This month on #wine Pairing Weekend we are looking specifically at wines from the Moldova, which is located in Eastern Europe. Although it is a new-to-me area of winemaking, Moldova has been making wine since 3000 BC, and traces of grapevines have been dated to 7000 BC. The stork carrying a bunch of grapes is the national wine brand image. Surrounding all these are the myths, folklore, and legends of Moldova.
Special Celebration and Moldova Wines
We received a bottle of this Lupi wine to review. Let me tell you a little about it. First, it is a blend of three reds, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Saperavi. The area for this wine is Valul Luie Traian. It is is the southwest of the area in a Mediterranean climate, with warm, dry summers and mild winters moderated by the Black Sea. The region is divided into 3 sub-zones: the hills of Tigheci, the Bugeac Plain, and the Prut Terraces and the landscape includes forests, steppe, plains, and plateaux. This is the warmest and driest part of Moldova but also the highest with altitude going up to 310 meters, helping to retain freshness and balance in the wines. The region is particularly noted for red wines which make up 60% of production, but it is also famous for its sweet fortified wines (now called Pastoral) and full-flavored whites. This red wine we received we decided to save for the special occasion of our 43rd wedding anniversary.
We loved the tasting notes on this wine: Color: Intense ruby red color Nose: The bouquet is intense, rich, with hints of mixed berries with vanilla aroma, as well as shades of chocolate, coffee beans, and licorice. Taste: Vigorous and robust, well-structured, full-bodied and balanced. An intense and complex taste with powerful tannins, and a pre-long after-taste that amplifies its elegance. Oily with marked aromas of black fruit, ripe plum, cassis and blackberry. We loved this little teaser: try it with a piece of dark chocolate and a cigar.
We paired this deep wine with these beautiful cowboy ribeye steaks, prepared perfectly by my husband. His steaks are so delicious we haven’t been to a real steak house in years, as no one has prepared a steak like his.
So why did we save this wine for such a special celebration? We knew we would be eating steak, so we wanted a wine that could make a good show against Bob’s beautiful steaks. The ruby color, the deep flavors, and an interesting background gave us all that we wanted for our anniversary dinner. The wine accented the beef and then stood its own ground by offering the juicy berries, powerful tannins and a long, complicated, and delicious aftertaste that kept us wanting more. We were heartily disappointed when we finished this bottle.
As is typical after a delicious meal and one that celebrated our anniversary, my husband did enjoy a good cigar (another of his passions) and a nightcap of his favorite bourbon.
Written by: Terri Steffes