Breaking the Law!!!
Music cranked as I roll to my favorite wine store to pick up a bottle of wine for a dinner with friends. The soundtrack… the 1980 metal anthem “Breaking the Law” by Judas Priest. Head nodding to the pulsating beat, I bring my mind back to focus on the task at hand, wine for tonight’s dinner.
Earlier in the week our friends talked about cooking some wild game, maybe Venison or Buffalo, so what to bring. As I enter Varietal Wines in Manhasset, NY, proprietor Joseph Yi approaches,”Dude you gotta get a bottle of this, just got it in, drinking great right now.” It’s a 1999 Azienda Agricola Sant’Elena Merlot for about $20. Wild Game, aged Italian Merlot from Friuli-Venezia, I could surely do worse. Done Deal.
When we arrived at Our friends’s house something was definitely wrong. I did not smell wild game cooking, no I was smelling fish. Good fish mind you, it was a Pan Seared Swordfish (with Roasted Tomatoes) that was marinated in Olive Oil, Garlic and Shallot. Nice… but with aged Merlot… could get interesting. We might just be breaking the law here!
The Merlot was full-bodied, but the age had mellowed the tannins quite a bit. It still had a lot of minirality and the acidity cut through the fat of the fish and the Olive Oil. The still youthful bright fruit was unexpectedly nice, with an excellent finish. We had a full-bodied red wine with fish, and the earth did not come to an end (although we did have an earthquake in NYC today). In fact, It actually went quite well. So where does this leave us?
Take a chance, break a wine law… You may just find new discoveries and to wow and amaze your friends. I did!