My wife is making spaghetti tonight for dinner. It will be tomato-based, with mince and chirizo. And it will have lots of garlic, onions and other spices. Therefore, I needed to select a wine with strong spice and pepper flavors, yet something delicate enough to go with pasta. There are very few wines that accomplish both. While many Cabernet Sauvignon are delicate enough, it would be missing the spice. Some Shiraz' certainly have the spice, but are often so thick with granular tannins that you can chew the wine on its own! Very few wines are delicate and spicy at the same time.
One great exception to that is the 1998 Tyrrell's Vat 9 Shiraz. This is one of the best Australian reds ever made in my opinion. For my 58th birthday, I served up this wine just before the 2001 Yalumba Octavius following that wine with the 1981 Penfolds Grange (which is a great wine!), and people seemed a bit 'let down' with the Octavius and Grange! While both are tremendous wines in their own right, the finish on the 1998 Tyrrell's Vat 9 Shiraz lasted 'almost forever' and had a more delicate sensuous texture than the heavier and grittier Octavius and Grange.
Some of you may think that such a fine wine is an overkill for spaghetti, but my wife, "DAZ in the Kitchen" makes a truly wonderful spaghetti well deserving of this wine! And it has been a surreal week at work and when I arrived home, I just wanted to embrace the very best bottle of wine I could. I knew we were having spaghetti, and wanted a wine to go well with it, but I also wanted a special treat to drink on its own as I write this blog post. (I am well into my second glass now, so expect my creativity to continue to increase!)
1998 Tyrrell's Vat 9 was the second to last vintage of Vat 9 that Andrew Thomas made while the chief red wine maker at Tyrrell's and I remember him telling me it was one of his favorite vintages. This is certainly one of my all-time favorite wines. I was very fortunate to buy all remaining stock of this vintage from Tyrrell's several years ago (21 bottles) and have about 9 bottles left for special occasions and sharing with great friends. But tonight, I needed a special bottle to treat myself and something worthy of matching up well with my wife's most amazing spaghetti!
And that bottle of very fine red of choice for tonight was the 1998 Tyrrell's Vat 9 Shiraz. Always feel free to treat yourself when you need it! I did.