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Posts Tagged ‘charles smith’

Rating: 4/5

Garden salad comprised mostly of darker greens, green bell pepper, baby bella mushrooms, cucumber, tomato and a heavy dusting of chickpeas. Dash of balsamic vinegar.

Wine: Charles Smith’s Eve Chardonnay 2008

Notes:

I’m really not trying to push Charles Smith wines here, but after the fun experience with his Boom Boom Syrah, I couldn’t just pass by this little number.  So I paired it Old Testament style with my favorite versatile and simple garden salad that clearly [sic] evokes the Garden of Eden to pick up on the apple nod from the bottle of Eve.  Let me state that the best thing about this experience was that it was a cool, crisp and clean burst at the tail-end of a scorchingly hot day  (103ºF in Minneapolis in June?  Really?).  Yes, you should pair your meals with the season and the day to some degree.

I generally tend to shy away from buttery Chards (aka: those with malolactic fermentation or MLF) that have heavy oak aging.  Instead, I lean toward a more crisp, Burgundy-style Chardonnay (Read: very limited buttery-ness or oaky-ness and yes, those are official words) and the wonderful people of the Washington wine scene seem to agree.  Eve had just a touch of butter in there, as maturing whites from Burgundy do which really brought out the chickpeas in the salad.  I tend to pile those on so highlighting my favorite part is never a bad thing. What generally prevents a salad and wine pairing from being perfect is the dressing.  Vinegar tends to react poorly with wine (more pronounced with reds) due to a chemical reaction that occurs.  I’ve found that in limited amounts, (dashes instead of dumps) the reaction’s output, a sort of pronounced sharpness, is so minimal that it really isn’t that noticeable.  What about creamy dressings, you ask?  To that I say, I’m not big on them.  While, you wouldn’t get the vinegar/wine reaction, the health benefits you could be getting from your salad sharply decline when using a creamy dressing.  If you really want a savory component in there, add a sprinkling of Feta, which also would have been a nice compliment to this salad.

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Rating: 4/5

A quick and dirty, Aaron Berdofe branded version of Coq Au Vin (Translated: rooster with wine) made with braised chicken thighs, leeks, yellow onion, golden beets, crimini and oyster mushrooms, shallots, cajun chicken sausage, tomato paste and of course, red wine.

Wine: Charles Smith’s Boom Boom Syrah 2009

Notes:

Most of the time I prefer to buy wine that’s restricted to a particular region.  This generally ensures that the quality will be acceptable.  However, occasionally I break from tradition if the winemaker behind the wine knows a thing or two.  Enter Charles Smith; the guy out of Washington state that makes quirky wines with iconic b&w labels that make hipsters swoon. You might have passed by his Velvet Devil Merlot in the wine shop a few times, but now you’ll be able to spot it as a Charles Smith wine from afar just by the label.  Boom Boom, I believe takes grapes from three different areas in Washington thus giving it a Washington State designation and not say a Walla Walla designation.  Anyway,  I can’t really use the word “explosive” with this wine like every other regurgitated wine review you’ll see on this.  I can however, tell you that the experience you’ll get is much more akin to taking a dose of Pop Rocks in your mouth, sans soda pop of course. This wine bursts at irregular intervals with blackberry, spices, roasted meats and violets which makes you take a moment, let out a sigh and say, “Cool.”  The oak on this wine is nice and smooth which makes me think it was French. In other words, it was a delightful accompaniment to my updated Coq Au Vin.  I really didn’t know what to expect from either of them so the unpredictable-ness of the whole thing just kind of worked out into something warm and fuzzy.  The only reason I didn’t give this a full 5/5 rating was because I had some thoughts on a few other wines that I would pair with the dish that would be enjoyable too while experiencing the Boom Boom Coq Au Vin. Speaking of Boom Boom, I had to listen to Sean Hayes’s “Boom Boom Goes the Day” while enjoying this.  Here’s an acoustic (and less upbeat) version of the song:

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