Tuesday, December 22, 2009

An Occasion

“Do not suppose that abuses are eliminated by destroying the object which is abused. Men can go wrong with wine and women. Shall we then prohibit and abolish women? The sun, the moon, and the stars have been worshiped. Shall we then pluck them out of the sky? …see how much he [God] has been able to accomplish through me, though I did no more than pray and preach. The Word did it all. Had I wished I might have started a conflagration at Worms. But while I sat still and drank beer with Philip and Amsdorf, God dealt the papacy a mighty blow.” (Martin Luther, quoted in: Drinking with Calvin and Luther – A History of Alcohol in the Church, by Jim West)

The occasion was a friend from Hawaii was out and another friend just took a job back east (New York) and has 3-weeks left here in SoCal... not to mention this was probably the only time we can get together for Christmas. So I opened some bottles and the "boys" brought some wine.

The prices range from $6.00 a bottle to about $65.00 a bottle.  The least pricey was the Minage A'Trois, which held its own against some of the other wines.  My favorite was the Barolo.  It was full bodied but smooth on the finish.  I like very little aftertaste on my wines except for a bit of fruit.  The color was that slight brown tinge to the red, which means it was perfect for consumption and perfect to open if not kept in a cellar or wine fridge, considering the 02' vintage on it.  

The next wine in my taste range was almost a tie.  The Rombauer Cabernet was an 04' and could have sat another year or two, but considering the occasion, I opened it up.  This bottle sat and I turned it on a consistent basis (fighting my wife who turns the labels towards eye-site range for aesthetic purposes that only women know).  I was quite surprised to see that the wine had mellowed out... and not just a small bit but turned into the wine I am sure the makers had in mind.  Foresight is everything.  Tied in taste but deep color (dark plum color) was the 2005 Rafanelli Cabernet.  

This wine was excellent.  It was my first introduction to Rafanelli and I would definitely purchase a bottle if the chance was presented (I believe this is sold only through the winery?).  These three were the ones that stood out.  I am sure the Bridlewood Zinfendale was excellent as well, but that was the last bottle opened and it would not be fair to rate this wine with the skewed pallet of five previous wines, pizza, pesto cheese, and the like.  All-in-all it was a good night.  The wine I liked the least?  The Grgich Hills Cab... too strong and meaty for my buds.  Seemed to have too much tannins/oak for me.  That is not to say I would ever turn down a bottle of this (*wink*).