Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Saturday was a day that began with frostbitten winds and ended with the warming flavors of great wine. Our Exchange Club was holding a tailgate party at the “I-75 Showdown” between Bowling Green State University and the University of Toledo on the BGSU campus.
I agreed to help with the set-up. It was supposed to be the warmest day of the week, with temperatures getting up to around 50 degrees. What wasn’t factored in was the winds of about 25 mph. And at 9:00 AM when I was helping friend Sean set up, the temperature was about 35 degrees.
We soon had the giant cooker in place and tables and accoutrements all laid out. The grill was fired up and we started broiling four different varieties of bratwurst and a new dish for me, spiedies. A spiedie is a chicken (or beef) sandwich that is marinated in an Italian oil and herb sauce, grilled, and then served on Italian bread like a hot dog. It’s a popular dish in upstate New York.
The wind was fierce and we saw various pieces of tailgate parties blow past us like old Western tumbleweeds. Soon friends arrived and our party began picking up steam. I must say, spiedies rock! If this were the only highlight of the day, it would be well spent.
The Cabinator arrived at the tailgate and we agreed that we’d head to the game, sit through about 15 minutes, and then head for the warm indoors and crack open some great wine. We finally wedged our way into the stadium and started enjoying the game.
It looked like a blowout for Toledo and we were prepared to head out. Just then the sun emerged for about 10 minutes and cast its heated rays on the stadium. Conditions were looking much better. The sun then returned to its hiding spot and we headed for the parking lot.
We later rendezvoused at the abode of Cabinator and Glorious T. We opened with a red blend from Argentina and followed that with the fantastic Brandborg 2009 Ferris Wheel Pinot Noir. At this point we were enjoying the Ohio State romp over Penn State.
The shining star of the day was the 2009 Hermann J. Wiemer Reserve Cabernet Franc. This premier Finger Lakes winery is known for its mastery of Riesling – but can they rock a Cab Franc? The answer is a resounding “yes!”
We decanted this fine wine and enjoyed the glowing ruby color. This is a harmonious wine, with no harsh tannins. The tannins are woven seamlessly into the wine, which exhibits great flavors of plum and red berries.
This wine is fermented in small lots and aged in new and old French barrels. It is a graceful wine. The Cabinator doesn’t care for the explosions of pepper that Cab Franc sometimes has. The Wiemer Reserve has no sharp edges and no pepper kick – but it is everything a Cab Franc fan is looking for.
If I have to endure freezing winds on the tundra of “Blowing Green” in order to enjoy a Cabernet Franc like this, well, it is a sacrifice I’m willing to make!