Quite often, at a wine tasting, a consumer will ask me what my favorite wine on the table is. I never have a good answer for this mainly because I see wine differently than you do. The bottle has been researched, studied, atheistically torn apart, put back together with a pretty marketing bow, and sold – in my head. When I choose to DRINK something, it is all about the moment, the company, my mood. When I am pouring at a three hour event, I’m not in the mood.
So…how to be polite with this question. I answer honestly; I’ll tell you what is in my fridge. What is waiting for me when I get home is the answer. Are you like me; at the end of the day is when you truly become yourself? There is Work Susan, Gym Susan, Sister Susan, Aunt Susan, Let’s Go On A Date Susan, and then the real Susan. Real Susan and I need to check in when the day is done; wash your face, put on the comfy clothes, “slay the demons” (that bit totally borrowed from my coach – thanks big guy, well put), and pour yourself a little relaxation.
My go to lately is Provenance Sauvignon Blanc. Not because it’s summer; I would drink this in the dead of winter. Mainly because this wine is not that grassy, acidic, enamel wrenching Sauvignon Blanc my friends seem to love. I need a little roundness. I need some smooth lovely soul reaching real talk. However, don’t get to deep with me. It’s the end of the day in this picture I am painting, and we don’t need to fix the world’s problems. (by the way, we all know wine doesn’t do that, right?). For a winery known for reds, it’s amazing to me a white like this can stand out like it does. There is some barrel fermentation (slight) on this wine; that is what is changing the game for me. And don’t sit in judgement with your stainless steel animal of a wine that you swear by. Remember; complexity, layers of flavors, journey of a wine. That is what holds the mystery.
I took this wine and the Cabernet Sauvignon to Sla Thai – my favorite Thai restaurant. With this winery located in the heart of Napa Valley California (Rutherford to be exact), I thought the two expressions of this vineyard would make sense with the rustic quality of Thai food. The Rutherford Appellation is a pretty warm place; grapes can reach their full maturity while producing deep and and richly flavored wines. That is what stood up to the complex flavors of our meal. There is a LONG ripening period in this specific area of California = wines with great acidity, balance, interest and all out love.
Where can I find these wines; Just about anywhere. They MAY not be stacked on the floor of a wine shop; take a trip to the shelf. You can do this, I promise. Don’t be scared. It’s time to stop that “grab and go” – take a tour.
What should I have in my purse; The Sauvignon Blanc will run you about $17-$20 and the Cab around $40 – $45.
The Sleeper; The Merlot from Provenance Vineyards is stellar. Deep red fruit, dusted cocoa, followed by warm oak at the end. Delish.