Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Experiment gone right

Last night I went over my buddy's house to have a glass of wine. I had made Paella the night before and brought the left-overs to share (it was awesome).  I also brought a bottle of wine I thought would go well with the meal, 2006 Numanthia.

Upon arrival at Phil's house we microwaved the Paella and Phil picked a bottle of his choice to share;
he came up from his cellar carrying a bottle of 2000 Giacosa Fratelli Barolo. We opened both wines and decanted them. We talked about cars and houses. We started discussing his trip to California and the wines Phil and his girlfriend picked out. We always get on the subject of what if? What if we dropped everything and started a bed & breakfast that had a vineyard.

We often talk about pooling our assets together and buying a fixer-upper. Phil is a great carpenter and I'm pretty good at almost everything. We started talking about wine blending and what wines we could make that were unique. Then he did it. Out of nowhere Phil grabbed the Barolo and poured it into his glass of Numanthia. Noooo....I thought you can't do that. It happened so suddenly it almost took place in slow motion.

What? Phil looked at me and said this is really good. So I committed the same sin and made the concoction. This time we made sure to mix about 50% of each wine together and swirled it vigorously. we let the wine sit for a few minutes before we tasted it the second time. To my amazement the two wines combined were better than either by themselves. Could this be a breakthrough?

To our knowledge no one has ever blended Nebbiolo and Tinta de Toro (Tempranilla) grapes together. I will say, the Spanish 2006 was a great year as well as the 2000 from Piedmont. We had to come up with a name for the wine. It had an earthiness, fine tannins and integrated acidity from the Barolo; plus it showed sun drenched dark fruits and spice from the Tempranilla. I thought we should call it Zeus. The god of earth and sky with his lightning bolt connecting the two.

Well, the experiment was a success and the wine was gone. We were able to share a wine that may never be duplicated again, because of the wines and the vintage years. But who knows maybe someday we will own a vineyard and it will contain Nebbiolo and Tempranilla vines. Maybe, we will even bottle a red blend and call it Zeus.

Maybe someday.


Have you ever had a divine intervention experience? I have and it inspired me to write about a certain wine. A wine salesperson came by the other day and we tried a wine called Black Stallion.  I thought the wine was great and it was on sale to boot.  I contemplated using the wine for my wine club.

I started researching information on the winery. I discovered that the visitor center used to be an equestrian center, hence the name of the winery “Black Stallion.”  As I read on, I discovered they have a high-end wine named Bucephalus. Bucephalus is the legendary horse that Alexander the Great tamed as a young boy and continued to ride in all his battles. Again, I thought this would make an interesting story. So what does this have to do with divine intervention? Keep reading…

Later that evening after I ate dinner and cleaned up a bit, I turned on the television to see if anything good was on. There were no good sporting events to watch and my favorite cooking shows were over. I turned the guide off and a movie had already started on the channel I selected earlier. As I watched, a story about a small boy that was stranded on an island somewhere started to develop. It seems that the boy and his father had captured a wild black stallion and they were transporting the horse via ship back home.

A fire broke out and destroyed the ship killing everyone aboard except the horse and the little boy, the stallion rescued. Turns out the only thing the boy had in his possession besides the clothes on his back was a small metal figure his father had given him as a keepsake. The figure was none other than Bucephalus.

The boy and the horse became friends and you guessed it, when the boy was rescued the horse went with him. Of course, the story goes on and a local horse trainer (Mickey Rooney) helped the boy get The Black Stallion ready for a race. As I sat there sipping my wine, which by the way just happened to be the last of the sample bottle the salesperson had left behind, I knew I was making the right choice for next month’s wine pick. That is either divine or extremely circumstantially coincidental.