Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Departure Lounging

Despite a luxurious day on the water, the return to our villas was hastened by the fact that Lady Di and She Who Must Be Obeyed were flying off to Spain that night. They pretty much did fly down to Antigua, join in for the Dinner Club and then take off for another adventure. In my eyes, that's true dedication to the Dinner Club.

As the girls finished packing, English Doc miraculously pulled off some Hurry Up Jerk Chicken. He faced a time constraint worthy of a Top Chef or Master Chef trial but, luckily, the timing was such that the girls could join up with us and have a quick dinner - and some last minute cocktails - before they had to leave for the airport.

Guess I was too busy mixing and prepping to take any pictures during dinner, but things mellowed out completely once the girls were safely en route to their plane. So, at I least there shots of the wine that we opened as the evening progressed.

1556.  N.V. Bodega Dante Robino - Novecento Rosado (Mendoza - Argentina)

If there was a wine meant to epitomize the old Molly Ringwald movie, "Pretty in Pink," this might be the bottle to do it. As the lovely and talented Jeaux modelled the wine, we realized that the wine itself is on the lighter side of serious - much like a teen romance flick. A definite sweetness on the palate - but that's not necessarily a bad thing when eating spicy chicken. I think I'd likely stick with a preference for my bubbles to be served a bit drier. The wine was interesting, however, in that I don't run across Argentine bubblies very often and I doubt you'd regularly find a sparkling blend of Ugni Blanc, Chenin and Bonarda from anywhere other than Argentina.

1557.  2012 Saint Roch Les Vignes Côtes de Provence (Côtes de Provence AOC - France)

You might not find a lot of jerk chicken for dinner on the Mediterranean coast but there's no doubt that we're finding that a lot of Mediterranean wines are well-matched to our meals in the Caribbean. The parade of fresh whites and rosés continued this evening as well and I'm definitely finding some producers that I hadn't been aware of previously. Saint Roch Les Vignes isn't a single domain but is a cooperative production consortium of family growers around the Provençal village of Cuers. The cooperative started out in 1911 and the modern facilities now handle the winemaking for over 200 local vignerons.

The production of this Côtes de Provence Rosé is interesting in that it is a combination of two methods for making Rosé wines. Part of the wine is directly pressed from grapes dedicated to the Rosé and that juice is combined with further saignée juice that is "bled" off the cooperative's red wine production. I usually think of Rosé as being made by one method or the other, but not both. Typical of Provençal wines, this is a blend of Cinsault and Grenache.

1558.  2013 Vesevo - Beneventano Falanghina (Beneventano IGT - Italy)

Our final wine was another from the Mediterranean - close to Naples and Mount Vesuvius to be more precise. This was an example of me grabbing another bottle with a hope of potentially adding another grape to my Wine Century Club tally. Having tried over 160 grapes now, I more-or-less have to find grapes that I've never heard of before. I knew I'd already added Falanghina but there was always a chance that Beneventano - so prominently displayed on the label - was yet another grape that was new to me. Unfortunately, it's a region and not a grape but I can live with that - especially since I can't say as I've tried Falanghina more than a handful of times.

I doubt that Falanghina will ever replace my penchant for Riesling but, you know, sometimes, when you're in "Rome" you have to live like the Romans do. There wasn't much in the way of Riesling wines in the local market. So, we adapt - and we had a refreshing sip as the evening progressed. No harm. No foul.

After our day on the water, this was a simple relaxing evening and, on that note, we put our glasses aside and called it a day.

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