Sunday, May 22, 2011

Pairing with spiced duck

Yesterday I posted a recipe for Grilled Spiced Duck with Blackberry sauce and as promised, here’s the wines we had both the first night and with leftovers:

The first night we had it with the 2007 Simi Valley Petit Sirah, which we bought at a Black Friday cyber sale for half off - thanks to Scotchguy:

100% Petite Sirah; Inky, almost black in color with powerful flavors of intense, jammy fruits that mingle with dark chocolate and pepper. The tannins are firm and muscular creating a luscious mouthfeel and smooth finish.

It was FANTASTIC with it. The fattiness of the duck really needed a tannic wine and this was perfect with it. It really picked up the blackberry in the sauce and was complementary with the spice rub. If I recall, we poured the glasses about 30 minutes before we ate, so it got some air. If you're drinking it without food, I'd recommend at least an hour, but it really is a food friendly wine.

For leftovers a few days later, we had the 2004 Red Head Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, a selection from Gold Medal Wine Club:

Red Head Ranch sits on one of the oldest recorded vineyard sites in San Luis Obispo County, planted in Paso Robles by the Klintworth family over 100 years ago. This 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon, a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Petit Verdot, expresses Red Head Ranch's signature style: elegance and focus of fruit, producing wines that are supple and accessible. The wine press seems to agree, as Wine Enthusiast magazine names the wine among the Best of the Year and calling it "rich and robust, this soft, full-bodied Cab has a nice array of red and black cherry, black-berry jam, cedar and coffee flavors. Polished tannins help make it classy." The 2004 Red Head Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon was also awarded a Gold Medal at the Orange County Fair Commercial Wine Competition, in addition to a Silver Medal at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. The Petite Verdot was of excellent quality in 2004, hence a greater percentage (25%) of the blend as compared with the previous bottling. Its addition to the wine adds robust character that has resulted in a more complex, cellar-worthy wine. Try pairing the Cabernet Sauvignon with braised lamb shanks, burgers, and anything off the grill.

It was excellent as well. Very smooth – the age of the wine smoothed out the Cabernet, but the 25% Petite Verdot and the 50% new wood adds some additional tannins that once again, go great with the duck’s fat.
Both wines had typical dark berry characteristics which went well with the blackberry sauce, and the cedar notes paired well with the spices used. I'd say I liked the Petite Sirah a bit more with the duck, but loved the Cab as well and it was possible to drink it without food. Its rare you can order a wine with so much age on it – actually I just checked the winery website and they are sold out of EVERYTHING! Guess I’m hitting GMWC’s website for some more!!

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