As The Wine Grows (Up), and a Perfectly Nice Pairing -- Or, It's All Good

We've just topped and tasted the three garage barrels, and are so pleased with the way the wines of the j.brix project are tasting right now. They are developing quite nicely, getting their feet under them a bit, shedding some gawkiness, and gaining shades of complexity from the few months they've spent in barrel. 

Oh, Syrah. She's just a classic beauty.

The free-run Grenache's got absolutely no CO2 behind the bung -- it's been precocious from the start; I think it may have finished malolactic fermentation on the sly. (We'll be sending samples to the lab soon to see.)

There's a tad of CO2 behind the Grenache free-run/press blend, which tastes AMAZING.

The Syrah, which I pegged as languid from its first signals of fermentation, is still in the throes of malo (but also is tasting, honestly, awesome). I have a very special relationship with the Syrah because I climbed into it barefoot during initial fermentation ... we're familiar in more of a Biblical sense. So, trust me, 'cause I'm speaking the truth to power now: The.Syrah.Rocks.

Lately, I wake up in the night (3 a.m. Regularly. Anyone with me?) pondering blending, and whether we'll want to, and how we'll know what to do if we do. Advisers (a.k.a. winemaker friends; impromptu consultants; countrymen): get ready for the inquiries! You don't mind, do you?

The (Double) Double-Blind Pairing

The latest (Double) Double-Blind dinner occurred in a semi-happenstance way. We'd had a delightful polenta dish over the holidays, which the children adored, so since it was my turn to cook, I thought I'd do a secret kid-friendly dinner we could all enjoy, also involving polenta.

I'm sure when I'm an old lady, my kids will get together in my absence and make fun of the way I tried to sneak good-for-you foods into everything. (Oh well.) I made green polenta. Kale was involved. Quit laughing! It was delicious! 

I also made organic chicken strips. As I said, I was aiming to please. What omnivore among us doesn't like chicken, dipped in melted butter, dredged in seasoned breadcrumbs and herbs and Parmigiano-Reggiano? With (previously) homemade tomato sauce on the side? (Let's be honest. You'd eat it, wouldn't you? We all did.)

Do not mess with my green-kale polenta. 'Cause I'm making it when you come over. And I'm also making you stir it. You think risotto takes a lot of stirring? Hahahaha! Polenta reqires a whisk! Harder!

The Wine

Jody bought, brown-bagged and poured; I thought it was a juicy, spicy, yummy, 2006 cool-climate California Pinot Noir, all of which was true:

Here's what the winemakers have to say about it. I love RRV Pinot, and while I'd never heard of this producer before, I enjoyed the bottle.

The Pairing

It was perfectly fine and tasty. No fireworks went off; no angels sang the "Hallelujah Chorus" in the heavens above. It wasn't dissonant, and it wasn't magical - but it went well, everything together, and sometimes that's just about all you really want.

Know what I mean? You don't always have to think so hard, about everything, all the time. (This is what I tell myself, anyway.)

The Children

While they weren't so much in the mood to play the guessing game about the wine this time (although Talia, 10, did think it was a California Pinot Noir), I'll leave you with this final quote from Elijah (6), which seems to prove the menu, at least, was a success: "And I am TAKIN' THIS IN MY LUNCH TOMORROW!"

As always, thanks for reading -- comments welcome!