St. Patty’s Day Salud

So it’s been awhile since I posted and for that I apologize.  Sadly, nowadays, free time is a precious commodity and while I would love to spend it sipping wine and cooking some tasty treats, I have a nursery and preggers wife to take care of.  Luckily our friend Robby came into town over St. Patrick’s Day weekend and all those projects had to go on hold.  I mean, I wanted to be a good host and all, so out came the wine, ribeyes and cigars.  Hosting takes such a toll so I had Robby help me out and we reviewed 2009 Newton Claret.

I had picked up this wine while in Winston-Salem at a Chef’s Conference.  The store where I bought the Newton was a superstore of wine consisting of aisles and aisles of wines divided by region, varietal and cooler cases holding some of the best wines of the world at a perfect humidity and temperature.  As a lover of fortified grape juice, it was nice to see such care and instruction put into a store.  Friendly staff and free tastings, I would recommend Total Wine and More to anyone in the Winston-Salem area.  If I remember correctly, it’s actually a chain that dots the East Coast.

Now on to the wine…

In my wrap-up of the Blend Trend Series, I will conclude with a Claret.  This type of wine is a blend with an English name.  It’s a Bordeaux blend that went through a name change to appeal to the British upper class back in the day.  The French put the name, Claret, on the bottles that were exported to boosts sales and distinguish the finer Bordeaux from more generic.  Nowadays, Claret doesn’t always mean a finer wine so buyer beware.  California producers are now using the vocabulary to separate their unique blends from other Bordeaux blends coming out of the West Coast.


Consumers – James and Robby

Name – Newton Claret

Vintage – 2009

Varietal – 52% Merlot / 38% Cabernet Savignon / 5% Syrah / 3% Petite Verdot / 2% Cabernet Franc

Region – Napa County

Price – $20

Alcohol by Volume – 13.5%

Color/Appearance – Dark red, touches of rust on the rim, translucent

Nose/Aroma – White Pepper, Leather, Hints of Vanilla, Complex with a robust nose

Mouth/Taste – Dried Cherry and Fruit, Soft Finish, Dry with spices

Rating – 7.1 initial / 8.4 with food and letting it open up

Food Pairings – Grilled Ribeye paired with Cajun Zucchini & Squash, Irish Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

Impressions – This was a nice wine worth visiting again.  I think it would make a nice gift as it is something most people wouldn’t drink but would enjoy.  Definitely needs decanting and little time to open up.  Paired well with the steak.




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4 responses to “St. Patty’s Day Salud

  1. princerobby

    Excellent review Chef! ‘Twas a grand time, indeed!

  2. princerobby

    Excellent review Chef. ‘Twas a grand time indeed.

  3. preggers wife enjoyed the food tremendously! and smelling the vino 🙂

  4. Phil

    Sara, are you getting close enough to where you can enjoy a glass of wine every now and again?

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