This weekend’s podcast is focused on the, “Big 3 Reds”: Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon presented in the “virtual tasting” format. I also try to match wine to a St. Patrick’s Day menu of corned beef and cabbage and announce a Minnesota wine tasting meetup on June 11th.
– Meridian Vineyards, Central Coast, Pinot Noir 2003 ($9)
– Columbia Crest, “Grand Estates”, Merlot 2001 ($12)
– Clos du Val, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 ($25)
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Tim, after getting your advice for our delayed St. Patrick’s day feast, we (meaning I) decided to go for all three – a sparkling, a red and a white.
For the sparking, you recommended a blanc de noir. I found a Chandon, which was one of your specific recommendations, for 12 dollars. For the red, you recommended a Spanish bottle, Bodegas Javier Asensio, Torsa Tinto 2003, that I could not find. But I did find a Castell del Remei Gotim Bru 2002 (10 dollars) that contained the mix of grapes – tempranillo, merlot & cabernet sauvignon – and came from the same area as the Torsa Tinto. (Incidently, the distributor is European Cellars, & I have discovered that their name on the label is a very good indication of a good wine.) Finally, for the white you recommended a Vouvray and again I could not find the specific bottle, but did locate a Yves Breussin 2003 for 13 dollars.
So, to the tasting. we had six people drinking, although one of them could not drink any red wine. Around the table, the Chandon got three votes, the Castell got two, and the Vouvray got one. The Vouvray voter, though, waffled between that & the Chandon.
So the Chandon is the pick for this kind of meal in the future, and I expect it will enter into the tradition. My wife’s prejudice against rose is crumbling – the Chandon was a pale pink – & she was one of the Chandon voters.
The Castell was the best wine at the table, though. Very smooth, and it did in fact compliment the meal. We will buy this one again. The Vouvray was sweet to my taste, but the one Vouvray voter is a Vouvray lover, & he really liked it. I should have tried a little of it with the triffle – there’s some left of both the triffle & the Vouvray, so maybe tonight.
BTW, the fellow at the wine store recommended a Brut for the Black Velvets, and steered us to the store label at 6 dollars. It worked just fine.