Irish Family Vineyard “Pog Mo Thoin”

Type: Dry Red
Made: In Calaveras County, California, With cabernet sauvignon, syrah, and malvasia grapes
Plays well with: Beef, lamb, winter stews, on its own

The Irish Family red blend called Pog Mo Thoin – Gaelic for “kiss my ass” – was a sample we tasted from the tank in April 2009 at the winery in Vallecito, CA. It’s pronounced Pog (with the long o sound), Mo (another long o) Hoyn (no t or th).  A blend of cabernet sauvignon, syrah and a bit of malvasia – a OBG grape if there is one – it’s now available for sale.

As noted in our previous post, we tasted this one right from the fermenting tank and this is the kind of special treat that is well worth it. From the romantic tradition of a barrel sample to the more modern steel tank, getting the invitation to try something before anyone else – except the dozens, hundreds or thousands of club members or visitors before YOU walked in – is insanely cool. The only catch is that what we tasted that day might be somewhat different if you buy it, (which you can by going to the winery website).
The wine had a brown sugar sweetness and lots of fruit in the nose. Those same red fruits turned up in the glass along with gentle hints of oak in the background. But the most impressive part of the wine was the balance. All three elements – alcohol, tannin and acid – were in perfect balance so that no one quality stuck out. Which augers well for the recently released bottles.
How to enjoy? Beef, lamb or winter stews come to mind. This is also one of those wines that can be enjoyed by itself as a cocktail. The level of alcohol was not recorded but we remember it being modest. We haven’t tried it since it was bottled last summer and it may be a different vintage than what is available on the website.

Please tell us what you think.