Wine & Cheese Party for Three

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned to Aaron that I was interested in having him and Heather over for wine. Over the last maybe 13 months I have been sharing a bit of my love for wine with the two of them by telling them about wines, wine events going on, and giving them some bottles of various kind of wines for them to enjoy. Aaron tends to be a Cab Sauv fan, while Heather has a preference for Pinot Noir. I was reminded that Heather was working on a large project for work, and was excited when Aaron let me know of a date that worked in their schedule.

I prepped what would be a miniature Wine & Cheese party with a homemade platter of cheeses, peperoni, salami, various types of crackers, bread, some dip, and of course, wine. I had hoped to start the evening off with 1998 bottle of Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir from their Hoodview Vineyard. However I found my bottle with a dry cork that crumbed as I attempted to pull it out, and breaking into two pieces. I still have to figure out a way to open this bottle with a different corkscrew that I don't currently own and hope to avoid any of the cork getting into the wine. More importantly I am praying to the powers that be that the wine has not gone bad.

I "settled" for staring with a 2006 Reserve bottle of Barnard Griffen Cab Sauv. I believe that Josh got this bottle for me when he was in the area a couple of months ago. I knew Aaron and Heather would like this one because I think actually might have given them one, perhaps just a different year. As expected, it was an enjoyable wine that the three of us wished there was more of, but sadly, there was not. At least not in my possession.

As we munched, drank, and conversed, I began to think about what I would open next, and I thought it was the time to open a very special bottle. You may recall that Josh made a post about the Best Wines of 2009. In that post, I wrote about a bottle of Pinot Noir I had from Westrey Estates, which I received after my first year at Willamette University. As I was switching departments, it was a send-off gift from my then director. Along with the bottle from Westrey, I also received a 2006 Pinot Noir from Grochau Cellars. I was incredibly nervous about this wine, but not for what you might think. I received this bottle in May of 2008, and the heat of the summers of 2008 and 2009 caused a couple of my bottles of wine to go South. As a result my main concern was that this was a cooked wine that would put the evening on a sour note.

I was the first of the three to try it, wanting to make sure it was good. I couldn't get a good feel for the nose. It seemed like it might be okay because it was not completely pungent, nor was it void of any odor at all, but I still couldn't tell. I tried again, this time to get a deeper, stronger, fuller sense of the nose. Again, I still couldn't tell much of anything. The next real way to tell if a wine is good...d'uh, the taste. I could not believe what I was tasting. I immediately told Heather that she would enjoy it. She smiled. I didn't know if Aaron would like it as much, but I knew he wouldn't hate it.

"That's really good," said Heather. "I like that a lot" came out of Aaron's mouth after they both tasted this wine. We all agreed on a couple of things:

- The nose was not an accurate prediction of what you were about to consume (something I think could be that I just opened the bottled of wine and we began to drink it almost immediately)
- This was a Pinot that went down surprisingly smooth with not much of an aftertaste, and one that was the tiniest bit of sweet on the palate
- This was a great bottle of wine

The three of us thought that this was an excellent choice for the evening, especially since it was a week day and we all had to work the following day.

I have to say that I was really excited to have been able to host Aaron and Heather for a couple of hours during the evening. Anyone who knows me, knows that I enjoy hosting and providing an atmosphere for people to relax and enjoy themselves in a setting where they don't need to worry about much of anything. This was a fun evening that was honestly just what I needed. I am reinvigorated for my love of wine, and my sharing my wine experiences with you all.

Until next time...


Josh Gana said...

I just sent my bottle of the 2006 BG Cab Sauv to air conditioning in anticipation of 100 degrees on Wednesday. Such a great wine!