Thursday, May 10, 2012

They Make Wine There? - New Mexico Red

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It was an amazingly beautiful day here in the Willamette Valley.  Sun-drenched and satisfied, I decided to make dinner for Greg and upon his return from a week in North Carolina.  The menu - spaghetti casserole, braised kale with caramelized shallots, crimini mushrooms, and balsalmic vinegar.  For dessert I made up a rhubarb crisp complete with an oat-crumble topping.  All of the produce came from the Corvallis Saturday Market...all except the tomato sauce for the casserole.  That was the last jar from last year's canning. I love it when food comes full circle.

I wanted to get the perfect wine to go with the meal and felt a bit stuck.  Generally I go with red when I am doing tomato sauces, but I felt that the citrus flavors in a sav blanc or chardonnay would be better with the crisp.  I the end I just went with what was closest (I try to be a wino, but I end up just being someone who likes a nice glass).  I grabbed the bottle of Primitivo from Black Mesa Winery in New Mexico.  Chris had left it on my coffee table from the evening before, and there it was - looking at me and asking to be sampled.

Initially the wine was very tart, full of ripe cherry with a lingering floral-ness.  Greg described it as sour.  As we ate our main course the wine's flavors broadened to blackberry and some of the high acid flavors mellowed.  I enjoyed this pairing.  I poured myself a second glass with dessert, and enjoyed how the acid in the wine balanced with the tart rhubarb.  I was worried that this wine might overpower our dessert, but it ended up being a lovely compliment. 

I surely don't think of wine when I think of New Mexico, but this one was a lovely surprise.  

1 comment:

  1. New Mexico sparkler Gruet (owned and operated by the same Gruet family with a small operation in the Champagne region of France) still is a great value and regularly beats bubblies costing twice the price. Something about the microclimate in their vineyards near Truth or Consequences. A wine steward who never steered me wrong urged me to seek out Gruet's Pinot Noir and told me I was in for a treat. I still haven't gotten around to tracking down that Pinot (it's not in my top 5 reds), but I can tell you that everything else from this winery in New Mexico has bang-for-your-buck that simply can't be beat.