Every month, wine maven, Brien McNally, at the Tam O'Shanter in Glendale, puts together fabulous wine and food pairings, and July 18th tasting was no exception. The Goddess of Wine, JD and their personal winemaker, Shawn Shai Halahmy, headed over to taste.
Nicoise & Bandol
2011 Domaine Dupuy de Lome Rosé, Bandol, Cote d'Azur, France. The nose was a bit hot, with overtones of dried roses and tropical flowers. There was the suggestion of sweetness in the nose, but the palate was dry as a bone! Mourvedre, Grenache and Cinsault were blended for a very elegant, medium-bodied wine with grapefruit and lemon on the front palate softening to stone fruits on the dry finish. Lovely. ABV 13.5%
Paired with Grilled Swordfish Nicoise Salad containing hard boiled egg, olives, rainbow fingerling potatoes, haricot verts (green beans), tomatoes, and arugula. Perfect!
The Goddess of Wine's first real outing after shoulder surgery took place on 7/12. JD and I headed up to the coolth of Ventura to meet friend Jodi for lunch at the newly relocated Paradise Pantry. Love the new digs! Lots of room for the Goddess to prowl the wine racks without knocking over anything - as opposed to the first time I visited their old location leaving glass and wine debris in my wake. We started off the day with hearty paninis, a split of Le Grand Courtage for me and a glass each of Verdad Grenache Rose for JD and Jodi.
Having properly fortified ourselves, we walked up the block to the recently opened Labyrinth Winery tasting room. Labyrinth is the brainchild of Ariki (Rick) Hill, a New Zealand native who found his way to California's Central Coast. Besides creating the wines of Labyrinth, Rick is the winemaker for Tantara, another winery high on my list of Pinot Noir producers. Labyrinth has two "brands", one being Labyrinth, the high-end line of Burgundian-style wines, and HAKA (a Maori word descriptive of a dance form encompassing words, actions, history, and life force), consisting of full bodied, bold, assertive, complex wines reflecting the vineyards of the Central Coast.
The Goddess of Wine lost the entire month of June to one of the worst colds ever, followed by necessary shoulder surgery, so we're playing catch-up with life. As is our wont, the Wineaux of the Goddess met on the second Wednesday of the month to visit Washington State wines. The instructions were: Wine from any appellation, white or red; bring them pre-bagged for blind tasting.
Some background on Washington State:
Wine grapes have been grown in Washington since the early 1800's, but no one grape has taken the lead in the state. When I think of Washington State, I often think of some of the larger, more commercial wineries like Chateau Ste. Michelle or Columbia Crest, but there's a lot more going on at the artisan level than one might think from going to the supermarket. Over 31,000 acres are planted with a wide variety of grapes including Aligote, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Grenache, Lemberger, Leon Millot, Madeleine Angevine, Madeleine Sylvaner, Malbec, Marechal Foch, Merlot, Muller Thurgau, Muscat Canelli, Muscat Ottonel, Petit Verdot, Pinot blanc, Pinot gris, Pinot noir, Riesling, Roussanne, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Siegerrebe, Syrah, Viognier, Zinfandel.
The Goddess of Wine highly recommends this excellent event!
SANTA CLARITA – 15 July 2013 – On Saturday evening, August 17, 2013, from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. the Vine 2 Wine Classic returns to the original Wine Classic venue: California Institute of the Arts in Santa Clarita. The event benefits local non-profit, Circle of Hope, in serving the needs of women in our community with breast cancer.
“We are looking forward to a fabulous event, bigger and better than last year,” commented Circle of Hope Director Ray Tippet. “The rebirth of the amazing Wine Classic, with the addition of the Moe Hafizi Beer Garden. And, we anticipate a sellout crowd of at least 750 people, so, we urge everyone who loves wine or beer, delicious food, live music, and a very enjoyable Saturday night out, to get your tickets online and come to the Vine 2 Wine Classic. It's also our most important fundraiser for our community. You'll love the event.”