Monday, December 03, 2007

A Warm Red for Cold Winter Nights

It's cold outside. But that's no reason for it not to be warm inside, especially considering that this is the holiday season. The holidays mean family, and when my parents came to visit me it was clear that we had to open a bottle of Escafeld wine.

Escafeld Vineyards are owned by Steve and Elsbeth Wetherill. Elsbeth's family is from Liverpool--the same UK city that brought you the Beatles and my mom--and they owned a pub that mom is pretty sure my grand-dad and uncle sometimes went to for their pints. (I think her exact words were "If there was a pub there, your grand-dad and Uncle Percy were surely in it.") My mom read my review of the Escafeld Petite Verdot a while back, and she was dying to try a bottle from Escafeld. So we made spaghetti and meatballs, and opened up the Wetherill's zin.

What a good decision! The 2003 Escafeld Zinfandel is an outstanding big, brawny zinfandel that reaches out and enfolds you. ($19.99, WineQ) When we first opened it there was a tiny bit of sulfurous funkiness but we waited 20 minutes for it to come up to the right temperature from the cellar and the smell blew off entirely. In its place were aromas of candied cherry, plum, cedar, and a hint of cocoa as the wine opened up and warmed up. Flavors of plum, dark chocolate-dipped cherry, black tea, and cracked black pepper kept this wine interesting right until the last dregs. Fine-grained tannins kept is smooth and easy to drink, too. This was a lovely, complex wine that had no alcoholic heat despite its high (15.5%) alcohol levels. Excellent QPR at under $20, too.

If you have a meal in your future that involves friends, family, hearty Italian food, a roast, or even some turkey, consider inviting the Wetherills' wine to the party. It is a great warm red for these cold winter nights.


Anonymous said...

wow the escafeld sounds delightful, a perfect treat for any night, especially a cold one. I had not heard of them before but will definitely seek out a bottle.

Anything Wine

Anonymous said...

Hi Dr. Debs, I'm so glad you enjoyed the Zin with your family. I'll be traveling back to Liverpool in April, and can't wait to do the same!

Dr. Debs said...

John, I think you will like this zin, that's for sure. And Elsbeth, how FUN. Mom certainly liked drinking a wine with a Liverpudlian pedigree!