Good wine is a celebrated perk in a wine blogger’s world. But my favorite perk is when good friends gift me with wines of their choosing, always opening up new experiences.
Returning from a business trip to Argentina, a friend gifted me with a bottle of Domingo Molina Torrontés 2010. Torrontés is a white-wine grape, ripened to extraordinary intensity at mile-high vineyards in Argentina’s remote Salta province. Perfectly chilled, I shared this with others over home-made apple allspice cake. The Torrontés’ citrus intensity blended with velvety smoothness and just a hint of oak—the combination was delightful—not too sweet at all. It wasn’t a varietal I would have selected for myself, but for the right occasion, I just might. Thanks, Andy, good choice!
The Otis Kenyon Carménère was a gift from my friend Janice, who often shares great wines from the Walla Walla Valley where she grew up.
I love a good back-story; it always adds to a wine’s enchantment. In the early 1900s, James Otis Kenyon had a struggling dentist practice. When a new dentist moved to town, James burned the competitor’s office to the ground. Mortified, his sons’ families moved to Walla Walla; after 50 years, everyone patched up their differences in a joyous reunion. In tribute to four generations of Otis Kenyons, owners Stephen Otis Kenyon and Deborah Dunbar have returned to the Walla Walla Valley to make wine. In honor of James Otis Kenyon, the label bears his silhouette.
I found this Carménère a tad more structured than its Chilean counterpart. The familiar smoky nose was complemented with green peppers and spicy pepper. I caught a little bacon and fruit on the palate and savored its spicy finish. As this wine opens up, it becomes even more complex; I found it delightful with smoked dilled salmon.
Gift wines always add an extra layer of enjoyment. Consider the gift of wine for that special person or occasion—and always give one that won’t disappoint.
Cheers to good friends!