Team #6: Jia Yi Zou & Kai Yin Lee
Through our visit at Red Hook Winery this past week we were provided with a 2018 Cabernet Franc from the east edge of Seneca Lake, a 2018 Merlot from North Fork and a 2018 blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Petit Verdot and 20% Cabernet Franc. From our tasting notes we both thought that the Cabernet Franc from Seneca Lake provided a beautiful berry fruit flavor featuring hints of raspberries and pomegranate as well as a slight hint of oak. This base wine was in our opinion the lightest of the three where we felt like would serve as a great base for our wine blend being light in body and having a decent balance of acidity and tannins where we would be able to use the other two wines to create what we wanted when blended with this Cabernet Franc. The Cabernet Franc also had a very nice spice to it that we thought would pair well with our dish as well accentuating the amount of flavor from both the steak itself as well as the sauce.
Our dish to pair with the wine was a grilled skirt steak with chimichurri sauce where we ultimately felt that for this dish, we would need a wine that can keep up with the grilled and fattiness of the steak as well as the bright garlic intensity of the chimichurri sauce. To do this we decided to aim for a wine that has a medium body in order to stand up to that fat and flavor of the dish as a whole but not overpower it, serving to almost reset the palate after each bite. We also decided to aim for something with medium acidity and medium amounts of tannins as well just to be able to have a presence in such a strong dish. To do this we are deciding to try a blend of 90% of the Cabernet Franc from Seneca Lakes, 5% of the 2018 Merlot from North Fork and 5% of the red wine blend.
The Merlot we tasted was fairly astringent and the most tannic of the three wines we had tasted where we aim to use that wine to add to the tannins of the Cabernet Franc, but since the wine itself already had tannic notes and being such an uptight and fairly strong wine itself we decided to only add a small amount and see how it would affect the base wine first. Similarly, with the red wine blend we also decided to add an equal amount as well as the wine itself was stronger than the Cabernet Franc base, but had good fruity notes that we thought would complement the dish as well as had a nice acidity and tannin balance that would increase the Cabernet Franc to where we want the levels of acidity and tannins to be in our final blend as well as provide that medium-long finish and slightly vinous taste we are aiming for.