Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dinner With Paula & Fred From Cereghino Smith

It's the winter months and it's a great time to catch up with winemakers, with many closed, and hibernating for January, February, and March. Dominique was smart enough to schedule a dinner with Paula and Fred of Cereghino Smith Winery, at Fez, a Moroccan-Mediterranean restaurant in Saugerties, New York.

Fred was dashing as he opened up two bottles of wine. We enjoyed a fresh, bright Gewurztraminer first with our appetizers. We had a mez plate, which was a small tasting dish of seven items, fresh, fried falafal with sauce, and white bean with chirizo soup. All three were absolutely fantastic.

We then moved onto dinner. Dominique had a fabulous spicy Moroccan tagine vegetarian dish, Paula had a tagine chicken dish, Fred had fish, and I had a short rib stew with polenta and fresh broiled snow peas.

With all of this we had Fred and Paula's Little House 2007. This deep, rich, red wine is 50% Syrah, 25% Mourvedre, 25% Petite Sirah. It's aged for 14 months in hybrid American/Canadian Oak barrels. With this Rhone style blend, Fred and Paula celebrate the Quadricentennial of the Hudson Valley and the Huguenot families who first brought vinifera grapes to this country.
Fred and Paula are defintely Hudson Valley garagistas. And Imean that in the highest possible way. They make about 500 to 600 cases a year, of the richest, deepest, darkest reds in the valley.

We talked about barrels, and stainless steel tanks, about wine festivals, and bottling machines. We all could have talked for a very long time. The Fred and Paula's wine was excellent. A treasure. This is a new bottling. A new vintage. Tremendous.