Monday, February 19, 2007

Pelee Island Winery Merlot Cabernet

So, I came home at dinner time to our weekend house in upstate New York, and Dominique had promised me a dinner worth my while. No, I don't know about you, but i grew up in an Italian household, and the normal dinner was antipasto and pasta, and a meat dish of some kind. But I can count on one hand the number of times we had pot roast in my lifetime in my parents' house. To a lot of my friends, the idea of pot roast is an elbow in the culinary ribs, awakening long dead memories of disfunctional family dinners, silently chewing leathery, over cooked beef.

Not so at our house. When I got home, the house was filled with great smells of browned chopped potatoes, onions, and carrots all carmelizing in a great pan with a big piece of meat right in the middle. And she made homemade biscuits.

With this, I decided to open up a bottle of 1997 Pelee Island Merlot Cabernet, a wine that is 50% cabernet sauvingnon and 50% merlot.

Pelee Island Winery is Canada's warmest and southernmost appellation. Pelee Island is undoubtedly one of Canada's true gems of nature and a perfect destination for a day trip or weekend getaway. It's not far from Toronto or Windsor or Detroit or Cleveland for that matter. And they've won dozens and dozens of awards and medals.

I'd had it a long time. It was an old bottle, with a lot of dust on it. I decided to quickly decant it and give it some rough swirls to accelerate it's opening. It smelled wonderful. It had cherries on the nose and as promised it delivered them and some nice spiciness as well on the tongue. A great mouthfeel.

Dominique served the meal, and even the boys were excited (their idea of a good meal is hot dogs and macaroni and cheese, but they were genuinely excited. We said grace, and had a sip as the arommas from the food swirled around us. The wine was delicious. And the meat was so moist and tender, I didn't even use my knife to cut it.

My label was old and is now out of date. It used to be called Cabernet Merlot, but is now called Merlot Cabernet. You need to look for the American Goldfinch label. The bright flash of black and gold is a familiar sight along roadsides and over fields on Pelee Island. The American Goldfinch makes its home here, enlivening summer days with its distinctive colour, undulating flight, and beautiful song of complex, rapidly repeated phrases.

Whether you buy it in a store or airport shop, or you go by and visit them on Pelee Island (a truly great get away in summer) - Enjoy!