Thursday, March 23, 2006
3/18/06 Dinner Party
It's been a while since I posted because Natalie and I were both under the weather last week and not really in the mood to try any new wines. With our friends, John and Sally, in town, we decided to go ahead and have a little dinner party Saturday night. Sally is super pregnant and drank sparkling Welch's, which I won't be reviewing. Brendan and Kristine and Dan and Danielle joined us for dinner (with Finn and Aidan). I made Tuscan White Bean Dip on toasted Italian bread, a Calamari all'Amatriciana appetizer, risotto with spinach, and veal saltimbocca. Natalie made a really, really good tunnel o' fudge bundt cake with homemade chocolate sauce.
We asked people to bring wine to share. John and Sally brought a Copolla Claret that I stashed for another evening. I opened a Montes Alpha Syrah 2003, Colchagua Valley, Chile and decanted to have with dinner and we went through several other bottles throughout the night.
We had, in order:
• Colonia Las Liebres, Bonarda, 2004, Mendoza, Argentina
This was a good wine to begin with. It was spicy, interesting and woke up the palates. It wasn't light, like an aperitif, but was more like a hearty first course. We got this one from Binny's, big surprise, for less than $12. I'd give it a 87-88. It was dark fruit, some tobacco/tar on the finish. Well-balanced tannins.
• Montes Alpha Syrah 2003, Colchagua Valley, Chile
This is one of my new favorites. It's affordable (less than $14 on sale), fairly easy to find (at Binny's), and goes with a wide variety of dishes. I'd give it 92 points. Has really smooth black cherry/blackberry fruit in the beginning with some coffee bite on the finish, but this wine is definitely smooth. We had this when we went out for Natalie birthday to Sweets & Savories on Fullerton and loved it then and this didn't let me down.
• 2003 Cousino-Macul, Antiguas Reservas, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile
This wine was one of the bottles our guests brought. I liked it. Not knowing anything about the wine, it was a "light" Cab. After having so many big, big, big California Cabs, this one was nice. It reminded me of solid Italian reds. Some black fruit and good tannic balance. I'd give it 84, maybe 85 if I had tried it earlier in the night.
• 2004 Kanga Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, South Eastern Australia
Last wine of the night. It was black fruit forward, not surprising given its terroir, but was acidic on the finish. I would rate this a 81. John liked this more than the Cousino though.
I'm not going to review it, but I cooked with one of my favorite table white wines, Villa del Borgo Pinot Grigio. This is year in and year out such a great value wine. I especially enjoy it in the summertime, hanging out outside enjoying the wine. I'll review it in the future at some point.