Sunday, April 14, 2013

Ranstad Wine Tasting

On Friday evening, we partnered with Randstad for an evening of gourmet food and charming wines.   We love doing tastings with Randstad because the guests are always so enthusiastic and participative, and this was no exception. 

On the table we offered the usual favorite; truffles and foie gras, in addition to some new favorites; Scottish salmon roll-ups, German stuffed peppers, and tuna toasts. 

We began the evening with a Cava toast where we discussed the differences between Cava, Champagne, and Prosecco.  I was surprised to see that 25 hands flew up when I asked if anyone liked Prosecco.  It seems Proseccos presence is well known in these parts.  I should mention a significant portion of the attendees hail from Australia.

Key differences:

Champagne- red and white grapes (Pinot Noir and Pinor Meunier for red, and Chardonnay white)
                     only from Champagne, France
                     must be aged 15 months on the lees before disgorgement
                     fermented using the traditional method

Cava-           white grapes only (Xarel-lo, Parellada, and Macabeo)
                     from anywhere in Spain
                    must be aged only 9 months on the lees before disgorgement
                     fermented using the traditional method

Prosecco-      only uses one grape, which is white (Glera)
                      only from Prosecco (Valdiobbedene DOCG being the more prestigious region in DOC Prosecco), Italy
                     no aging requirements and is best drunk young
                      fermented using the tank method

Next up, our representative from France, Thibaut, walked everyone through some basics about Burgundy, and then some information about our wine; Pouilly Fuisse AOC Burgundy. 
Pouilly and Cava


Pouilly Fuisse is in Southern Burgundy, where the appellation dates back to 1936
Produce 100% Chardonnay
Typical PF is full bodied, ripe, and elegant

Comments from the peanut gallery; 'I would like to be on the back of a boat with this wine.'

Onto the reds.  First of the reds was our Torremoron Joven 2011, 100% Tempranillo from the Ribera del Duero, Spain.  Robert Parker himself drank this wine.  He then awarded it 92 points and declared it the 'bargain of the century!'  This is always a crowd pleaser because it's easy, full of flavor, and delicious.
CdP, Montemercusio, and Torremoron.  And truffle breads.

Then back to Thibaut, and back to probably everyone's favorite of the evening; La Font du Loup Chateauneuf du Pape 2003.  This is 10 years old and still drinking beautifully!   Here is my personal tasting note:


Chateauneuf du Pape2003 Chateau de la Font du Loup  (Cotes du Rhone,France) Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault. A fine vintage that’s still drinking beautifully.  Balanced with aromas of vanilla and ripe redfruit, is dry, soft and has a liquorice spice finish.  Ideal with steak and soba, parmesan breadpudding with pancetta ham, and pork chops with squash and pumpkin.

Then we finished the evening with a powerful punch; Montemercurio 'Messeggaro' Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2007.  I love this wine.  It's got great power and strength but also retains some elegance and finsesse.

Did you know?

Montepulciano is a grape and a town
In this case, we're talking the town (grape is 100% Sangiovese)
It is the oldest and smallest of the Sangiovese producing regions. Can you name the other 2????

Chianti and Brunello.

So there you have it.  Wines.  Food.  Good times. And a bit of new info thrown in for good measure!

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