Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Spice and Fruit

Today was the hottest day of the year in this area, though to be fair it has not been an extremely hot summer.

Tonight's wine was the 2006 River Village Cellars Syrah, the second label from Kinkead Ridge. As previously noted the 2006 vintage in southwestern Ohio was plagued by rain and cold weather at harvest and this resulting wine is very pale for a Syrah. There is definitely fruit in the form of red plums in the nose and just a hint of spice. The wine is fruity with good acid, low tannins for a Syrah but is very well balanced. The red plums come through big time on the taste, with some black pepper and berry fruit as well. The winery believes there is some cloves in the wine, but it seemed more like star anise to me. The middle seems a little soft but there is a good palate cleansing finish. At $11 a bottle it's a good effort.

Not wanting to spend time outside on a hot day over a hot grill we did chicken thighs in the oven. They were dusted with a Turkish style seasoning - garlic, cumin, black pepper, oregano, paprika, sumac and cayenne pepper before being popped into a hot oven.

As a side I fixed some curried couscous. This was chicken broth, hot curry powder and dried currents boiled together. I added the couscous, took it off the heat and covered it for five minutes. It was finished with toasted almonds, chopped scallions and parsley and a couple tablespoons of olive oil and lemon juice. A sliced, orange tomato finished the plate. There was the bite from the the cayenne in the chicken and the curry in the couscous that really brought the fruit in the wine forward. If this was a tannic wine it would have clashed with the food, but in this case the lightness of the vintage was a nice compliment to the food. At only 12.7% alcohol it is also a wine that I could sip all evening (and that is exactly what I'm doing).

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