It’s Whats For Dinner

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Another dinner party with some of the usual cast of awesome people took place again recently.    And it grew exponentially.  When it gets bigger there is a greater chance of more wines being presented that some of us had never had before.   This was exactly the case.

What may also occur is the risk of one or more of these wines not standing out and getting lost in the shuffle.  This is a good problem to have.  Not all wines are created the same. And not all wines are going to affect and move us in the same way.  That’s what makes us all so wonderful, blessed, and unique.

With that, many of this party did supply a bottle, yours truly included.  And what do you know, mine was the one that never really caught on.  But that’s a good a thing.  They all can’t be winners.   So without a further diatribe, my choice was the 2014 Burgoviejo Graciano Rioja.

My rationale for bringing this bottle was to change it up a bit and expand mine and maybe someone else’s horizons in the process.  As I would assume why other friends would bring a certain label or vintage.  Or just maybe I’m looking into it a bit more deeper than a necessary.  It’s a dinner party after all, and this one in particular is always casual, down-to-earth, and loaded with kindness and friendship.  Shouldn’t they be all?

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The main course was a beef roast with complementing vegetables, a risotto, and salad.  All of this was beautiful.  But before I get too far ahead of myself, I needed a proper wine to go with it.

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Cheese and crackers were the appetizer, but I didn’t want to spoil myself too much.  But that’s always a welcome treat and surprise.  And best of all, a palate cleanser.

I went to one of the many fine wine providers in the area, and as per usual, the staff is always happy to help and bring their knowledge to the situation.  I mentioned the menu for this dinner party, and after several recommendations (some I was leaning towards beforehand via research), one of the last ones suggested was this Rioja.

It just stood out a little bit above the others.  Again, maybe it was the simple label of flowers.  Maybe it was the hint that Spring is right around the corner.  And just maybe it was a feeling this was going to be special and somewhat different.

I went with it with the hope this was going to be something special.  Somewhere in the back of my mind there must have been just the slightest feeling of doubt after I purchased this bottle.  But at $14, this was a reasonable risk.  And hey I’m being a bit dramatic again, but it was worth a shot.

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A hearty meal like that means a full-bodied wine.  I’m not quite sure this was full-bodied enough.  There was something missing here.  It didn’t have that pizzazz or inspirational feeling you might get from a certain bottle.  Honestly, it was kind of just there.  With all the other wines people brought, this wasn’t nearly as moving as the others.

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That’s not to say it wasn’t finished.  We had quite a number of bottles that didn’t stand a fighting chance (in a good way), but mine was just a bit lower on the totem pole.   With a fuller bodied wine you want more tannins, you want more spice, you want the darker fruits to stand out, and you just want it to feel bold and boundless.  None of that happened here.

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My peers were in concurrence with this.   However, with any good dinner party, it doesn’t always matter.  The meal was incredible, the conversations were meaningful, and time just flew by.

Did I mention that good company is always the most important part of any feast?  That should never be taken for granted.  It makes the time go by so quickly.  You know what else does?  Great wine.

And because there were so many other wondrous choices, I will likely and hopefully get to one next week that paired perfectly dessert.  Yes, our bellies were full, but there’s always room for more savory wine and sweets.

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It also shows how good this crew is.  Everyone brought something to the table and didn’t come empty handed.

The host even made a joke that I shouldn’t be working and just enjoy the event fot what it was.  The point was valid and duly noted.  I only took a few photos and enjoyed myself the best I could.   I think my words and more importantly, my experience, are strong enough to celebrate and appreciate another great memory, and another great dinner.

For my friends in Baltimore, this wine can be found at Chesapeake Wine Company.  For all my other wine loving friends, hopefully this link will be of assistance.

More next week.

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