Austin Hope Wine Dinner

D – Last year Marc and I went to a fabulous wine tasting featuring 10 different Grenaches from all over the world.  One of our favorites of the evening was a California Grenache from Austin Hope Winery.

We purchased a bottle, and have been holding on to it for a special occasion.  It turns out that some friends of ours had a couple of bottles of Austin Hope wines sitting at home as well, so we decided to have our own private tasting – along with a good meal, of course.

Here are the wine pictures and info:

Austin Hope Grenache 2009 – M- Beautiful Grenache with a balanced taste, great body, great drinking

Candor Zinfandel – M- Here’s the party animal.  Full mouth of flavor, but not sloppy.  Great full-bodied chunk with a bold class in the glass.

Troublemaker Blend – M- As the name sounds, this guy is bold and crafty. A great full-bodied, trickster of multiple layers of mischief. Great contrast to the grenache, and a definite relative to the Austin Hope. Balanced, yet a different shade, real different shade of grape.

Our first tasting task was to decide on which wine would be used for the Bordelaise sauce mentioned below.  We had no expert idea on how to choose.  So, we decided to pick the most complex or full flavor with interesting qualities we felt would hold up in the sauce.  We chose the Zin, Candor.

Now for the menu …

 APPETIZER– Cheeses from Whole Foods (S. Lamar)

  • Amish Blue – Nick’s favorite
  • Delice de Bourgogne – a lovely triple cream brie
  • Landaff – a “fab” full flavored cheese from New Hampshire –

Ginger-Peach Preserves from Confituras –

Italian Salumi from Central Market – Creminelli Coppa and Varzi –

Fresh figs, almonds and wafer crackers

 SALAD – Caprese Salad


 ENTRÉE – Grilled Steak with Bordelaise Sauce, Rosemary New Potatoes with Blue Cheese Butter (oops– took a bite before the photo was taken…couldn’t resist)

*Note – This was the first time I had ever attempted a bordelaise sauce.  It was much easier than I anticipated – and absolutely amazing with the steaks that Marc perfectly grilled!  Here is the video/recipe I followed:

The blue cheese butter was another “first time” offer and even easier – just took a some salted butter, softened it a little, then used a fork to mix it with some blue cheese ( My ratio was 3:1, but the verdict was that more blue cheese would have been fine, so next time I think I’ll go for 2:1).

 DESSERT – Strawberry Shortcake

Tasting Results-  What we discovered is that these three reds each brought their “A-Game” to the table.  Each had been lying down for over a year, and opened up in a slow seduction to our taste buds.  Each, by itself, evolved into a beautiful portrait of flavor, changing as the night went on, dancing a different step with each part of each course.  And, making it through the entire evening, lasting with style and panache.  I couldn’t tell you which one went better with which course.  They were all good.  Each went beautifully with the grilled meat and sauce.  Result– Austin Hope Wines are fantastic.  Wonderful dance partners on the table, if you will.  And we are lucky to have been invited.

We look forward to more intimate and delicious evenings like this one.

Anyone have a recommended trio of wines that would make for a great wine tasting dinner?

One Comment Add yours

  1. Just recently, we stumbled upon your fantastic post and wanted to say thank you for your kind words and ongoing support. Everything looks and sounds like it was delicious! If you’re every in Paso Robles we hope you’ll stop by and see us. Cheers from HFW!

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