Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Day 701 : Over and Over and Over Again.

I just opened a bottle of Channing Daughters Over and Over red wine crafted utilizing a mixture of a ripasso method and a solera system of blending. Where did this wine begin?

Well it began at the beginning of course with four barriques of 2004 Merlot that were removed and re-passed over the newer and fresher 2006 Merlot and Dornfelder grapes. Next came a primary fermentation of this new combination that was then racked to barriques where it underwent a malo-lactic fermentation. Next step -- half of the wine was aged in oak for ten months and then bottled creating Variation Number One. The other half stayed in its barrel till the 2007 harvest when it was re-passed over the Merlot, Syrah and Dornfelder grapes again and the process began again. Out of which Variation Number Two was developed and over and over again with the grapes from the 2008 and 2009 harvests developing Numbers Three and Four. The bottle of Over and Over I am currently drinking is Variation Number Five. They don't plan to stop here that's for sure, they plan to continue this cycle over and over again. This is a complex wine -- a blend of new and old, full of dark cherry and raspberry notes with hints of black pepper and spice, and an earthy rustic finish -- dynamic, deep, and delicious. Rarely does one get a wine with such a process involved but the blend of intellect and whimsy makes this a special treat!

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So what sort of cheese would I recommend with such a superstar of a wine?

The wine begs for a cheese with a rustic aged nutty quality to it -- something with a history to it as well, some added oomph. How about a caramelly butterscotchy morsel of four year aged Dutch Gouda. Full of that classic aged crystallization and crumbly-ness. Smooth and creamy yet spicy and biting, this cheese will hold up to the wine and enhance it.

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A great pairing for a Wednesday evening.

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