Last week, the family and I attended a dinner party with some very good friends that we hadn't seen in more than two years. It was a fabulous get-together that reminded us all that two years is way too long to let slip before seeing each other.
The friends that we visited are all wine aficionados, most of them having either worked in the wine business, taught wine-appreciation classes, worked in the restaurant industry, or have made wine themselves. Suffice to say, they know wine.
So it was no surprise to have an abundance of fine wines at the dinner party. And it was a perfect opportunity for us to share a bottle of wine that we've been wanting to open for some time.
For those of you who have been following me for a while, you learned in January that I was hanging on to a bottle of Brunello di Montalcino that I bought in Montalcino in 2004. Lori and I were celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary with a trip to Tuscany, and I wanted to pick up something special. And thanks to Lori's flirting with the wine merchant ("what's your favourite wine?") and my ability to read a wine chart ("do you have that wine in a '97?"), we walked away with a really nice bottle. We packed it carefully, brought it home, and kept it in our cellar, waiting for the perfect moment to open it.
That moment was last week at our friends' dinner party.
There were other great wines of the evening, and I thought I'd
brag tell you about them. The following is a mini review, told by someone who hasn't appreciated such good wines in a long time, so don't laugh at me if I use simple words to describe them. I like using words like "yummy" at wine tastings. I'm not a pretentious wine drinker. I just know what I like. So here goes:
I find them quite complex, so full of flavour. This Zinfandel was rich in fruit with a chocolate finish. It could have aged longer, but right now I think that it's drinking beautifully. It's just the way I like a Zin: sumptuous.
I suppose I shouldn't have been that surprised by the quality of the wine. Lots of exceptional Pinot Noirs come from the Niagara Peninsula, so why not Gretzky's?
Another wine that we had but for which I didn't shoot the label was our friend's wine. Andy makes the most amazing wines, and he offered a 13-year-old Pinot Noir from his collection. Normally, I don't think of Pinots as a wine that can age, but Andy's hit it bang-on. There were still definite notes of cherries, and the pepper finish was wonderful. So good.