at Whole Foods!).   The tart cranberry in the wine allowed it to pair perfectly with the meal.   The spices in the wine also gave the pairing an added dimension.   My friend Heather was here as well and agreed that the wine was great with the turkey and stuffing.   So the ’09 Don & Sons Pinot definitely gets “Thanksgiving wine” status  :-)