It finally dawned on me

We’ve been drinking many repeats in the last few weeks of wines that we had first consumed 6 months to a year ago. I’ve written about some of them where I felt they could use an update and have ignored others where I didn’t find anything worth sharing. It just occurred to me as I went to write up this wine, a bottle I first reported on over 8 months ago in this post, that the reason I’ve been having repeats recently is that I haven’t gotten any new wine shipments for nearly 4 months!

The wine is a 2003 Reserve Wilson Zinfandel. We picked this bottle up last summer at Wilson Winery for $22, it had a real cork closure and clocked in at 16% alcohol by volume. Again I found the alcohol of this one to be off-putting. We couldn’t drink it with our dinner because the heat was too much. It took over an hour for the alcohol to blow off, but it revealed a wine with the tannins of last time fairly smoothed out and I think this wine is at a good drinking point, though I would suggest decanting it.

On the nose I found currants, cedar, pepper, and blackberries. In the mouth, I got flavors of blackberries, currants, and red berries. The wine was smoother in the mouth than I remembered, though I wish I had remembered that last time I said it took quite a while for the alcohol to blow off.

Alcohol Alert!

Last night’s wine was a 2003 Reserve Wilson Estate Zinfandel Reserve. We picked this up at Wilson for about $22 and it had a real cork closure. However, it must be the week of high alcohol contents. I know over at Barreled, Barrld tasted a Viognier the other night that came in at 16.1%(that’s huge for a white!) and the wine Matt and I had last night came in at 16%.

Now overall, I have nothing against high alcohol wines, my main concern is that the alcohol be kept balanced by the flavors and the structure of the wine. I must say I was slightly worried last night, as I poured some of the wine into the currant red wine sauce for our steak and I thought Matt might pass out from the fumes alone.

However, since it was sitting out for a while before we ate, the alcohol seemed to have almost dissipated by the time we were ready. I served it with a bacon wrapped pan seared filet mignon with currant red wine sauce over 4 cheese risotto and a side of green beans. It was actually a very good match with the dinner, though in general I think this wine needs to age for a few more years. The end was tannic, but I really think it will get better.

On the nose there was cedar and a few spices. In the mouth, blackberies, vanilla, more spices and currants as it aired out a little more. As I said, the end was tannic, but not that bad and it definitely faired better as the night progressed. The alcohol didn’t bother me because the structure was good and the flavors were enough to make it good for me. However, I will say that I had trouble getting through my 2 glasses of wine. It made me a little tipsy. I would say that’s the worst part of the high alcohol wines.
Really good with dinner

Wine with Dinner Challenge Results.

First, the soup was excellent! I ended up subbing fresh bacon for the bacon bits, adding some chicken stock and putting in more cream so that I had a bigger batch! Much thanks to Roz for the recipe! Secondly, I took Farley from Wine Outlook‘s advice and paired it with a Rose because it was the “fruitiest” wine I had on hand and it seemed the recommendations were leaning toward that (both Cooking Chat and El Jefe from El Bloggo Torcido suggested fruity reds). We have plenty of leftovers though so I will try it with some of the other suggestions, I just need to get to the wine store. My picture doesn’t look as pretty as Roz’s, but you’ll have to excuse me since our light went out in the kitchen and we were working by candlelight.

The bottle I chose was a 2004 Wilson Winery Merlot Blushing Flamingo. We picked this up at Wilson Winery on our trip this summer. The bottom picture was taken overlooking their vineyard. This was a sharp, dry rose, quite different from many of the sweet ones I am used to and much different from the one we consumed a little later last night.

At 14% alcohol, this is no small wine; it also had a real cork closure. It paired really well with the creamy soup and the spicy sausage, thanks Farley! Strawberries on the nose and in the mouth, with melon and oddly enough a hint of lime. An interesting rose, we have a bottle or two more hanging around. I’m sure it makes a great summer wine (though it may as well have been summer here with temps nearly in the 70s!

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