Saturday, January 11, 2014

Downton Abbey and Idaho Wine--Another Kind of Pairing

     So there we were in Hailey, Idaho, at a theater owned by Bruce Willis, at a screening of the beginning episode of Season 4 of Downton Abbey.  Many people came in period dress and there was an excited buzz in the air.

     The event sponsors --the local PBS station and the Sun Valley Center for the Arts --conducted a costume competition--a woman dressed as Mrs. Patmore won--followed by a Downton Abbey Trivia Contest.  Lynn correctly answered one of the questions and won a coffee mug with a gold crown with the phrase "Fit for a Queen" on it--queen at last! 
     There was also a lovely pre-screening wine and dessert reception.  The wine was from Idaho, and one we actually knew, since we had visited the winery in Ketchum just the day before.
     Frenchman's Gulch, named after a popular ski run/hiking trail on Mt. Baldy, is a family owned winery dedicated "to making fine wines and living the dream."  The owner creates a limited number of cases of some very fine wines. All the grapes are from vineyards in Eastern Washington, but the wine is made in Ketchum.
     Our favorite was the 2008 Ketchum Cuvée and was the wine served at the screening.  It is a red blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.  It is a medium bodied wine with a nice fruitiness to it.  "The Frugal Tasters" like this wine and call it "a steal" at $18.00.  We bought a bottle, and love the label design and the wax closure on the bottle.
     Another wine we tasted was a Cabernet Sauvignon which was lighter than many Cabs we've had and delicious with some chocolate truffles that Charles, the winemaker, offered us during tasting.  This wine won a Washington Tri City gold award.
     Charles, "a fourth generation farm-kid" as he calls himself, did some viticulture study at UC Davis and spoke enthusiastically about the owner's passion for wine making and the personal, hands-on, low mechanization techniques of the winemaking process at Frenchmen's Gulch.
      The wine is available at the winery--just call (208) 726 0118-- and can be shipped to many states.  Check the website for price and details and for a sense of the ambiance of this high mountain winery.
     And why not be the first on your block to serve an Idaho wine.  Perhaps with an episode of Downton Abbey?  We think you'll like it.

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