Wine and Appetizers

Our Thursday night tasting at Fine Wines of Stockton was a different format this week. Instead of having a wine theme and critiquing each wine we had wine and appetizers. The idea was to see how each wine paired with the three different appetizers. Gail’s friend Marianne is a is the owner of Marianne’s Pantry, a private chef and specialty food supplier.

The three appetizers were fig with chevre and prosciutto heated on a griddle, an eggplant tapenade and a lentil cake with a spicy sauce. The wines were a 2009 Decoy Sauvignon Blanc, 2005 Bourgogne Blanc, a 2006 Nipozzano Riserva Chianti Rufina by Frescobaldi, a 2008 Seghesio Zinfandel Sonoma County and a 2009 Penly Estate Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra, Australia.

Marianne is Gail’s tennis partner so a lot of the participants were from their tennis group and so there was a lot more socializing than serious wine tasting. However, we all had a lot of fun and it was an interesting experience to try each wine with each appetizer. I’ll just give a brief informal wine note and which appetizer each wine went best with. While not unanimous, there was a lot of consensus on the pairings.

2009 Decoy Sauvignon Blanc, – Light yellow color with a floral nose and citrus and floral flavors. It had a lot of acid and a good clean finish. The consensus was the fig, cheese and prosciutto went the best with it.

2005 Bourgogne Blanc – A darker yellow as expected from a Chardonnay. Mineral nose and mineral, dusty flavor with a little oak. It had a moderate finish with good acid and did very well pairing with all three appetizers. The eggplant tapenade came in the as the best pairing, however.

2006 Nipozzano Chianti – Nice medium ruby with a great nose of ripe fruit. A lot of fruit in the flavor, more than you would expect in a Chianti. Nicely balanced tannin and acid with a long finish of fruit. It paired best with the lentil cake, probably as it was the more neutral tasting appetizer. I tasted this wine before eating anything and it really did better with food than without.

2008 Seghesio Zinfandel – Medium ruby color with a lot of fruit on the nose. Ripe fruit and spice in the mouth with moderate tannin balanced with nice acid. This wine also had a long finish and went very well with all three appetizers.

2009 Penly Estate Cabernet Sauvignon – Dark ruby color with fruit and wintergreen in the nose. Mint and fruit in the flavor with significant tannin and good acid. A moderate length finish. It also went well with the three appetizers so it appears the reds paired more broadly with food than the whites did.