I opened a bottle of Swan Lone Redwood Zin '04 for supper back on Tuesday, because I had only a couple of sips left of the red I'd been drinking (Coffaro Zin) and I'd sooner pour wine down my throat than down the drain.
Proves what a cheapskate I am.
The mix (2/3 Swan, 1/3 Coffaro roughly) was Ok with some leftover chile verde from the freezer, and the wine, as tasted on opening and before messing up my palate with the other Zin and the chili, was pretty decent for an old Zin. Maybe getting a bit on the astringent side, but very drinkable and still having some of the bright-berry Lone Redwood flavor.
Then other meals that didn't want red intervened, and I didn't go back to the bottle (still a good 3/4 full and stashed in the refrigerator) until Saturday.
Saturday is spaghetti night for me; it's a tradition that started more than 60 years ago when I was a small boy.
Anyway, I was perhaps a bit slow getting the wine out of the refrigerator and the bottle was on the cool side, warmer than American beer, cooler than English beer, and actually just about the temperature I prefer for whites. But I was hungry and dinner was ready, so here we go.
Ick. Tasted like gone wine - sour, fruitless. Too bad. My spaghetti sauce came out really well.
Moving right along, the darn fool writing this essay stuck the 1/3 of a bottle remaining back in Mr. Whirlpool and we came to tonight.
Grilled dry-aged T-bone, grilled portobello, baked potato and salad.
Got it out of the refrigerator while nibbling my fingers in anticipation of Lincecum's fraught efforts and tasted it. Hm. Came back.
This time, by design, I let it warm up enough, pretty much to British beer temperature, and the potato spent its hour+ in the oven, and the charcoal was just right and the grilled stuff was just about right, and the salad was dressed (I hate naked salad), and I tasted the wine.
Well, whadda ya know? Not the greatest Zin I ever tasted (Lone Redwood was quirky), but a thoroughly enjoyable glass, with a thoroughly enjoyable meal. (Except for the baseball game.)
So I'm puzzled. Rod Berglund does a really good job of getting the best out of the fruit. Lone Redwood zin was quirky stuff. It was getting old, but not that old for Swan zin.
I can understand why it was just Ok with the chile verde - I more often choose beer for that stuff.
I can make excuses for why it was really ugly with spaghetti. And my meat sauce makes nearly any red wine taste better than it is.
So why did it come back tonight? I was prepared to grit my teeth and get out a fresh bottle, and to my delight, I was able to put the rest to its rest in the proper place - my belly.
I guess that's why I like wine. You never know....
John in the wine county