A duet of reds

Friday evening found us going with my husband’s brother and our sister in law to the Melting Pot for a fondue feast (just what we needed after Thanksgiving was to expand our belts a little more, right?). Cheese fondue, then meat fondue and finally chocolate fondue for dessert. It presented another conundrum, what to drink with such a mixture? The Melting Pot offers a surprisingly extensive wine list, with prices up over $200 for a bottle. Those were not to be in our price range for the evening. Our sister in law was inclined to want a red that night so I concentrated on those.

I chose a 2005 Trinity Oaks California Pinot Noir. It’s produced by Trinchero Family Estates in Napa. $30 on the menu, cork closure, but our waitress had a terrible time getting the cork out. I found it online for $9.00, so a $21 mark-up, not terrible for a restaurant I suppose. I certainly wasn’t going to pay $45 for a Chateau St. Michelle Riesling which I know I can get for $13 at the store.

Back to the wine. I wasn’t impressed. It was very thin in the mouth to start. It tasted of cherries and raspberries. I put it aside for a bit and let it open and air. It tasted better toward the end of the meal, a little fuller, but still a very thin wine. But what could I expect for the price?

We came home and opened a 2004 Quivira Steelhead Red Dry Creek Valley Blended Red Wine. 14.2% alcohol by volume, cork closure, cost us $15 after our club discount. I think I read somewhere that this wine supports the restoration of trout to the creek at Quivira. This wine was spicy, but well balanced and easy to drink. Tart berry flavors, and a lot of spice. I think this would go well with an Italian dish that had some sausage in it.

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