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Wine to me is passion. It's family and friends. It's warmth of heart and generosity of spirit. Wine is art. It's culture. It's the essence of civilization and the art of living. - Robert Mondavi

Ferrari Carano Fume Blanc Weathers the Birthday Storm

Thursday, July 15, 2010

With its tropical and oppressive summer heat, air so heavy and dense that it feels like an accomplishment to walk from one’s lounge chair to the pool, Mexico may not seem the ideal country in which to enjoy wine, however, given the fact that we were going to celebrate my birthday this year in Punta Mita, Mexico, I was determined to find a wine or few that would hold up to Mexico’s heat, humidity, and chile-infused food. I definitely enjoyed my share of poolside margaritas, but there were a few special wines that were worthy of blogging about.

Possibly the most romantic restaurant I have ever experienced, Garrett and I celebrated my birthday dinner this year at Carolina, the St. Regis, Punta Mita’s signature restaurant. This elegant restaurant is of such high caliber that my purse got it’s own “chair”, and we were immediately welcomed with a palatial and aesthetically innovative quartet of amuse bouches prior to our “official” amuse bouche. When the waiter proferred Garrett el listo de vino, he was generous enough to give me the privilege of making the executive decision on which bottle to select to compliment our dinner. Not surprisingly, the top three choices were all California whites. We allowed ourselves to dismiss our guilt for ordering California wine in Mexico with silent promises that we would drink more tequila during the heat of the day to make up for ignoring Mexico’s less than intriguing selection of wines. The wine I selected was the Ferrari Carano Fume Blanc – and it was a perfect tropical wine to pair with our hazelnut-encrusted parrotfish and scallops with fresh saffron risotto.
Ferrari Carano is an outstanding wine to enjoy in the summer – especially someplace tropical of when serving fresh white fish or seafood. The nose smelled like a tropical flower, and the wine was crisp on the palette with tropical notes of guava, kiwi, prickly pear, vanilla, melon, and maybe even a touch of lime. While the wine was crisp and even grassy, it had a full, long, lingering finish that was delicious with as well as without food. After moving to a slightly-more protected (though still outdoor) table mid-meal due to a warm and romantic rainstorm, we went back to our wine, which fortunately traveled well and held up just fine despite the move.
I thought I was mistaken at first, but even picked up a hint of mango in the wine, which indeed was a delicious rich, tropical and tangy compliment to our meal. Ferrani Carano’s fun fume blanc is fermented in cool, stainless steel tanks which gives it its crispness, while it is aged in oak barrels, that add complex fullness and the spicy burnt vanilla notes to its finish. We enjoyed the wine with every course and even passed up dessert wine because the fume held up so well and was sweet enough to be the perfect finish to the perfect birthday meal, and complimented our passionfruit and lemon French macaroons so perfectly After the meal, I decided that a visit to Ferarri Carano’s Healdsburg tasting room is definitely in order this months…


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