Have you ever gone to a restaurant with a good wine list and wondered: “what would the sommelier drink?” Well, we finally got a small view of what the sommelier’s at Pappa Bros. Steakhouse would like to drink. Here was the list for the tasting:
There were some interesting notes on the wines at the tasting. First of all, Grenache was a well represented grape, scoring ¼ of the wines in the tasting (the Rose, Gigondas and the Calatayud). I have to say that I agree with their selection because these were some of the tastiest wines available, especially the Rose and the Gigondas. This was a great way to experience what real rose should taste like. Believe it or not, a pink wine does not have to be sweet! The rose was a wonderful mixture of cherry, strawberry and red apples, mixed with white pepper and herb. It even had a nice minerality carrying through the palate that made it sing. There was zero sweetness in this wine yet it was the big winner for me.
Gigondas is an often overlooked region in the Southern Rhone, often seen as the bastard stepbrother to Chateauneuf-du-Pape but I thought this was a classic example of a great value wine. It shows off the red fruit you would expect while also having a rustic edge of mineral and even some charcoal and herb.
If you like super jammy, fruit bomb wines, the 2009 Boxer from Mollydooker is for you. While a bit too much for my palate, this was one of the first wines to disappear. Loaded with deep, rich blackberry, blueberry, cherry and raspberry notes with some menthol and black pepper notes on the finish, you will either love it or hate it.
I mention this last wine because of how different it was. The 2006 Chimney Rock “Elevage Blanc” is a mixture of Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris. To say this is rare is an understatement. My best description of the nose and flavors would be that of a mixed apple orchard. Imagine standing in Central Market or Whole Foods, surrounded by 10 different varieties of apples and some pears thrown in for fun. That was what it was like for me. That was the interesting thing about a tasting like this, you never know what to expect.
Executive Chef James Johnson must look forward to these events as well because he always brings out some interesting bites. For example, this tasting had a lobster BLT, a creamy bite of sweet lobster meat and salty bacon, a chocolate pudding bite topped with a raspberry and a beef slider with a special sauce that would make In-N-Out hide in a corner and weep.
For the ever so inexpensive price of $45, this is one of the best deals for any person who is serious about wine. Hell, it is one of the best deals period. Try to find a wine bar that will give you a flight of 12 good wines, some even aged, for $45. If you know of a place, please let me know asap. I need a place to go while waiting for the next Pappas tasting.