Saturday, April 30, 2005

Party Favorite

Elyse, Cabernet Sauvignon, Morisoli Vineyard 2001 ($60 approx.) - As a wine geek I am often faced with the social dilemna of, upon bringing a wine to a party, whether to open it right away for all to sample, or to let the hosts stick it in their cellar for later consumption. I know it is social convention to offer the bottle to the host and then he/she can decide to stash it away for later use, or serve it then. I have decided that it makes the most sense to bring two bottles, one to consume right then, and a second for the hosts to put away. I then head straight to the kitchen or bar to find an opener. In this way I am guaranteed at least a few sips of some good wine and the hosts are happy. I guess as a wine retailer, I'm allowed.

This wine was brought to my party recently and quickly opened up by a guest who is also not shy about bringing and drinking good wines. Among the nine wines I served and the other four that were gifts, this was the "best of show". Briefly (as it was late by the time this beauty got tasted), it had a warm alluring nose, full fruit flavors with very smooth, almost silky, integrated tannins. Even the wine distributor, who had brought other wines and does not sell Elyse, ackowledged this to be the best that night.

The other wines consumed that night were, 2000 Luca Beso de Dante from Argentina, 1997 Anderson's Conn Valley Napa Cab, 2002 Finca de Sandoval from Spain, 2002 Tikal Patriota from Argentina, 2002 Tim Adamas Shiraz from Australia, 1998 Wightman Napa Cab, 2002 St. John's Road Shiraz from Australia, 2000 T'Gallant Pinot Noir from Australia, 2003 Castle Rock Reserve Napa Chardonnay, 2001 Strewn Pinot Blanc from Niagara, 2004 Enotria Moscato from California, 2000 Eola Hills Vin d'Or Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc from Oregon, Marques de Gelida Brut Sparkling Cava from Spain, and Fox Creek's Vixen Sparking Shiraz from Australia.

The Vixen got the most interesting comments of the night from, "I've never tasted anything like this before" as she raced off to find her husband to get him to try it, to "This tastes like kool-aid", to which I replied, "You need to drink more wines and less kool-aid. This Sparkling Shiraz is the hottest wine of the year!"


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