Monday, November 20, 2006

Notes from Delaware

I returned last night from a weekend of visiting my parents in Delaware. The visit gave me the opportunity to head down to one of the local beverage stores to hunt for new and interesting wines.

Like many of my fellow winos, I view traveling as an opportunity to scavenge local wine shops for new finds. Unfortunately, the TSA rules prevent me from flying home with wine, but it doesn’t stop me from drinking while I’m away. Well, nothing could really stop me.

We slightly altered our Thanksgiving plans to include the whole family, so we feasted on Friday night. There was the traditional turkey and dressing along with other dishes that were a mix of traditional and non-traditional.

My dad selected a cava for dinner. He picked one that I was not familiar with, NV Pere Ventura Cava Cuvée First Press.

Pere Ventura is a small producer, but one with an apparently rising reputation as far as I can tell. I couldn’t locate much information on them (in English anyway, and my Spanish is rather rudimentary). I can tell you that the wine was excellent.

The first press cuvée is often thought to be the best juice when it comes to sparkling wine. Not having tasted their other wines, I can’t say how it compares, but it stacks up nicely compared to other cavas I’ve tasted.

The Ventura was light and clean, with nice fruit and a hint of yeast. Firm acidity and low alcohol made it really sing with the food. Sparkling wine is such an easy match with so many foods.

Another great find was a local beer from Dogfish Head Brewery. This was yet another of my dad’s picks. To celebrate the settlement of Swanendael in what would later become Lewes, Delaware, 375 years ago, Dogfish has produced a Dutch-style rye bokbier, called Zwaanend’ale.

Boks are malty, bottom-fermented lagers. The Zwaanend’ale has a malty flavor augmented by flavors of rye and honey. It’s on the sweet side but nicely balanced and not cloying. An alcohol level of 8% gives it a bit of a kick also.

All in all it was a wonderful time. It met all my qualifications for a perfect holiday celebration: good company, good food and good stuff to drink.

Here’s hoping everyone’s holiday is just as good. Cheers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've had that Dogfish before, it's good!