cabernet sauvignon

LABOR DAY – WHAT WINE TO SERVE WITH YOUR BBQ

Labor Day with our family sometimes begins local craft brews; such as not your NOT YOUR FATHERS ROOT BEER and you most defiantly can’t go wrong with good, cold beer in a tub of ice. My husband like me, are committed to being wine fans. Choosing the right wines isn’t as easy as you might think.  Often times, he would say it’s totally about the meat, the technique, and the sauce! I happen to agree

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There are many flavors you’ll come across while barbecuing: umami, smoky, salty char, and sometimes sweetness and savory. They’ll vary by which area you are eating the BBQ like in Texas barbecue, beef rules, either brisket or ribs, and is often served with a sweet, hot tomato-based sauce. The flavor is deeply smoky, the meat rich. On the other hand Southern-style like North Carolina pork barbecue, hang on on vinegar-based sauces and lighter spice rubs.

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So for a stern wine-and-barbecue conversation, big, heavy, high-alcohol reds seem heavy with rich meat goes great with chilled rosé.

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What you want for all types of barbecues are wines that rub the smoke and sauce off your tongue so you can take another fresh bite.  So with dense, ingratiating brisket needs the difference and refreshment of acidity and bright fruitiness. We are great drinkers of Super Tuscan wine barbecue pairing. These big, heavy, high-alcohol reds seem ponderous with rich meat. We feel biased just thinking about the combo. Here are some tips on what to try instead:

  • Rosé (“the beer of the wine world”) with barbecue.  Me, too—and the fruitier the better, to hold its own with smoked meat.
  • Syrah or some people call it Shiraz with your spicy chicken wings
  • White wine with barbecue only if it’s grilled shrimp or chicken with citrus-y rubs can be delicious with tart, floral-scented vinho verde, we’d rather drink bubbly or a chilled rosé.
  • Reds – Save big, bold, tannic, high-dollar reds, such as cabernet, for char-grilled steaks. The quick cooking doesn’t break down the meat’s fat the way hours in a barbecue pit do, but the wine’s tannin will do the trick.
  • Forget oaky wines. The meat is already smoky enough, and a spicy sauce will make the wine’s oak character stand out even more.
  • Keep your choices simple. Grilled foods and barbecue have so many intense flavors that wine nuances will be lost.
  • Pulled pork and succulent ribs go very well with lively pinot noir and with other high acid, lighter reds or rosés that can be chilled.

Manteo Wine: Paying Homage to Those Who Came Before

Wine-making has been around nearly as long as human civilization itself.  So when the first English settlers arrived on Roanoke Island, they brought wine-making along with them.  They soon found two kinds of wild grapes growing on the island, which helped sustain them and the natives they soon encountered.  Though it would be a while before wine-making began in earnest in the New World, a 400-year-old strand of that grape still grows on the island, a clipping of which will soon be planted at American Pioneer Wine Growers new vineyard in Geyserville, California.

To commemorate this, they are releasing four bottles of wine to reveal the name of the vineyard.  The second of those bottles is Manteo, named after the Native American chief who helped the colonists and later became a trusted diplomat.  A rich Sonoma County red blend crafted with 28% Syrah, 16% Petit Verdot, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 13% Petite Sirah, 6% Merlot, 4% Malbec, and 2% Zinfandel, Manteo debut vintage offers depth and balance along with rich, flagrant flavors of boysenberries, black cherries and cassis; featuring aromatic spices of pink peppercorns and notes of earthy minerals, tobacco leaves and smoky, toasted oak.

A truly remarkable bottle with a rich back story, Manteo is a bottle history won’t soon forget.

Decanting a Vintage Wine

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Regardless of color or style, the majority of wine for sale in our  wine shop does not require decanting. In general, if it follows the 3F principle (Fun, Frilly, and Fruity) or if it comes in a box, tin can, tetra-pack, or with a lizard  or fuzzy Koala  on the label, don’t insult yourself or anyone else by suggesting that it will improve with some breathing time!!!  It  will not. Decanting is normally reserved for full-bodied red wines such as vintage port, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, and the big Italians like Amarone, Barolo, and Brunello.Although it is enjoyable to do, there is no real secret to mastering the act of decanting vintage wine.

 A great number of  people feel more comfortable using some kind of filter such as a  funnel, or others things such a coffee filter paper. However if the bottle of wine has been properly prepared and addressed, such items are not always necessary!

If using a filter, most of us tend to pour the entire contents of the bottle into the decanter – assuming that all the deposit will be detached. At times the sediment in a bottle can be quite fine and passes through some filters leaving the wine somewhat cloudy. Decanting technique is more a question of style than anything else and you can opt for the quick, easy, and failsafe method of simply pouring the wine through a filter, or perhaps the more formal and traditional practice of decanting by candlelight.  For this reason we prefer the following steps.

DECANTING YOUR VINTAGE WINE
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1. A day before you intend to decant, place your bottle of Vintage wine upright. This will allow any loose sediment to fall to the bottom of the bottle.

2. Obtain a clean, odorless vessel. A wine decanter is perfect. Alternatively you could decant into another container, rinse out your bottle and return the wine to the bottle.

3. When pouring the wine into the container it is important where you hold the bottle. When the wine has been lying in our cellars at Mel and Rose, we  mark the uppermost side of the bottle at the bottom with a white mark, so-called the splash mark. The reason for doing this is that over the years sediment will have gathered in the bottle and settled on the lower side. Some of this sediment can stick to the glass so that if not careful when decanting, air bubbles can free this material and it will ruin the effect of your having stood the bottle upright for a day.

   As for a particular style of decanter, the possibilities are endless and you can really let your creativity run wild here. A perfectly suitable glass decanter will cost around $10 or run you in excess of $500 for something unusual – they do exactly the same thing. Just make sure it fits in Grandma’s old china cabinet before you fork out the cash.

4. To avoid the risk of this happening, when decanting, always place your hand on the same side of the bottle as the splash mark. In this way, any sediment stuck to the side of the bottle is below the wine and away from air bubbles entering the bottle as you pour.

5. If the splash mark has been wiped off, which is why at  Mel and Rose we will always put the front label exactly above the splash mark. In this way all you need to remember is that when you pour, have the label in the palm of your hand.

6. Now you must hold your decanter so that when you pour the wine you can see it briefly passing over the neck area of the decanter. This is because, as you pour with your steady hand, you are looking for signs of the deposit starting to come through. Stop as soon as the sediment starts to enter the decanter.

7. You will need a light background to see the sediment clearly. In the past, candles have been used for this.

8.  Pour in one steady movement. Stopping part way through will stir up the sediment and you will need a filter from there on in.

9. We  suggest you decant before the meal, you are likely to have a steadier hand and it will give all but the very oldest vintages the required time to breathe.

10. Finally, do not throw away the sediment. It is very nutritious and excellent in soups, sauces and gravy. You can freeze them in freezer ice cube bags.

It seems a long explanation, but once understood and practiced you’ll soon be a master.

Browse our Vintage wine selection.  

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