Now, a word of disclaimer: we didn’t choose the wines to suit the cuisine – peppery pork rib soup, Malay beef curry, and stir fried chili vegetables.
Beringer Founder’s Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 $10 – Not bad
Fruit forward – strong blackberry nose. Light tannins. Mild wine, very sippable. Some websites described the wine as “boring”… but hey, in my book, wine’s never boring. Horrible maybe (the heavy kerosene-scented muscadet I tried in Ushuaia, Argentina comes to mind), but never boring. Granted, it may not be the most exciting of wine – I’d call it the girl next door. Very pleasant. 🙂
Brown Estate Zinfandel 2004 $40 – Damn good
Let me preface by saying that I’m not really a big fan of Zinfandels. But that could just be because the earliest Zinfandels I tried were cheap bottles pulled off shelves without much thought, other than the fact that they were cheap. Consequently, most of them had a really heavy metallic flavor that frankly just left a bad taste in my mouth. One trip to Napa, I tried a Zinfandel port, and that nasty metallic flavor shone through too. After that, I tried to steer clear away from the wines.
But then, at our New Year’s party last year, Mike brought a bottle of Zinfandel, which he claims is his favorite wine ever. I was skeptical of course, but gamely tasted some. Unfortunately, I cannot recall the name of that bottle, though, if I need to, Mike of course remembers. But it was a beautiful wine – fruit forward with bursts of berries, rich, and smooth.
This bottle of Brown Zin that Jon brought out for dinner reminded me of that one that Mike brought. Jon had purchased a whole case, following a tasting at the Tasting Room for my birthday this year (I’ve actually procured a bottle from him too, but intend to leave it in his wine fridge until after I move). If the cabernet we tried earlier was flat, this was exciting. The flavors of berries just danced in our mouths, and the light tannins allowed us to swirl the wine around without that dry puckering feel. It opened up more with time and became even smoother. Quite an elegant wine.