Personal recommendations carry a lot of power. I am a fan of reading and talking to friends and acquaintances about various recommendations before I try something. Personally, I find whether it is food, movies, or wine the “professionals” don’t always provide me recommendations that fit my taste. However, friends and social media acquaintances provide excellent and trustworthy recommendations; without those recommendations this article would not be possible. Erik Johnson (@erikj; Red, White and Cru), a fellow oenophile, foodie, wine blogger and Dallasite and I have become acquainted on Twitter. Several months ago Erik shared a tweet about a restaurant he and his wife thoroughly enjoyed. I made note of the restaurant, adding it to my new restaurants to try in Dallas.
Recently my husband and I had the pleasure of seeing Ray LaMontagne in concert. As we were planning our evening out we wanted to try someplace new for dinner before the show. I recalled Erik’s recommendation so I suggested we try The Cedars Social. The restaurant is located in a revitalized part of south Dallas. It was a vibrant restaurant with a friendly and knowledgeable staff, soulful menu, sassy drinks, serendipitous wine list and eclectic décor. If you live in Dallas I highly recommend The Cedars Social.
Orin Swift Locations E-2, Spanish Red Wine: This unique wine poured a deep purple into the glass. Crafted of Grenache/Garnacha, Tempranillo, Monastrell, and Carignan/Carinena boasted an awesome bouquet. It enveloped the nose with aromas of rich dark berries and deep exotic spices. As this dark red wine flowed across the palate there was flavor eruption; crushed black cherries, blackberry jam, plum puree, followed by dark chocolate, baking spices, espresso with hints of anise, black pepper and earthy underbrush down the back of the throat. This was a full mouth, medium body wine with well balanced acidity and surprisingly agile tannins. We both decided the E-2 needed to be paired with beef, anything less would most likely be overpowered. My husband chose a grilled hanger steak, medium rare with pesto and balsamic reduction, braised mushrooms, roasted black figs and blue cheese. The rich flavor of the steak with the mushrooms, figs and cheese was a beautiful pairing with the wine. The flavors dance across our palates like Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. I was craving a burger so I chose The Cedars Social Burger: Kobe beef topped with Vermont cheddar cheese, arugula, and garlic aioli with truffled French fries. Yep, you guessed it, another perfect pairing! The flavors were doing the tango across my tongue. E-2 would pair well with any hearty dish such as brisket, grilled tri tip, and brats on the grill.
Orin Swift described the E-2 process: “Priorat, Jumilla, Toro, Rioja, and Ribera del Duero are among the most noble growing regions on the Iberian Peninsula and purposely chosen for the second release of our Spanish red wine. Super concentrated fruit from old vines with low yields are accented with a judicious oak program for a balanced and distinctive wine.” The wine was aged 10 months in barrels and contains 14.5% alcohol. Robert Parker has been quoted saying this about the E-2, “If there are better wines for under $20 a bottle in the world today, please share that information with The Wine Advocate.” Yes, this big, bold red has a suggested retail of $14.99. Even better, it has been well distributed. To find this wine near you click here. I recommend this wine! It was a great wine at a great value that’s just too good to pass up. Buy several bottles to keep on hand and enjoy with a bold meal or just some relaxed sippin.
The E-2, along with all of Swift’s other Location Wines (F,I,CA,AR), seem to be causing a bit of controversy because instead of honoring each regions unique terroirs Swift is blending multiple grapes from multiple viticultural regions across a country or large state; throwing caution to the wind and producing highly successful, low price wines that are popular among today’s wine consumers. This is an old world vs new world controversy where the wine consumer is the beneficiary because, for example, consumers can enjoy a beautifully crafted Burgundy ripe with delicate terroir as well as an artistic winemakers blend where the bottle represents the canvas.
My Song Selection: The song I have chosen to pair with Orin Swift Location E-2 Spanish red blend is La Grange by ZZ Top. First of all I am a Texas girl so you had to know it was only a matter of time before I pulled from my roots. More importantly when E-2 first meets your nose, then flows across your palate I believe a proper response would be “A haw haw haw haw!” Try it; you’ll see!
Get your own bottle of Orin Swift Location E-2 Spanish Red Blend and let me know what song you would pair with it. Cheers!