This Month’s Wine, Beer and Food Pairing features Fruition Restaurant’s Ratatouille Parmesan and Pistachio Cake present by Beverage Director Patrick Houghton.

Carolyn paired a 2004 Manincor Reserve della Contessa with this tasty meal. She also has a few other things to share regarding the Mannicor Reserve della Contessa:

“Over the years it has been reported that 98% of Americans open a bottle of wine within 24 hours of purchase, however, more recently, Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute reports that only 20% drink within 24 hours, 31% in 2-3 days and 39% within one week. Reportedly, only 6% of American consumers save their wine for aging. Which means many people have not had the opportunity to taste properly aged wine.

Generally, we think of aging red wine, but white wine is actually some of the most age worthy of all. Dry and sweet Riesling will last decades, as will some Champagne and some Burgundy (Chardonnay). And as we all know too well, time is money, so generally, it costs more money to buy properly aged, or “library” wine that is released from the winery or distributor, because they have carried the costs and risks of holding their inventory for many years.

Occasionally at Joy Wine and Spirits, we actually luck out and discover a gem that has already been properly aged, and is reasonably priced, as in the case of this month’s KUVO food and wine pairing. The 2004 Manincor Reserve della Contessa is the marriage of two white varietals that can age, particularly Chardonnay. Organically farmed grapes, native yeast and some time in barrel, in addition to meticulous cellaring all contribute to the quality and age-ability of this wine.  While the aroma and flavor notes are less young and fresh than when it was released years ago, there is much more of that “muted tropical” note and a nutty, oxidative bottle age quality nowadays… but the wine still has some good subtlety and rich life in it, and a brightness on the finish that pair wonderfully with this month’s Summer Ratatouille from our neighbors at Fruition Restaurant.


In terms of the 2004 vintage still being available, this might be more a case of “happy accident” that this wine is still going strong after 15 years and our distributor, Rocky Mountain Vinifera, still had some in stock. In some cases, it’s a deliberate, slow waiting game for wines that need time, and in others it’s just good luck that the distributor still had a bit of this, and the wine is still showing well and picking up nuances.

Part of the gamble and the game of collecting wine involves a risk or uncertainty over how long a life each wine will have, but it is fun to be reminded how a well-made wine can often outlive or outshine our expectations.

Join us on Wednesday to taste the Manincor Reserve della Contessa 2004. We will also be featuring the 2011 Chionetti Briccolero Dogliani, a 100% Dolcetto.

Be sure to tune in to KUVO 89.3FM at 6:30 tonight to listen to the segment with Patrick Houghton of Fruition. “

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