Hey, it’s Wine Blogging Wednesday #11: Get Off! (dry), as hosted by Basic Juice.
The theme for event number eleven perplexed us a bit. “Off-dry”, we learned, meant not dry, yet not sweet. Oh, sure, I know that there are people out there that drink wines that fit the description, but, well, we typically don’t. We always drink big, hearty, dry red wines with meals. Our ritual also dictates a nice, sweet port after dinner on Friday evenings out, or as a way to wind down our weekends on Sunday evening.
But something in between. Huh. Ok, now and then we pour a Riesling, mainly for company. But we figured that MANY people were going to be sampling a Riesling.
So we thought about it…. and thought about it. And we decided to go with as close to an “off-dry” as we could get – a Ridge 2003 Late Picked Dusi Ranch Zindfandel.
What was our reasoning, you may ask? Well, a late picked Zin tends to have more sugar, because the grapes, when picked, are more mature. The initial sugar was 26.6%, and the residual sugar after fermentation is .8%. The alcohol content was 15.6% by voume. Per Greg, this is “quite high” for a Ridge Zin. And I quote him on that.
And now, on to the story.
We had planned on preparing a nice grilled, marinaded flank steak to have with our wine, but I was having a very bad work day. This is particularly ironic given that I am on vacation this week. But that is neither here nor there. It just changed the plans as I announced that we were going out to dinner.
And we found an unbelievable new restaurant, but that really IS neither here nor there and I’ll save it for another post.
After dinner, we ordered a Cannoli to go, took it home to the back deck, and poured ourselves a couple glasses of the Zin.
“Hmmm”, I said… “This really isn’t very sweet”.
“No”, said Greg, in his typical verbose manner.
A few sips and a couple of bites of cannoli later, I said, “Well, maybe it is a little sweeter”.
This wine has many characteristics of a Ridge Zin – intense flavor, high alcohol content, and deep color. But the Late Harvest grapes give it a nearly but not quite port-like consistency without the almost cloying sweetness.
The wine would compliment a grilled beef entree with no problem at all, yet it really stood well on it’s own.
We’re biased. Ridge is one of our favorite wineries. But we loved this wine, even if it may not have really fit the spirit of the theme. This wine is a part of the “Ridge Advanced Tasting” program, and only 47 barrels were produced. Out of that, we got two bottles.
PS: Congratuations to Lenn, founder of WBW and all around cool food blogger. He’s getting married on Friday! Good wishes to him and to his bride Nena.