Monday, January 18, 2010

Wine at the Right Time

For some occasions you need to pull out the good stuff, and good friends coming over for dinner certainly fits in that category. Especially considering one of the guests successfully solved the puzzle of the strange fruit trivia contest from back in October. Additionally, he's my friend and the managing editor of NW Palate magazine, Peter Szymczak. (No, I didn't give him any hints…he apparently just knows odd bits of trivia about fruit.)

John out in his vineyard.

And since he's also a wine geek, I pulled out one of the magnums of Thomas Pinot Noir that I've had squirreled away in the basement for several years. Seven, to be exact. Dave and I get one every year for Christmas through the generosity of my brother, who must not remember the time I dressed him up in an old bathrobe with a pot on his head and then got my folks to take a picture. But that's another story.

The menu demanded a luscious red wine, with beef bourguignon I'd made the day before and held over to let the flavors meld thoroughly, served with polenta made from Ayers Creek Farm's Roy's Calais Flint corn and a radicchio caesar salad. And I could think of nothing that could better complement all this goodness than the product of John Thomas' hand-tended four-acre plot near Carlton.

The old winery building.

John is better known for his Acme Wineworks non-vintage pinot noir, a very decent wine in its own right, but one that pales in comparison to the estate pinot noir that he barrel-ages for a full two years before releasing it. At first blush this wine showed good fruit with lots of top notes, but shortly it warmed and mellowed, the earth and berry flavors coming out.

It only got better in the following hours and, when everyone had gone home after devouring the apple chutney pie for dessert with some of Peter and Diana's homemade nocino, Dave and I finished off the last sips, thankful for being privileged enough to be able to enjoy a wine as startlingly well-made as this.


RM said...

When I read your post, I didn't recognize Thomas wines even though I'm familiar with a bunch of Willamette Valley wineries.

I googled for Thomas pinot noir and one of the top hits was from Benchmark Wine Group who had a magnum of 2002 Thomas Pinot for sale for $10!!! It must have been a typo in their system since it should have been $100 or so. Anyway I ordered it ($20 with shipping) and it arrived today. Sure enough it was a Thomas Pinot Noir magnum!! Looking forwad to an occasion to taste it. Thanks for letting me know about Thomas Pinot Noir.

Kathleen Bauer said...

Gosh, what a story! Hope it made the trip OK (what with the vagaries of temperature control in a UPS truck…). If you do open it, let us know!