Wednesday, March 5, 2008

WBW: Comfort Wine for the Last Days of Winter

Charged with finding a “comfort” wine, I thought about what brings me comfort. Wine is not the first thing that comes to mind when I think comfort. I find comfort in childhood favorites like grilled cheese with a Guldens Mustard smiley face drawn on it and a cup of tomato soup. Or comfort is indulging in a box of macaroni and cheese without worrying about the “carbs” because I was out hiking or biking all day. Or staying in and curling up on the couch with my husband, popcorn, and a good movie. Well, perhaps a nice sparkling would be just the thing with popcorn and that scenario. For me, great wine engages so many of my senses, that I don’t unwind per see, but I do refocus my mind from perhaps a tough day at work to investigating what the wine has to offer. What do I smell? What do I taste? Is it what I expected? What foods would this be perfect for? What can I perceive about the choices made during harvest? And most important, do I like it? Finding a wine that engages all my senses and stands out as memorable is akin to perhaps catching that big fish, or winning the big game. Its deeply satisfying and not easily forgotten. Perhaps going wine tasting for me, is better described as wine hunting. I'm always looking for the next great white whale, or red whale in this case.

Recommending one wine is tough, but the wine that is up there in the wine hunt and allows me shift gears and unwind my mind to a sensory pursuit is the J Wilkes 2005 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Hillside Blend. I love this wine just for the sensual experience of drinking it. Great Pinot Noir is one of our civilization's best inventions. It's probably up there with electricity, a great shower, comfortable bedding, terrycloth robes/slippers, and running water. All great comfort giving inventions. My experience with this wine is enhanced since I got the opportunity to assist the winemaker during the 2006 and 2007 harvest. I can’t lay claim to any input on the wine I’m recommending but it adds greatly to my enjoyment that I can visualize how it was made based on my harvest experiences. This adds an extra dimension to every sip of this wine and allows me to reminisce and savor simultaneously.

Tasting Notes ($39.99)
This is not a big fruit forward California Pinot. Instead, there is a deep sensuous complexity reminiscent of great burgundy there for the attentive soul who indulges. A wonderful spicy, herbal bouquet invites you in. The notes of strawberries and cherries typical to Pinot Noir are present upon tasting but they are just one of the many that will overwhelm your senses. Simply sublime wine.

Read here for more reviews of J Wilkes Wines and Harvest.

Thanks and Congratulations to Joel at Wine Life Today for the Comfort Wine Theme for Wine Blogging Wednesday and on the arrival of his new baby girl!

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