Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Wine with curry and hot dogs

Last night curry, tonight hot dogs (using award-winning sausages from Archers in Norwich - if you get a chance to try them you'll be hooked!). Is there an ideal wine to go with either, let alone both? Almost certainly not, is the answer but that's no reason not to have a glass anyway.

The bottle of choice was Domaine des Côteaux des Travers' 2005 Cairanne which, for some reason carries the additional title of "Sélection" (I would hope it is!). That minor grumble aside, time to turn to the bottle. Still quite youthful but perfectly drinkable (my guess is that most people would be less ageist than me) with lots of very ripe, sweet Grenache character. When it's as ripe as this (not overripe though), the fruit is almost black, certainly a little tarry and, looking now to see the blend, I am surprised to see so much Mourvèdre and so little Syrah. I must go back to basics! In terms of food matching, despite my completely unfair choices, the wine held up extremely well with enough in it to combat the sweetness of the balti sauce and the extra chilli I had loaded into it whilst Jill wasn't looking and although Rhone wines do generally go well with sausages, it had to work with fried onions and ketchup - it managed very well under the circumstances.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Domaine de Mourchon 2006

Walter McKinlay called to tell me about the 2006s from Domaine des Mourchon (very good, very forward, apparently - I'm looking forward to tasting them) and it got me to thinking about the 2005s. My memory is that the Grande Reserve 2005 was still a little tight but Walter said it is coming together better now than at the start of the summer. Only one way to find out: a couple of hours later, cork pulled and...he's right. This wine does him proud. Lovely balance with the oak supporting but not interfering with the spicy black fruit. I think I might start on my case sooner than anticipated.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

A simple Cotes du Rhone

Just to show it's not all CDP (and because it's a good wine and I needed to re-taste it before including it in a mixed case offer to my email list) I opened a bottle of Domaine Brusset's 2005 Côtes du Rhône. Quite meaty, black fruit with hints of olives(?) Very Provençal. Reading Parker's comments about "strawberry and cherry fruit" I do wonder whether we have been tasting the same wine though.

Friday, 7 September 2007

Domaine de Cristia Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2003

Last night I opened a bottle of Domaine de Cristia's Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2003 to go with my sausages (someone once told me they made the perfect pair - I've never been entirely convinced but I'm always happy to give it a try). The particular bottle came from the heatwave vintage so it's drinking better at a relatively young age than, say, a 2001. The wine is incredibly rich with a lovely sweetness to the fruit (but it is in no way a sweet wine) and it really lingers. There seems to be a whiff of oak, not much but just enough to give the wine a bit of structural support and lend another dimension to the flavour profile. For me, though, the really great thing about the wine is the texture: full, rich and velvet-smooth.