Another sold out night at SSU’s Winesense tasting this week. This time the lure was big reds offered by Ridge Vineyards of Dry Creek Valley and Topel Winery, located in southern Mendocino county. Seven wines were served with some spicy and robust food pairings.
From Ridge Vineyards, the favorite of the evening was the 2008 Buchignani Ranch Carignane ($26). This was a big earthy wine with dark red fruit and spice. Everyone also enjoyed the grenache and zinfandels, but the distinctiveness of the carignane caused it to be a run-away favorite. For more information, see http://www.ridgewine.com/.
From Topel Winery, it was the big meaty 2006 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($36) that won hearts and palates. This wine showed unusual dark raspberry fruit, but with the more classic leather overtones and elegant tannins. See http://www.topelwines.com/ for more information.
Food pairings were scrumptious with Chef Giana preparing a Chicken Curry Salad with Dried Figs and Toasted Almonds and Grapes to match Topel’s unique white blend of viognier, sauvignon blanc and chardonnay. The big reds were paired with two robust dishes: a Mushroom Ribollita Vegetarian Stew and Sausage Lasagna. No one went home hungry after this tasting!