Monday, October 15, 2012

Pork Preview

When Boo and I attended Hot Chefs Cool Jazz - a fundraiser for Alex Chen, Canada's representative in the 2013 Bocuse d'Or - we placed a winning bid on a half a side of pork and a cooking class with Oyama Sausage on Granville Island where we get to decide what we want to do with our little piggy.  When Merlot Boy Tweeted a naughty comment about Boo's and my night out, I decided to name the pork side after him.  It should make for some interesting menu plans.

As a toast to our grand win and to all the exciting dining to come, Boo cooked a pork roast and I pulled out an Aussie wine to commemorate Merlot Boy's namesake to come.

1268.  1997 Wyndham Estate - Show Reserve Cabernet Merlot (South Eastern Australia)

This is one of those bottles that kind of defy logic as to why we still have it hanging around.  We certainly don't have many bottles left over from the last century - and I don't think that this is a wine that folks generally lay down for more than a year or two.  When opened, I was pleased that the wine still had a gorgeous nose though.  The first glass, however, was quaffed while dinner was still cooking and the wine on the palate didn't come close to matching up with the bouquet.  It now looked like the bottle was well past its prime - with little left in the way of tannins or fruit.

We likely held onto the bottle as long as we did because of all the stickers on the side of the label announcing that the wine had won an assortment of gold medals and even a Grand Champion Trophy.  That might have been a mistake however.  I don't know much about Wyndham Estate - except that it's a long-established, large producer (800,000 or so cases annually) and that it definitely has a regular place on local bottle shop shelves.  I'm somewhat surprised that this is the first of their wines to be added to The List though.  I'd have thought I knew them a little better than that.

It started looking like this bottle was hardly going to vault Wyndham Estate to the top of my Aussie favourites list. We were just about ready to chalk it up as one of those bottles that we let slide by.  Then, once we started sipping it along with the food an hour or so later, it was a completely different wine.  That rather insipid glass morphed into more of an inspired pour.  It's not like the tannins or fruit reappeared out of thin air, but the nuances of the flavours that remained just shone along with the pork.

The evening sure brought home the point that you should never give up on a bottle after a couple sips.  I'm hardly scared off of ever trying another Wyndham Estate wine, but I don't think I'll keep the next bottle around for 15 years or so.

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