Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wine Epiphany

The comforts of your own home could never stand more true when the cork is pulled from great wine. What defines a great wine? Sense of place, taste, smell, finish, balance? These are all pertinent contributing factors; but essentially, to me, a wine is great when the overall finale is greater than the sum of its parts. Synergy applies in this case. So a tale of synergy unfolds...

My minister, Father James—weird as religion sounds, seeping into my blog post—visited last week to bless my home for Epiphany. The first time I have ever done something so "homey-conservative-like." With all I had been through this past year, from having a baby as a single mom in the restaurant industry to changing my career path, I wanted to bless my house. Hope for new beginnings. Dream for better tomorrows. Aspire to weave my wraiths come true.

So, I went down to my fledgling cellar to gently pull out a 1999 Rinaldi Barolo and a 2005 Claude Dugat Gevrey-Chambertin. My roommate, and best friend, diligently worked over our marinated flank steak and 2 day-in-the-making red wine demi-glace, while I carefully decanted my hopes for the new year. After whipping the sour cream mashed potatoes, drizzling the demi-glace jus, and spooning out a squash-panko casserole spiked with a bit of Midnight Moon Gouda cheese, I poured the wines.

Explosive. Surreal. Contemplative. Bold. Meaty. Much to discuss.

2005 Dugat Gevrey-Chambertin unraveled slowly, bit young of course, but every inch masculine, brawny with foresty treasures, mushrooms, meat, horsey hide sprinkled with dark fruits. Specatacular acidity, my faith in God's good work confounding. Shy I was around the minister sipping vino, but the monks started all this magnificent craft! Where would wine be today without religion?

My hopes for the promising New Year were sealed with the 1999 Rinaldi Barolo. Pure finesse, perfumes of intoxicating rose petals, delicate but penetrating. Dried fruits abound, baked earth lined with smooth tannins. True bliss for sure. The exorcism could now begin. Out with the old, in with the new.