Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Peach Of A Wine

Last night Margot and I hosted Julie and John for another of our monthly dinner dates and I was particularly excited to plan a meal with a peach theme.

I specifically chose this theme because we had purchased a bottle of Hopkins Vineyards (CT) semi-sweet peach wine last August and had also made a similar wine of our own last summer. I was very interested in the side by side comparison.

The verdict on the side by side comparison is that Ancient Fire wins having the most peach expression and a longer and more pleasing finish. The Hopkins selection was less like a fruit wine than a heavily peach flavored white wine such as a Gewürztraminer or Vidal. While not a bad thing at all it the wine also went flat too soon and was not as reminiscent of eating a peach as our home version. The nose on the Hopkins selection was an initial give away that it might be very different, and before taking a sip I could think of several other wines that it reminded me of on aroma alone. The wine was very good and would be one I recommend, but when compared to our peach bomb it didn’t match up. The Ancient Fire selection was slightly sweeter and had peach aromas and flavors throughout. The finish was longer and actually felt a bit thicker as it coated the tongue. We will definitely make the full six gallon batch of this again come summer time. Last year we split the batch and blended some with Moscato which is quite good, but not good enough to repeat.

Both wines were paired with our meal which consisted of slow cooked Peach & Tarragon Chicken over Apricot Ginger Rice with Honey Soy Brussels Sprouts. Both of the wines fit well with the meal but the added peach flavor in the Ancient Fire selection created a more enjoyable pairing.

We have done side-by-side comparison of commercial wines with our own several times and it is clear this time we hands down favorite. Doing this has served several purposes for us including, helping us determine how close to varietal character we have come, using tasting notes of commercial wines to better understand similarities and differences we observe in our wines, and lastly because it is just so damn fun! Why open only one bottle of wine when you can open two or three or more and compare them?



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