Thursday, July 11, 2013

Winey Tasting Notes: Red Rock Rocks the Dinner Table As The Winey Son Turns 21

There comes a time in the life of every parent (Winey or not) when you realize that your baby is not a baby anymore. I suppose I could have had such a revelation when the Winey Son turned 18. Or when he topped 6 feet (WAY before he turned 18, by the way). But nope. Mine came just a few weeks ago when the Winey Son returned from West Point with two of his best friends in tow. This was not what made me realize he was all "growed up". Nor was it that fact that during his 3 week assignment at West Point, he had turned 21. No, what made me realize he was a big boy now was when he called from the road and asked if I would make dinner for the three of them and oh, they'd like wine with their steak.

picture of a bottle of Red Rock Winery's Reserve Winemaker's Blend, 2011Yup. That did me in. My little (ahem) boy letting me know that Cherry Coke or ruby red grapefruit juice wasn't going to do it anymore. Hey Mom, how about a nice bottle of wine? Good heavens! How can he be 21 when I am still 29????? Funny how the little things are the ones that leap up and smack you in the head sometimes, isn't it? I had a hard enough time when he started buying his own underwear and now here he was asking me for some wine.

Sorry about that...I'm back now and I promise no more Mommy hand wringing. I gamely rose to the occasion, and I did so with a bottle of Red Rock Winery Reserve Winemaker's Blend (2011, 13.5%, CA). I had seen it on the shelves many times and had never gotten around to trying it, which surprises me since I am a red blend lover. But I had recently purchased a bottle, and it was waiting in the wine rack, ready to be uncorked.

You need to understand that two of the three Cadets (mine included) at the table had just spent 3 weeks in the field. And I do mean the field. No tents, MREs* to eat, no showers (do NOT even ask me about the laundry issues that brings up) and in their case, lots of rain. The other Cadet was just back from a trip abroad. What else could a mom do but grill up some steaks, bake some potatoes and make a huge salad? An All-American meal made to order for some very hungry young men.

But what about the wine? Did I choose well? Was it worthy of being the first wine I sipped with the Winey Son sipping along?

OH MY YES! The Winemaker's Blend is a mix of Petite Sirah, Syrah, Zinfandel and Merlot. I don't know how they did it (or I'd be the winemaker, wouldn't I, now?) but Red Rock brought out the very best of these 4 wines in one bottle. The nose was very jammy and promising (I think that was the Petite Sirah talking). And when you sipped it, the fruit really let itself be known, but so did some very lovely cocoa flavors and a touch of vanilla oak. It was the perfect balance between fruit and oak, and it was incredibly lush in the mouth. I wasn't the only one that thought so, either. The wine drew raves from all, especially the Cadet who'd been out of the country. It seems that he loves his wine too, and for both of us to be wowed really says something. I had a great time talking wine with him and I only had to stop every once in a while and compose myself when I realized I was talking to my son and his friends about wines. We'd come a long way since talks about Thomas the Tank Engine. (sob)

Oops, sorry, I promised I wouldn't do that anymore. OK, well...let me add that the price of this wine was under $10 dollars. What more could you ask for? Maybe another tissue? No seriously, I'm fine.
Now excuse me while I go look at the baby books for a while.


*MRE stands for meal ready to eat..a staple of Army field food. It gives you the calories and energy you need to make it through a mission, but not much else. And I'd also like to add at this time that you should never wash an MRE heat pack. Don't ask.

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