The fashion, the faux pas, the gushing and the guffawing – blend it all with some great wine, creative nibbles and clever company and you have yourself one award-winning party.
My friends Rita and Khawar went all out this year at their Oscar night. Each plate came with a movie label: Mango UnChained, Treats from the Southern Wild, Lincoln Drinkin’ some Wine and Eatin’ some Cheese, Life of Chocolate Pi, Argonado Dip – very creative.
While we sharpened our tongues on the fashion misses, we sipped two delicious Italians and one Californian (that almost sounds a little sleazy). Rita and Khawar picked a Bolgheri blend, a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and Rutherford Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 for the evening. Each had a style that deserved to be on the Red Carpet.
The Bogheri is one of my favourite regions of Tuscany. It is almost impossible to go wrong with a wine from here.. This Bolgheri Rosso 2009 by Michele Satta was no exception. It is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Sangiovese with a touch of Teroldego (one of the many I have never heard of) – fruity, herbal and chocolatey. $19.95.
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is typically a wine that gives you good value and good taste. This Gentile Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Vigne di Ofena was even better. I would buy it again if I could find it! The grape is often mistakenly thought to be the grape of Vino Nobile de Montepulciano. Sometimes that’s a mistake that can end up in your favour with a big bold fruity delicious wine. These are found in the Other Italian Regions section.
The third was from the Rutherford Ranch in the Napa Valley, a big bold Cabernet Sauvignon from 2010 that, had I not been driving, I could have sipped all night. As it was, Rita needed the extra boost as she experienced a life-altering Oscar shock. Her husband Khawar, who is more familiar with the bottom end of the Oscar pool score sheet, cleaned her clock – ok he tied for first place with Franca – another movie buff who filled in her sheet just after she got there.
Rita’s reaction was the equivalent of a series of Botox treatments – her words, not mine. While Khawar’s…somewhere between the happy dance I would do if I won a wine trip around the world and Sylvestre Stallone at the end of Rocky.
It was a sight to behold. No worries, Rita, there is always next year – in the meantime Khawar – start doing your research. I will help…over a glass or two of wine.
*WOWing (Women-Of-Wine approved)
PS – Favourite Wine quote of the week:
Q:How do you get to know wine?
A: Buy a corkscrew. Use it.