Because lately I’ve been focused on tasting and writing about Washington varietals, I decided choose an inexpensive red blend from Washington that I found at the Ventura Wine Company for $6 and let the wine do the talking and tell me what to fix for our dinner.
The wine is a Vineyard 10 Red Wine from Columbia Crest and designated “Two Hands.” It has a traditional Bordeaux shaped bottle but I didn’t want to be influenced by what the bottle told me–I wanted the wine to suggest what I should have for dinner.
And the wine spoke loud and clear: it said “spaghetti and meatballs! pasta and red sauce!” It said “order a pizza! take it easy!” and I said “oh, yes, right away!”
I was tempted to make a run to Ferraros for my favorite meat sauce but the wind was howling and so were our stomachs so I opened a jar of Trader Joe’s organic marinara and a package of TJ’s frozen turkey meatballs and heated it together in an iron skillet along with about a half pound of sliced mushrooms. Just before it was ready to be served, I added some leftover cauliflower and brocolli. We also had a steamed artichoke and since I took a phone call instead of fixing a salad, that was all we had in the way of vegetables.
So what was it this Washington wine said that I translated as pair with pasta and red sauce?
Well it wasn’t that it said chianti, but it’s soft, supple, silky, and fruity with rich character and a medium body which said “I’m not a serious wine, I’m a wine to relax with and wind down with.” It said, “Nothing fancy, just some comfort food, something easy, I’m a no trouble wine, I’m a little this and a little that. Pair me with some oregano, some basil, some mushrooms, some tomato sauce…”
The color is deep and dark, the nose is cherry cola, spice, and earth, and in the mouth it has a nice complexity. It has a real cork cork, and the alcohol is a nice week night low 13.5%. According to the Columbia Crest website, “Vineyard 10 is one of the largest single estate vineyards in Washington state with some of the oldest vines in Columbia Valley.” In case Washington geography isn’t your strength, the Columbia Valley could swallow some of the smaller states in the Union and lies along the southern perimeter toward the east which makes sense because it’s named after the Columbia River which flows along the Oregon-Washington border toward the sea. Or simply check out this map I found on the Columbia Crest website.
Wine Enthusiast gave it 85 points and proclaimed it a “best buy.”
At $6 a bottle from the Ventura Wine Company or $7.99 from the winery website, the Columbia Crest 2007 Two Vines Red Blend of syrah, cab franc, sangiovese, grenache and mourvedre is a wine I think we’ll try to keep around for nights like tonight: an easy pasta or pizza dinner with an easy going wine.