Don't Judge Me Mondays: Night Owl Red Blend

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My husband and I live just up the hill from Woodinville, which has a large number of wineries all within walking distance of each other.  Did I mention how lucky we are? 😉  Back in the spring we spent a Saturday afternoon checking out several of the tasting rooms using a prepaid wine “passport” we picked up at Costco.  It was fabulous and really informative! When we were in Napa Valley last year I bought a little wine notebook.  It may sound dorky, but I take notes whenever we try a new wine.  I write down the winery, the name of the wine, the year and give it a rating out of 10.  If it’s 8 or higher, it means I would buy it again.  Lower than that, the price (to be honest) determines if I would pick it up.  This little notebook has been incredibly handy when I know I’m going to be buying wine at the store, or want to give a friend a recommendation.  It’s also been great when we do tastings at wineries.  That was the case on the fateful Saturday when we stopped in at the àMaurice tasting room.  This winery has its vineyards in Walla Walla and we sampled several wines we liked.  One of them was the 2010 Night Owl Red Blend, let me tell you about it.

The Night Owl is a mild red blend, which makes it really versatile.  Can I just say here that one reason I’m excited about fall is drinking red wine again!  We bought a bottle of the Night Owl back when we visited and have been sitting on it.  I made lamb chops on Saturday night and decided it was time to pop it open.

As I said before, I like the flavor of this wine because it’s on the milder end for a red. img_5060 It’s easy to drink on its own because it has nice flavor that won’t slap you in the face and also doesn’t taste too “tannin-y” (in other words I didn’t feel like my mouth was dry after drinking it). Its makeup is: 52% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Petit Verdot.  I am normally not a Merlot fan, but I think that blended with the Cabs it makes the perfect mix! The Night Owl has a nice herby quality that lingers and also a slightly woodsy scent.  It worked really well with the lamb, the rich red flavor blending well with the unctuous meat and seasonings.  This wine would be great with a simply seasoned steak too, it’s a very versatile dinner wine.  I also think it would pair beautifully with an Italian spiced red sauce to pick up all those herbal notes in the wine, particularly rosemary. Another great pairing that would be tasty is a creamy cheese like Brie or maybe some candied nuts. Because of its versatility, it makes a nice dinner party wine or a really great gift for someone that likes reds.

The price is $47, which may seem a little steep but I think it’s worth it for a quality wine you know is worth sharing.  I definitely recommend checking out the aMaurice tasting room if you get the chance.  This winery has several exceptional wines worth exploring (who knows I might share another one with you in the future).

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