Feb. 9 was my semi-annual fundraiser for my church. Of nine wines, five were Spanish--two whites, two reds and a Cava. We also had a Chardonnay from Western Australia and one from Virginia, a red Burgundy from Maranges, and a Syrah from California. We had about 20 people (I try to keep it to no more than 24 for food planning and since I provide only two bottles of each wine.) Others pitched in on the food.
Temporarily losing my car keys and waiting in line for over 30 minutes to pick up a package at the post office put me about an hour behind. As I hurriedly loaded my car to get to the church, I forgot the crab dip on the kitchen counter and once at the church I forgot to put out the serrano ham that I had put in the church refrigerator earlier in the day so I ended up serving the crab dip with crackers and the serrano ham after the church service on Sunday. Fortunately, we had plenty of other food. I had decorated the tables earlier in the day with red and yellow tablecloths and red and yellow flowers (Spanish flag colors) and had a flamenco guitar CD to play as background music.
We started with mussels and 2009 ADEGAS GRAN VINUM ALBARINO, RIAS BAIXAS, SPAIN. 12.5% alcohol. Very crisp and minerally; perfect pairing for mollusks.
We then had shrimp and goat cheese with the second wine--2011 BODEGAS VINIDOR SHAYA RUEDA ARINDO, SPAIN. 100% Verdejo grapes. 13.5% alcohol. Fruity but I thought I detected a touch of oak underlying the apple and pear. I rated this a solid B but this was the favorite white wine for our priest. Also some had this with the red and yellow peppers salad in vinaigrette (I had asked Gail if she could bring a red and yellow salad.)
The crab dip was supposed to be paired with the Verdejo wine and the Chardonnays along with shrimp. I thought the wine from Rueda went nicely with the shrimp.
The next white wine was 2006 Picardy Chardonnay, Pemberton, Western Australia. 13% abv. Rated 91 pts. by Josh Raynolds for International Wine Cellars. Mild and pleasant; not noticeably oaky but shows a hint of vanillin. I like this.
2008 Michael Shaps Chardonnay, Wild Meadow Vineyard, VA. 13% abv. Definitely more oak than the previous wine but not too over-the-top. In fact, this was my favorite white of the evening. The crowd favorite was the Albarino.
Then we went to red wines with meatballs (a Hungarian recipe from Tara's father) and I was lucky to get the last one because they were really popular. We also had bites of lamb that I provided with a choice of mint sauce or steak sauce and Moroccan chicken and a ratatouille-type dish that Nancy brought. I also brought smoked Gouda cheese and I liked the way it paired with the Burgundy wine.
2010 Domaine Bachelet-Monnot Maranges 1er Cru "La Fussiere" Burgundy, France. 13.5% abv. Pale garnet color with some transparency. Cherry flavor with subtle hints of savory element. Pleasant and balanced.
2009 Cellars Can Blau Montsant, Catalunya, Spain. Gil Family Estates. 14.5% abv. 40% Mazuelo grape, 40% Syrah grape, 20% Garnacha (Grenache) grape. I had pegged this as a crowd pleaser and the priest enjoyed it but it didn't connect with me on this evening and was not widely liked.
1998 La Rioja Alta, S.A. Gran Reserva 904, Spain. 12.5% abv. Pronounced nose with some leather and herbal notes, Pleasant on the palate with cherry notes and a lengthy finish. I have another bottle and will report further on it when I open that one.
2007 Joseph Swan Vineyards Trenton Estate Vineyard Syrah, Russian River Valley, CA. 14.6% abv. Aromatic. I had ordered this after a tasting at the winery so liked it then. On Saturday it tasted too ripe for me after the Spanish Rioja.
I had a tie for my favorite reds of the evening between the Maranges and the Rioja. The crowd's favorite white was the Albarino and the favorite red was the Maranges from Burgundy just ahead of the Joseph Swan Syrah.
Dessert was a half-round (about 3 lbs.) of Manchego cheese, aged for 6 mos., with Membrillo (quince paste) served with
2009 Mont Marcal Cava Brut, Spain. The Cava had lots of bubbles initially but they dissipated quickly. It was dry and rather nice I thought. I don't have a lot of experience with Cava but wouldn't mind revisiting this one (I still have a bottle left.) We had some leftover Manchego and quince paste to serve after church on Sunday.
I had a drawing (no charge) and gave away a bottle of Williams-Selyem Vista Verde Pinot Noir, San Benito County and a bottle of Alysian Wines (Gary Farrell) Starr Ridge Chardonnay, Russian River Valley to the winners. I think both winners teach at Fayetteville Tech Community College.
I enjoyed the Membrillo (quince paste) which was Don Juan brand and the Duerr's Mint Sauce ordered from an online englishteastore (amazon.com also carries it.) The Manchego cheese was from Whole Foods in Raleigh and I noticed they had at least two or three other Spanish cheeses including the Drunken Goat.
Last edited by JC (NC)
on Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.