Epiphany 2007 Inspiration

Type: Dry white

Made With: Marsanne, roussanne, viognier and grenache blanc

Plays Well With: Turkey dinners, chicken pot pie and chips and dip

There’s a reason most European wines are actually blends of different grapes – and the Epiphany 2007 Inspiration (even though it is Californian) shows why.

For those who don’t already know, Epiphany is Eli Parker’s private label, Eli Parker being Fess Parker’s son and a major player at the Fess Parker Winery in the Santa Ynez Valley. The Inspiration was one of the bottles that turned up in Michael’s auction win last year.

It’s a blend of varieties from France’s Rhone valley, comprised of 36 percent marsanne, 30 percent roussanne, 24 percent viognier and 10 percent grenache blanc. The end result is a golden wine that needs – no, it screams out – for food on the plate.

The nose smelled spicy and of myrrh – a tree resin that is very aromatic in a good way. We found some melon, citrus and peach in the taste while the mouth was full and rich. There are acids to keep the flavors building and a good finish that is slightly crisp. The balance is excellent.

We actually enjoyed this a few months ago with a post-Thanksgiving meal of turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy and vegetables. It was such a great food wine that just we couldn’t drink that last glass by itself, so we improvised. We are happy to report that the Inspiration goes very well with potato chips and green onion dip.

Anglim 2006 Grenache

Courtesy Anglim

Type: Dry red

Made With: The grenache grape

Plays well with: Grilled meats, salmon and lamb

Oh, yeah, bring on the grill with this one. Grenache, in general, tends to be a lighter, fruitier wine, one that does very nicely on its own. But we like the Anglim Grenache because it is so very food friendly.

It’s got the color of an expensive ruby. Put your nose in the glass and you should pick up the soft scent of cherries and/or raspberries. And when we say should, that means Michael picked up those smells. You might smell something different, but we’ll be running a calibration tasting soon, so you can figure out your personal equivalents to what we write.

Michael wrote up the taste as being dry berries. In other words, there was a fruity taste, but without all the sweetness. In fact, the acid (tartness) and tannin (drying sensation) are perfectly balanced with the fruit flavor, meaning that you get a little bit of each without any one of these components overtaking the others.

Because grenache tends to be a lighter wine, you figure it should go with lighter foods, such as a nice creamy soup or a ham sandwich. This one has the mojo to stand up to really flavorful meats, like a grilled steak, some salmon or even a grilled lamb chop. Yum.