2008 Kaesler Stonehorse Shiraz Grenache Mourvedre – Barossa Valley Australia

I drink different wines for different occasions.   There are my clean, crisp summer whites to enjoy well chilled on my balcony, sweeter whites to pair with spicy food, pinot noir to drink anytime/anywhere (OK, I freakin’ love pinot) and then those red wines that are so big and robust that they can only be enjoyed on a frigid winter night.   I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and it does get chilly here but there are Bay Area winter nights and Vermont winter nights.   Two completely different animals.

This wine is a Vermont winter night wine.   When you come inside from a day of skiing and can’t feel your fingers or toes, open this bottle.   This is a three grape blend, dominated by Shiraz.   And it is big, bold and spicy.   Very dark fruit and lots of spice on the nose… the spices remind me of a dish I had at a Malaysian restaurant.   Coriander and star anise.   Tons of black cherry, plum and blackberry on the mouthfeel and the finish has lots of spice and berry jam.   The fruit in this wine is very ripe and you can tell it has been grown in a hot, dry climate.

This is not a wine to be enjoyed on a warm summer night, unless you’re serving it with a juicy steak.   This is an apres ski, campfire, or “I just shoveled the driveway and I’m FREEZING” wine.    Think savory.   Pair with beef stew or chili.   And give this one time to develop in the glass.   It comes off a bit too “in your face” at first but softens nicely after it has had some air.


Using my imagination… Triple on a chilly winter night  :-)

2011 Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon – Western Australia

I was going to open a bottle of red tonight.   A pinot noir would have paired better with my dinner.   But it has been in the 90′s here in the East Bay, so a chilled white sounded like a better choice for the evening.   I haven’t tried many Sauvignon Blanc blends, but loved the idea of this one because Sauv Blanc and Semillon seem like they can compliment each other well.   Citrusy nose of blood orange, lime… this wine just smells fresh and clean.   The mouthfeel reminded me of an unoaked chardonnay with ripe green apple and I tasted a bit of peach as well.   Powerful finish – lots of nice citrus and great acidity.   This Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blend has tons of character, intensity and great fruit.   A nice wine to pair with shrimp scampi, sharp cheddar cheese or grilled veggies!