The God of Wine

When I was in high school I was obsessed with Third Eye Blind. My guy friends were more obsessed, and it was the kind of thing that stuck. The summer after high school my friends Rich and Andrew and I drove down to Virginia Beach from New Hampshire with Rich’s family. We listened to Third Eye Blind the entire way, I’m pretty sure.

Anyway, when I wrote the title of this post I remembered that one of their songs was called “God of Wine”. The song has nothing to do with this post. In fact, the lyrics are kind of depressing:


Rich, Andrew and me circa 2003

[The God of Wine comes crashing through the headlights of a car that

Took you farther than you thought you’d ever want to go.
We can’t get back again.
You can’t get back again.
She takes a drink and then she waits,
The alcohol it permeates.
And soon the cells give way, and cancels out the day.]

Sometimes I get off track. There was absolutely no reason for me to bring any of that up… except that my uncle (my uncle’s husband, actually, but he’s still my uncle, right? That always confuses me.) is back in Washington from their California abode and graced us with his presence for dinner last night. Unfortunately he has been gone since I started this blog because he is a wine god. Like, seriously, he knows about wine. He even had me tell him my menu before he came over so he could pair correctly. And also, I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad glass of wine with him. In my head there is, “Wine Elena can afford” and “Wine served by Steve, at fancy restaurants and in France”.  Stupid poor-graduate-school-student thing. Although I would guess our alcohol spending is way outside what is appropriate for our income bracket. We have our priorities straight, people.

For dinner last night I made a lemon chicken marsala with balsamic roasted winter squash wild rice and a mixed green salad with pear vinaigrette. The rice dish was amazing. I made it up from a mesh of like six different recipes, but basically just roasted a winter squash in balsamic, made some wild rice, sautéed garlic, onion and sausage without the casing and then mushed it all together. There were probably some spices in there too. Anyway, it was delicious.

Steve brought a lovely Rosé to start. Rosés hold a special place in my heart because they remind me of lunchtime in summer in Corsica. Very. Specifically.

The Rosé was dark, Steve said as dark as a recent Pinot Noir he’d tried was light. In fact, now that I’m looking at the bottle, it is actually called a dark rosé. The bottle was a 2011 Capture Dark Rosé. It had that nice freshness of a dry rosé. In my opinion, any meal can start with a bottle like this. We had some crackers and chevre out, which I thought was a nice combination.

Next we had our main course and a 2010 Mendel Argentinian Malbec. I had led Steve to believe that we were having a red sauce with the chicken,  but I can’t keep a menu the same for more than 30 seconds so it wasn’t what I ended up making. But anyway, the Malbec was deliciousssss. It is a fairly young Malbec, and yet, it was full and dark and fruity. Apparently this vintage is a good one, or so says the tasting notes that Steve included with the bottle. Told you he was a wine god.

tasting notes

tasting notes

For our third wine of the night, paired with Ukrainian chocolate, we had a 2010 Domaine des Terres de Chatenay Vire-Clessé. I had no idea what that was. According to Wikipedia… “Viré-Clessé is an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) for white wine in the Mâconnais subregion Burgundy in central France, located in the communes of Clessé, Laizé, Montbellet and Viré. Viré-Clessé has Chardonnay as the only allowed grape variety.” And, for those of you not up on French agriculture (how plebeian are you?), “The appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) (French pronunciation: ​[a.pɛ.la.sjɔ̃ dɔ.ʁi.ʒin kɔ̃.tʁo.le]), which translates as “controlled designation of origin”, is the French certification granted to certain French geographical indications for wines, cheeses, butters, and other agricultural products, all under the auspices of the government bureau Institut national des appellations d’origine, now called Institut national de l’origine et de la qualité (INAO).”

Anyway, it was also delicious. It is a chardonnay grape, my favorite, rich and crisp at the same time.


Anyway, these weren’t official tastings or anything, but all wines I certainly recommend.

I also recommending going out and getting yourself a wine god  uncle.


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Filed under Beginner's Guide, How to Choose a Bottle, Today's Tastings

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