Red Mare To The Max

redmare1by Andrew Chalk

Max’s Wine Dive, the happening wine bar in Uptown that thinks you should eat more chicken with your Champagne (and vice versa) has started holding wine dinners. They will take place about once a month, although the precise schedule is still bubbling up in their LEED Certified schedule producing machine. To break the ice (somewhat literally) last week, they hosted Red Mare Wines from Napa Valley with Dallas-based owner Jim Striegel in attendance.

Striegel’s association in Napa Valley goes back a long way. As a young man he helped his father plant vineyards in the Stag’s Leap District when there were only ten wineries in Napa. After a successful business career he returned to start his own winery in the mid 2000s. He called the doyenne of California winemakers, Heidi Barrett, for recommendations on a winemaker. Barrett recommended her assistant at Paradigm winery at the time, Anne Vawter, and Vawter began a winemaking and partial ownership relationship with Red Mare that continues to this day.    

We tasted Red mare’s current lineup, which now consists of three wines, with a four-course meal prepared by Max’s Wine Dive chef Patrick Russell. The flagship wine is the Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 ($50). It is made exclusively from Napa grapes. It is my favorite Red Mare wine and is firmly type-correct for Napa Cabernet.

chalk1Hamachi with Meyer lemon with parsnip, radicchio and a buttermilk emulsion

We started the evening with the 2012 Napa Sauvignon Blanc ($34) with Russell’s Hamachi and Meyer Lemon and had the 2012 Chardonnay ‘Dutton Ranch’, Russian River Sonoma ($40) in the middle with the bacon wrapped monkfish.

chalk2Bacon wrapped Monkfish with braised red cabbage, chestnut agnolotti and a rosemary bourbon gastrique

Red Mare wines are on the list at Max’s, and some are currently served by the glass. They are also available in area wine stores. They represent good value relative to other Napa wines and we recommend that you check them out.

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