Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Wine - The Main Day

In retrospect a Christmas Day meal is sometimes overkill, but it never seems so at the beginning.  Yesterday was no exception.  There was great food, good friends and three great wines that each would have made the day special on its own.  The dinner was three large cuts of standing rib roast of beef, cooked to varying temperatures to satisfy a large crowd of fifteen people with diverse opinions on how well done beef should be.

There are four wines pictured above and three of them were opened and consumed, the fourth waiting for another day and another meal.    Two were opened before dinner to breathe a little while the beef roasted and appetizers were eaten.  Both were from the 2001 vintage in California.  From Napa there was a Caymus Special Selection and from Sonoma there was a Mazzocco Matrix.  After a quick sniff and sip those were put aside to await the beef.  When those two bottles were emptied during dinner the Beaulieu George Latour Reserve from Napa was opened.  The 1996 Robert Mondavi Reserve finished the day with the cork still in it, waiting another meal.

Each wine deserves it's own space and to keep postings short they will get their own page over the next couple of days.

The favorite wine of the evening was the Mazzocco Matrix, a meritage wine from Sonoma County.  It was nicely balanced between fruit extract and oak and it left a drier taste in the mouth on the finish, and that paired well with the richness of the beef. All three were great wines and two probably have longer lives ahead of them but on this evening I preferred the Mazzocco.

Pictured is one of the appetizer plates for the evening.  It's simply shrimp with two sauces, a standard tomato based cocktail sauce and a sauce of mayonnaise, reduced shrimp cooking liquid, lemon juice and blue cheese.   The early wine of the day was 2005 Grosset Watervale Riesling from the Clare Valley of Australia.  Wonderful stuff to sip with appetizers.

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