Well my glass of wine by the pool became a gathering of friends and family with pizza, wine and beer but that speaks to the true nature of food and wine, to help in the building of family and community. Ever wonder why the kitchen always seems to become the center gathering point for parties and why almost all holiday celebrations include a feast? It’s because food and drink serves as a focal point for sharing and celebration. What would Thanksgiving be without the big turkey dinner – the same can be said about Christmas with it’s roast goose (thanks Charles Dickens), Easter and the ham dinner, 4th of July picnics, and birthdays with cakes and parties. I truly feel that food consumed alone, regardless of how wonderful it may be, becomes eating just to maintain the body engine and not to enjoy its fullness.
As I noted in last night’s brief post, I started out with a bottle Marechal Foch from Jewell Towne Vineyards. This a very fruity, sweeter red (11% alcohol) from a small winery on the coast of New Hampshire. My wife and I picked it up at the local farmer’s market last Saturday. Tasting was not possible but I had tasted wines from Jewell Towne before so I figured I’d give it a try. The label calls it “nouveau-style” with cherry and blackberry flavors. It lives up to the description and did remind me of a Beaujolais Nouveau in taste and feel. It’s a dark purple wine and while I could smell cherry, I really couldn’t pick out the cherry flavor but one friend could. For me the blackberry was dominant and made for a pleasant taste. After swallowing, my mouth had the same feeling I get after eating blackberries (a long lingering dryness) only without the seeds stuck in my teeth – a wonderful wine to share with friends.
Once we decided to order pizza, I opened a bottle of Lodi Red (Grandpa Don’s Blend), from Lodi Vineyards in Geyserville, California. Lodi Vineyards is part of the family of wines produced by Michael~David Winery in Lodi, California. I didn’t know it when I bought the Don’s Blend, but they also produce my favorite Zinfandel, 7 Deadly Zins. Don’s Blend isn’t going to replace the 7 Deadly Zins for me, but it will be part of my wine collection going forward. Not overly dry with a good taste (14.5% alcohol) that wasn’t overpowered by the heavy sauce and meat of the pizza. I could easily recommend Don’s Blend for use as the standard red table wine in the house.
Later today, this same group of friends and I will be visiting Labelle Winery to taste their family of wines along with cheeses from Cabot Cheese. Sounds like a wonderful afternoon.