But what wine?
I knew I didn't want a white wine and I was too tired to pick out a red, which is why I used Natalie MacLean's handy wine-and-food-matching tool to "tell" me which wine to drink. Her answer was a Saint Émilion Bordeaux, but, alas, my cellar is sorely lacking such nectar. So, in its stead, I opened up a wine from B.C.'s Okanagan: Rollingdale Winery's own right-banker, the 2007 La Droite Merlot ($42.86/12.7% ABV) that I had received from the winery as a sample.
The La Droite is a red-wine blend made up of 94% Merlot, with the balance comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon (3.8%), Malbec (2%), and Cabernet Franc (0.2%). Some folks call it a Meritage, but from what I understand, in order to legitimately call a wine a Meritage, it must be (1) licensed by the Meritage Alliance and (2) comprised of at least two of the named noble grapes, with none making up more than 90% of the wine.
I decanted this wine, not because I wanted to give it lots of air to open up; rather, I decanted it because it is neither filtered nor fined and I wanted to avoid any possible unpleasantness, which, quite happily, I did.
As soon as I brought this wine to my nose, I started enjoying it: aromas of red fruit, wet stones, and spice. On the palate I found, juicy berries, ripe cherries, plums, and spice. The wine filled my mouth with a roundness that wasn't the least bit "mushy"—the acidity made the wine juicy and the gentle tannins gave it structure. And yes, it went well with the chicken pot pie.
I share one caution: Once you open the wine, drink it. I left about three ounces (half of my six-ounce pour) in my glass for a couple of hours and when I went to finish it up, it had lost its verve. At $42+, you want to enjoy every last drop.
Copyright © 2010 Kathleen Rake. All rights reserved.