Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ringing in the New Year...

Wine: Lailey Vineyard Zweigelt, 2006 / Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada

Paired with: broiled skirt steak & garlic-thyme roasted potatoes and a DVR'd episode of "Glee"

Comments: Okay, so this one is kind of a ringer, but sometimes you want something safe. We first encountered Zweigelt (and have only found it to date) at Lailey Vineyards. It's an Austrian grape developed in the 1920s, and is apparently the most commonly grown grape in Austria, and making huge inroads in Niagara -- who knew?

This is the type of wine where we always buy a couple of bottles when we visit the winery because it's food-friendly and accessible. A great wine to have on hand and serve it to those people who want the great stuff but haven't yet learned the difference. Of course, it's good enough for your wineaux friends to enjoy also, so great for mixed crowds.

Like we said, a little bit of a ringer. In the past we've paired it successfully with all sorts of meals. We especially love it with those dinners that don't really call for a great wine, but you still want a wine with them: pizza, burgers, etc. It's similar to a zinfandel in its versatility, but not as full-bodied.

It's basically just a good, simple wine. Perfect background note to a relaxing meal.

Tasting Notes - pre-food: Slightly sour cherries & other red fruits, very jammy, even some licorice on the finish. Light tannin.

Tasting Notes - with food: The tannins were nicely balanced by the steak, and the cherries got a little sweeter with the meat.

Color: Garnet/pinkish.

Price: approximately $15/bottle

Verdict: Tuesday night. Not the most complex red wine, but a very pleasant accompaniment to everything we've paired with it.