Sally and I hit the jackpot this weekend with two dinner invitations from friends who share our passion for great wine. We firmly believe that shared bottles are the best bottles and lucky for us, they do too. And, as luck would have it, we discovered an amazing new wine at each dinner.
On Friday, we dined with our friends Gaby and Steve. They have turned us on to a lot of wonderful wineries over the years including Herman Story (see "Herman Story - a winery you need to know"). This time, they shared a bottle of 2007 McPrice Myers Beautiful Earth, which is a GSM blend of 70% Syrah, 24% Grenache, and 6% Mourvedre. It's silky smooth with substantially more body and deeper, darker flavors than you'd expect out of this type of blend.
McPrice Myers runs Barrel 27, which used to be a collaboration between McPrice Myers and Russell From, until From left in 2011 to focus full time on his own label, Herman Story. Yes, the circle of (wine) life is complete.
On Saturday, we visited our friends Karin and Jeff. Like us, they enjoy a wide range of varietals. Lamb shank was on the menu, which pairs well with Pinot Noir or Syrah, so they generously provided both options. One of the wines they served was a 2009 Seufert "Johan Vineyard" Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley in Oregon. It was an excellent example of Oregon Pinot: good earth tones, bright but subtle fruit characteristics, and light bodied but bold enough to pair very well with food. Needless to say, we were all disappointed when the bottle was finally empty.
This really is the best way to discover great wine - make friends with good, generous people who will share a bottle of their good stuff with you and then try to score a dinner invitation.