On my annual family vacation in Edisto Beach, S.C., I normally gorge on shrimp and grouper and drink a lot of light, crisp white wines. But on a recent evening, our friends Fisher and Cindy Walter took us on a boat cruise where we enjoyed Champagne and pimento cheese spread while the sun set and dolphins gamboled off the stern.
When we got to the Old Post Office, Edisto’s most ambitious restaurant, some of us were ready for heartier fare. I met chef Philip Bardin when he cooked at New York’s James Beard House as a guest chef back in the mid-1990s, and his “new-wave” Southern cuisine was attracting lots of media attention. Now dishes like his pecan-crusted quail, or “firecracker flounder,” a fillet fried with jalapenos, have entered the mainstream, and the restaurant has settled into a comfortable groove.
A few of us ordered rib eye steaks served with grits and stewed crowder peas, and we splurged on the restaurant’s best red wine, a 2007 Châteauneuf du Pape from Domaine du Vieux Lazaret. A reasonable $70 on the list, it tasted like all the colors of a low-country sunset, and harmonized beautifully with the beef. I rated it 90 points, non-blind.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Domaine du Vieux Lazaret Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2007 (89, $36).
• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds.