I started thinking of the wine that I wanted to drink for lunch about 15 minutes into the Easter service at York Minster in England. I know that this is not at all the Easter spirit, or pious. But I couldn’t help it. There was mention of mature wines in the reading of Isaiah 25:6-9, and, God forbid, it got me thinking. I had Easter lunch organized with my two children and ex-wife at the Hotel du Vin in York after church. I couldn’t help but contemplate the wine at lunch. The place has a good wine list.
My daughter sings in the Minster Choir, so I spend a lot of time in church when I am in Yorkshire. “It certainly won’t hurt you,” says my ex. I guess not. Worse things could happen.
It’s funny how wine pops into your head at the strangest moments. I thought it was only sex that guys thought about all the time, or football, or cars? And not in those order. Maybe I need some more therapy (not shopping) in Los Angeles to sort me out? (Just joking.)
Anyway, the 90-minute Easter service finished with some beautiful hymns and a confused Easter sermon from the Archbishop of York. We picked up my daughter in her school uniform after the service at the entrance of the Minster and went to the restaurant.
I had been thinking about drinking a red from the Loire like a top Bourgueil or Chinon, but the wine list didn’t have any. And my ex said that “it would not go with the smoked salmon starter and risotto” she had chosen for lunch. No use in getting in a fight over a bottle of wine!
I chose a South African Chardonnay. There’s always lot of New World wines around in the U.K. It was a 2005 Springfield Estate Robertson Méthode Ancienne Chardonnay. The wine reminded me of a still Champagne with its yeasty, apple pie and lemon character with mineral undertones. It was very fresh yet showed rich and almost exotic fruit flavors. The acidity was fresh too. It had obviously had the full lees stirring and aging in new French oak barrels. Yummy.
I love the way South African wines bridge the New and Old Worlds of wine. The Springfield Chard had the richness of an Australian Chardonnay and the freshness of a Puligny-Montrachet. I scored it 90 points, non-blind. It went really well with my pan-seared fillet of salmon over wilted spinach. My ex was right! And we had a fun lunch.
I hope you too had a good Easter or Passover.
David A Zajac — April 13, 2009 12:45pm ET
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