Sunday, June 22, 2008

Chicken Every Sunday and Chardonnay

There is a large pot of moss roses on the front step by the door and they are in full bloom. As I was growing up my mother always had moss roses on the front step, and it's a tradition that is easy to continue as witnessed the photo on the left.

We are back to the stormy season here in Ohio as we had a major storm roll through last evening and another came through this afternoon. Last night I was all set to grill some lamb rib chops when the storm began so they were done inside.

The chicken that was supposed to go on the grill went in the oven today because a storm rolled through just I was lighting the grill. The bird was brined, air dried and rubbed with rosemary, thyme, and lavender before going in a hot oven. There was some fresh pasta to go with some just made pesto and a little store bought corn salad. One of the two large pots of basil on the patio is producing a prodigious amount of leaves and while I wait on the local tomatoes to come to market in another month or so I'm using basil for just about everything. The second pot of basil is running a month behind the first so that it will produce when the tomatoes are ready.

The chicken was wonderful and with it we opened a wine just coming into the market place.
Meranda-Nixon is another Ohio winery that is helping revive the Ohio River Valley appellation for wine. I have tasted several of their wines but the 2007 chardonnay was new. They make a traminette that is very drinkable and they just released their first cabernet, a 2006, that shows some promise. The rest of their wines are on the sweet side and that doesn't appeal to me, though they seem well made for what they intend to be.

My initial reaction was that this was a mediocre wine. But with the chicken it was young, fresh, alive, and simple, tasting of tart white grapes and Granny Smith apples. There was a small sweet spot in the mid palate, but the finish was dry and crisp. This is a wine that's not trying to be anything but young and refreshing. Oak and butter? Not a hint. It was almost a chardonnay version of a German halb-trocken. By itself it was fine, but with food it came alive. A good, honest wine for $12.

The appellation on the wine is "American" meaning the grapes came from one or more of the 50 states. Let's hope they grow some or more chardonnay in their vineyard and continue to make this "summer" style wine in an estate version.

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