Wine for each course

Pairings by Ryan and Karen Rowe | Photos by Julie Rajcich | Published: May 5, 2015

Our wine selections and food pairing suggestions this month come from Ryan and Karen Rowe, owners of GH Wine Sellars in Aberdeen.

First Course: Appetizer

Jarvis Lake William Blend 2006, Napa Valley, CA $230
Slice of sharp white cheddar garnished with a very moderate dollop of honey and topped with freshly ground black pepper.

William Jarvis made a mistake in 1993, when he accidentally pumped a third of a tank of Cabernet Franc into a tank of Cabernet Sauvignon. It was a happy mistake that keeps getting better with age! The blend sold out in the tasting room and has been made every year since. Best to consume within 10 years. Varietal Composition: 40 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 32 percent Cabernet Franc, 25 percent Merlot, 3 percent Petit Verdot.

Second Course: Salad

Voila! Vineyards Rosé Ambrosia 2011, Cashmere, WA $30
Green salad with cranberries, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Pinot Noir juice without skins is introduced to specially selected yeast and malo cultures creating an incredible fancy Rosé de Pinot Noir wine! Some Pinot Noir is left hanging on the vine until late December when it is mostly frozen. It’s then picked and pressed into a late harvest juice later blended back into the Rosé Ambrosia for a fruit fullness and complexity rarely found in other Rosé. Painstaking work but so worth it when this wine rolls around your palate!

Third Course: Turkey

Buried Cane Chardonnay 2012, Columbia Valley, WA $23
Baked turkey with all the trimmings.

With little or no oak contact, it preserves the crisp natural acids that develop in our northerly climate. Light yellow in color, with a lime­green tinge. The nose shows distinct chardonnay varietal character, but with much cooler­climate focus. Green apple and macadamia nut dominate the nose, with creamy and citrusy elements. These combine to make an almost apple­pie aroma. The wine is bright and zingy on the palate, with green-apple flavors and crisp acid.

Fourth Course: Just Wine

Jacob Williams Cabernet Franc 2010, Wishram, WA $46

This 100 percent Cabernet Franc has great balance, with nice layers of intense, dark fruit and a touch of toasted oak. This elegant 100 percent Cabernet Franc was sourced from Gunkel’s Rattlesnake Road Vineyard in the infamous Columbia Valley.

This wine is one that, in my opinion, should not be paired with any food. The character of this wine is such that standing alone, the statement it makes is extraordinarily impressive.

Fifth Course: Chocolate Cheesecake

Trentadue Chocolate Amore Non­Vintage, Geyserville, CA $30

What else needs to be said? It is chocolate cheesecake. This opulent dessert wine is from Merlot grapes. Once Chocolate Amore is finished aging and is ready for bottling, it’s infused with a tiny amount of natural chocolate extract to the final blend, for a perfect marriage of food and wine. This Merlot­based, port­styled chocolate flavored dessert wine is great over vanilla ice cream or as a stand­alone dessert.