Wednesday, February 2, 2011

If it's red and it's wet...I'll drink Lucas Clark

Lucas Clark...Prima's general manager, our brother in law, awesome server and bartender and master of tom foolery will be submitting monthly's the first!

My grandparents were married for over 60 years, and at least 50 of those where happy. I can only attest this kind of marriage longevity to a deep appreciation for red wine, food, and family.
My appreciation and education of big California red wines started when I was 15 at a family Christmas party.  I distinctly remember my father bringing out a well aged red something or other and showing it off to the family, pouring us each a taste so there would be enough to go around;  all the while, my grandfather looking at him with some amount of disdain and right before slugging the whole thing down saying, "If it's red and it's wet I'll drink it." Thus began my lifelong appreciation for wine that is both red and wet. I learned how to drink great wine from my father, and how to drink wine from my grandfather.

This short history brings me to my current favorite wine, Morgans Cote De Crow. It is a blend of 50% Syrah and 50% Grenache, grown in the St Lucia Highlands area of California. Great with food, without food, or on a cold morning in front of the fire watching the storms blow by. This Rhone style wine with a dark ruby red color smells of strawberry jam and cloves; with herbs, cranberry and spicy flavors on the mouth. The wine is  fermented in open top tanks and receives manual punch downs. They use 18% new oak, which gives the wine a subtle spice and hints of vanilla. Morgan is a family owned winery, in operation since 1982. In 1996 they bought 65 acres in the St. Lucia Highlands, where they started growing grapes organically on the Double L Ranch.

If my grandpa was still alive, I'd take him a bottle, sit down with him and ask about his childhood days riding the train, conducted by his father, to the Russian river to fish for salmon. He would have told me about eating salmon roe and spending the night under the stars next to the river. He taught me to hunt deer, clean trout, and drink way too much red wine. His life, more than anyone I’ve known, was about the most important things; wine, friends, family, good food, and wine.
I suggest drinking this wine with a friend, a lover, or someone friendly enough to become a lover, while enjoying scallops and short ribs. Don’t run home through the pouring rain. Stop for a moment and appreciate the rain as Gene Kelly might. It's winter for the next 2 months and we might as well drink red, because it's gonna be wet.