Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Winey Tasting Notes: Post-Thanksgiving With Kidder Family Wines Duet

Every year many words are written about which wine to pair with the Thanksgiving feast. You'll get almost as many opinions about this as there are wine bottles in France. And Italy. Combined. I don't mean to sound really wimpy about this and all, but when it comes to Turkey Day, it's best to sip what you like. There are so many flavors and aromas piled onto the table that choosing one wine is kind of tough. This year I made my decision based solely on the fact that I was using Pinot Noir in the gravy. And being head cook, that gave me liberal leave to sip as I basted and stirred and chopped and stuffed.

We spend Thanksgiving at home usually. This is due to the fact that the Winey Son (aka Winey West Point Cadet) rarely makes it home these days, and when he does, he wants to stay (translate: sleep) here. And the Winey Daughter plays on the high school basketball team, which opens its season every Thanksgiving weekend. So it is to our house that anyone who is around makes their way. This year, I found myself in a bit of an odd situation though: the family gathered around me included only ONE other wine drinker. (Only 5 of us were legally old enough to drink wine, actually. And of those we had one beer person, two soft drink sippers and the two of us winos.) So the Pinot Noir I had opened and fully expected to be gone by dinner time was still rather full (I don't actually use that much in the gravy) when the turkey was ready and the table loaded up.

Not that I'm complaining, but I had planned on uncorking a bottle of Kidder Family Wines Duet (2010, 14.9%, Lodi, CA) for the main course. I had just participated in an on-line wine tasting with the wonderful folks from the Lodi Winegrape Commission (actually, due to a late shipment, I just listened to the tasting..but still...) And this wine came up as one that would be a good one for the upcoming holiday. Cool! Since I didn't get to sip with everyone during the tasting, I'd have my own holiday sip. But alas, the bottle remained unopened. (As chief cook, I had to keep my wits about me and the other wine drinker was 80+ years old and I wasn't about to force her to drink.)

We're a close family, really
Unopened until the next day, that is! (Insert big winey smile here!) Now I know that for many people, Black Friday is the day to hit the stores. But the only thing the Winey Family ever buys on that day is the Christmas tree. And we don't just head to a lot of pre-cut trees, oh no. We head out and chop our own tree down. And then we have to get it set up and decorated that day, since they Winey Son will be heading back to school and the Winey Daughter off to the basketball courts over the course of the weekend. It has also become the day to decorate the whole house. Hey, if you're heading up to get the ornaments, you might as well bring it ALL down, right? So after a day full of hauling boxes and unpacking decorations and ornaments and the tree tipping over once, the house was done!

Never underestimate
the strength of a
West Point Cadet

It was at this exhausted point that I decided Kidder Family Duet would do very nicely the day AFTER Thanksgiving as a reward for all that hard work. Not to mention that fact that every year, once piece of glitter glues itself to my cheek and bugs me the rest of the day. I needed a little treat.

Duet is a blend of two Spanish grapes that seem to grow so well in the Lodi area. It's 57% Graciano and 43% Tempranillo. It's extremely dark purple in color and gives off a nose of  cinnamon and tobacco. Wow - big nose here. The taste is full of spiced fruits, bitter chocolate, cinnamon and a hint of that tobacco. It finished of warm berries and the tannins were just right. Bold enough to finish off the strong nose and flavors, but overwhelmingly so. The warmth in the finish was greatly appreciated too, since our rather balmy 50 degree Thanksgiving had turned into a windy, snowy day after. 

I really enjoyed this one. And again I have to say how much I learn from these on line tastings that I am honored to participate in.  I probably never would have thought to try a Spanish red blend if the Lodi folks hadn't sent one my way. A great way to celebrate a wonderful family day. (Oh, and although this isn't a quality you'd probably look for often in a wine, it paired very nicely with the scent of fresh cut Fraser Fir!)


I was sent this wine for review purposes. The opinions are my own. Pin It

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