Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rain or Shine?

I know that Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer, but did it have to end so abruptly?? It's been raining here one minute and the sun is shining the next. And the cold front came in the very next day! So with summer being over, kids back in school, but it's not really fall yet...what do I drink in the meantime between-time? I'm not ready to let go of the summer completely and pull out the big Cabernets and Zinfandels, but I also can't continue to drink sangria or the light crisp summer whites that I've grown accustomed to...

On the suggestion of my wine merchant, I went out on a limb to try something that I've never had before, something that I believe is between the seasons so to speak. I opened a bottle of Paul Lehrner Blaufränkisch. Blaufränkisch is widely planted around Austria and produces a dry, fruity red wine that is sort of like the baby to a Zinfandel and can be served slightly chilled. Receiving a 90 in Wine Spectator, I had great expectations for the Paul Lehrner. Very aromatic, this wine smelled very earthy with rich black fruits. The palate hits you with spice at first, then settles down to fruit flavors of blackberry and black cherries. Slight hints of oak follow on the smooth finish. Expectations exceeded.

With the spicyness in this wine, I believe it would go great with barbecue sauce (a fav of mine!) or smoked meats. I actually drank this as an aperitif because I'm watching my food intake for my fitness boot camp, my 'cheat' meal was on Labor Day :-). I did use some wine preserver for this one so I can try it with food this weekend. Nothing like a little wine and barbecue to hold onto the summer...

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