Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Rose, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel & New Year’s Eve Dinner

East African Peanut Soup and South African Curried Parsnip Fritters
These are variations from recipes in an old Time-Life “Foods of the World” cookbook. Hearty, spicy, excellent for a cold New Year’s Eve.

Nathanson Creek (Sebastiani) White Zinfandel NV – California
This just can’t be a 4-dollar wine. It isn’t some syrupy sweet factory white Zin; it’s almost like a continental Vin de Pays rose. Nose of papaya and strawberry. Crisp tastes of kiwi and mild raspberry; even a little acid, and not at all sweet tasting. At this price, it’s a House wine for sure.

Dinner wines
Narrow Gauge Inn Cabernet Sauvignon 1992 – California
A friend had given us this bottle a few years ago, with the caveat that it might not be good anymore. He was right. This had turned completely. So...
Narrow Gauge Inn Cabernet Sauvignon 2000 – California
We had another more-recent bottle that we were holding, so thought it best not to hold any longer and try it now. It was already getting old, but still drinkable. Earthy, leather, woody, with obvious oak and integrated tannins. For us, it was still unfortunately a No wine, but then it takes a special Cabernet to get us excited. Price on these two unknown as they were gifts. Both were “special bottlings” for the Narrow Gauge Inn hotel outside Yosemite, from the Guglielmo winery. And then...
Ridge Zinfandel Pagani Ranch 2005 – California
We had this as our ultimate backup wine. (Francesca just couldn’t get into the Cab at all.) This isn’t one of our top Ridge wines, but to us any Ridge is better than most other reds. A Yes/Maybe for this specific Zin. About $25.