A Better Review

It has been quite a while since we drank a bottle of the 2005 Preston Viognier. I have a few bottles of it hanging out, and my last review of this wine didn’t do it justice as it was the 3rd or 4th wine of the evening on Thanksgiving last year and we were battling it out at Trivial Pursuit while drinking it. You can check out my paltry review here.

This time we drank the wine just sitting around one hot evening (a theme around here this summer, given the temperatures!). This is my third summer spent in the DC area and my 4th in Virginia. I am still not used to the heat!

The wine had a real cork closure, clocked in at 13.7% alcohol by volume and was made of grapes from Dry Creek Valley.

On the nose I found peach, honeysuckle, spice, and a bit of a topical note. In the mouth the wine was light and crisp. The flavors were peach, honey, and a bit of spice. The wine had silky feel in back of palate, I really enjoyed it. Overall an excellent wine and another great offering from Preston.

We made a brief return to Preston on our last Sonoma trip to pick up some olive oil and were disappointed to find that Preston was entirely sold out of all their white wines and hardly had any reds left either. I hope that they have released some new vintages by now! Preston was a cool place to visit, I think the most intriguing part, besides the wine of course, were the cats in the yard by the tasting room. There are just a ton of cats that live there!


My Take on a Southern Feast

I am far from a Southern Girl, having been raised in New England and spending my first 20-something years there. I only moved down South about 4 years ago and I still am not very good at frying a chicken! However, we had this interpretation of a Southern feast consisting of fried fish, corn on the cob and couscous.

With our dinner I served a 2005 Madame Preston from Preston Vineyards (where I will be stopping in April to pick up some olive oil, delicious!). The Madame Preston is billed as a Rhone style white blend and is made of 62% Rousanne, 31% Viognier and 9% Marsanne. It cost us $26 minus a case discount, is 13.8% alcohol by volume and had a real cork closure, but no foil covering. Like all of Preston’s wines this one is also made from organic grapes.

On the nose there is a huge sweet perfume aroma consisting of honey, spices and tinned pears. It is smooth and full in the mouth and tastes just very slightly oaked. Contrary to the nose, it is not sweet at all in the mouth. It has almost a reserved lemon flavor with pears as an undertone. The finish is a decent length and overall it was an okay match with our dinner, but I preferred it on its own.

Strawberry Fields Forever

Apparently we have a theme going for this week: wines that have distincly strawberry flavors. And, I haven’t yet put away my longing for summer, much boosted by the very unseasonal 72 degrees we hit here today. (So how’s that global warming working for you?) Thus, tonight was a bottle of Preston of Dry Creek 2005 Vin Gris, which is a rose table wine. This wine is 13.5 % alcohol by volume, has a real cork closure and ran us $17 minus a case discount when we bought it at Preston. Sadly, this bottle of Preston is also sold out. It seems most all Preston had to offer this year is sold out, which is making me rethink the decision not to join their club, as I’m not sure we can get their wines otherwise….

Back to the wine. What a great wine. Fun to drink, light, yet creamy and perfect for a summer afternoon (or a winter day masquerading as summer, or really, any day you want!). As I said, the texture is creamy, which I find surprising in a rose. The color looks like a melted watermelon Jolly Rancher, and it follows though with a solidly watermelon and strawberry taste (though not in the sickeningly sweet way I would imagine a melted Jolly Rancher to taste, which really, can’t be all that pleasent to drink!).

I paired this with our leftover “Christmas” dinner. So honey baked ham, cheesy mashed potatoes and candied carrots. It was a pretty tasty match. I think a rose is great with a ham, and we have a bottle of Pedroncelli 2005 Rose (or 3) hanging around that I might pair with our ham and cheese pizza that I’m making of the leftovers for dinner tomorrow. Stay tuned (if anyone actually reads this!) 🙂

Preston 2005 Sauvignon Blanc

We picked this bottle up for $18 minus a case discount at Preston while we were visiting the area this summer. Sadly my camera is on the fritz and in the process of dying managed to erase my photo of the bottle and the wine in the glass. I’ve ordered another camera, but I won’t have pictures of any bottles until it gets here 😦

Preston has gone completely organic in their farming procedures and all bottles of wine, starting with the 2005 Suavignon Blanc are made of organic grapes.

The wine is 13.5% alcohol by volume and had a real cork closure. I got lots of lemon and other citrus on the nose of my glass. A crisp wine in the mouth, with traces of minerality and grass. It was tart and light with an easy finish. Paired well with the creamy chicken casserole I had made as it seemed a good balance for the creamy flavors.

Looks like Preston is completely sold out of the 2005 vintage of all their white wines, including the Madame Preston Grape Wine, a bottle of which I have hanging around! Although, you can still find this Sauvignon Blanc online here.

What do you serve with this:

I believe that is the question that many a wine lover (or blogger) has been asking him or herself over the past few weeks. This was the plate of food that was served to everyone at my house. Sweet potatoes with marshmellows, candied carrots, mashed potatoes with cheese, turkey, etc. Is there really a perfect wine to serve with this disharmonious collection of food that somehow all tastes good together?

I think the answer I have arrived at is that no, there is no perfect wine to serve. But that’s okay. Since nothing will go fantastically well, why not just serve what you like and add it into the mix of all the other random foods put together on a plate?

With that in mind, 4 bottles fell at our house on Thanksgiving. I was little off in my predictions. I thought we would drink 2 white, a red and a dessert. It ended up being 2 white, a dessert and a Champagne. As noted before, we let our guests choose off our pre-prepared list. My husband’s brother and his wife chose the first bottle, a 2005 Ferrari-Carano Sauvignon Blanc. My brother in law said it was because it had Ferrari in the name. Everyone seemed to like it, though I think most were more concerned with tasting all the food at the table than with the wine! It’s a slightly sweet sauvignon blanc with a good bit of citrus rounding out the flavor. I remember really enjoying this the day we tasted it and we do have another bottle hanging around for later. Cork closure, $15.

Next we moved on to a dessert wine, which was the choice my husband’s Aunt and Uncle. Being slightly wary of the VA dessert wines on the list, they chose a 2005 Bella Late Harvest Zinfandel. This was also a cork closure and cost $20.50. At 15% residual sugar, I expected this to be a very sweet wine, but it really reminded of a very young port. I thought it had a great finish, a lot of blackberry flavor and I probably should have served it with an assortment of chocolate, but, chocolate would not seem the dessert of choice for Thanksgiving.

Up third for the evening was a bottle of Preston Vineyards 2005 Dry Creek Valley Viognier. Cork closure, $22 after a case discount. If you ever have a chance, try Preston’s olive oils. They are superb and I only wish we had taken home a few bottles. This was a good choice for a wine to drink as we did, sitting around playing Trivial Pursuit. It was light and easy to drink, but surprisingly full in the mouth and very smooth going down. It had a bit of spice that I can’t place and maybe a hint of tropical fruit. This was my choice as I realized we were hunkering for a long battle of the wits.

Finally, to finish the evening, we opened the bottle of champagne that our Aunt and Uncle were so kind to bring. It was a G.H. Mumm & Cie. Cordon Rouge Brut. I gather it runs around $37 for the bottle and sadly the cork was thrown away before I could see what year it was. I thought this was a very tasty bottle and a great way to finish our evening. I tasted a lot of apple, and thought it was slightly sweet for a brut champagne. A good finish, with just a bit of yeasty undertone. I’d definetly get this bottle again.