A Perfect Pairing…

I love it when I find the perfect pairing.  Last night I had smoked chicken from Beretta Organic Farms located in King City, Ontario.  With that, I made parmesan risotto and grilled zucchini (courtesy of my husband). All day I had been craving Pinot Noir and I was hoping the smokiness in the chicken would really bring out the fruit in the wine I chose. I picked the 2000 Artesa Pinot Noir (made with grapes from Santa Barbara County , winery is actually in Napa) that I purchased on Niagara Falls Boulevard in Niagara Falls, NY on the way home from one of many cross-border trips.  It¹s a great store with a ton of hidden gems, once you get past the bounty of “jug wine” at the front.  I had been cellaring this Pinot for some time and I truly felt the food was deserving of the wine.  The wine was made from two different vineyards in Santa Barbara then aged in French oak barrels for 14 months.   It must have been a hot year in Santa Barbara as the alcohol was big at 14.2%. Jack from Sideways would have approved whole heartedly (and probably not shared any, either).  After 8 years of aging, this wine has evolved on to its own with strawberry pie, cloves, and vanilla on the nose.  In the mouth, the ripe fruit coated your mid-palate with lots of baked strawberries and the finish was very long.  It paired perfectly with the smoked chicken as I wanted, really extenuating the fruit flavours of the wine in your mouth. Even my 9 year old son thought our meal was enhanced by the wine & food pairing but, alas, his parents weren¹t sharing!

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