What makes BIG Reds BIG?

This was the theme of our last Fellinis school of Wine co-hosted with Cyndi Grossman owner of Mellecey Wine Agency. Our audience was treated to three 14.5 % alcohol (that’s big) Reds. If you crave the opulence and the power of a big red wine you are best to search for a wine that is made from grapes that flourish in a hot climate.

A long hot growing season insures that there will be a bountiful ripening at the time of harvest. That means more sugar and more sugar means that the yeasts during fermentation create a higher alcohol level (along with CO2) as the skins juice and pips macerate in large stainless steel or concrete vats. The longer the fermentation the more oomph will be extracted from the  juice. The vinicultural measure of determining the optimum time that sugars and tannins (from the skins and pips) are in balance is called BRIX.

For example a Brix measure of “28” will result in a 14% alcohol content in the wine.

Big wines can handle food with big flavours .This was aptly demonstrated by some of the great dishes that came from Fellini’s kitchen.

Our matches: Two from the Southern Rhone and One from Washington State

Domaine du Tix A.O.C. Cotes du Ventoux “Cuvee Bramefan 2014

Made from 45 year old Syrah vines-Black Cherry, violets and pear.

(Roasted Tomato and Mozzarella stuffed Arancini)

Domaine du Tix A.O.C Cotes du Ventoux “Cuvee Dona Maria” 2014

Silky Morello cherries from 65 year old Grenache vines

(Smoked Chicken Saltimbocca with crispy potato gnocchi, sage and prosciutto)

Seven Falls Cellars Wahluke Slope Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Washington State

Barrel aged in French Oak, black cherries, herbs, mint and spice.

(Chimichurri Steak with cheesy Polenta chips)

Big Reds matched with big flavoured dishes

A match made in Heaven.

Next Wine School Tuesday April 9th 7 pm.

California Here We Come!