Pernod Ricard is an international conglomerate based in France that owns many spirit and wine brands around the world. Beefeater, The Glenlivet, Kahlúa, Courvoisier, Absolut... it's very likely that you've had a Pernod product recently or even have a few bottles in your home. Here I've got a set of wines from two of their properties from the Southern Hemisphere: Stoneleigh of New Zealand and Wyndham Estate of Australia.
The PR firm had some story suggestions to go along with these wines. I normally ignore these, because either the timing is odd (there are only so many wines that you can cram into a Mother's Day post) or because I lack the knowledge to pair up each wine with a soccer player for an upcoming World Cup match. But these were fairly interesting, so I gave them a shot.
2010 Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc
$17, 14.4% abv.
Strong grapefruit and lime aroma, bold acidity and a long, tart finish. The challenge for these wines was to come up with a crazy BBQ pairing, something beyond burgers and hot dogs. With the Sauvignon Blanc, I'm going to recommend the grilled shrimp on sugarcane skewers that I made a few years ago. At the last minute dash with a little lime juice, chopped cilantro, and thinly sliced jalapeño peppers.
2009 Stoneleigh Pinot Noir
$17, 14% abv.
Classic wild strawberry aromas, but with a deeper bacon fat and slightly smoky aroma. A nice glass for slow sipping and sniffing over an hour or two. For this one, I picked another former dinner from the archives: smoked duck with fingerling potatoes roasted in duck fat. Trim off the big chunk of fat at the tail of the duck as well as the wings, and trim off any other dangling skin. Render out the fat ahead of time and use that for the potatoes. The last time I did it I smoked the duck using hickory, but I think I'll stick to a fruit wood like apple or cherry in the future.
2009 Wyndham Estate Bin 333 Pinot Noir
South Eastern Australia
$10, 13% abv.
Tart raspberry aromas and flavors. Smooth with low tannins and a short finish. I've had some mixed experiences with Pinot Noirs of Australia and Chile in the past, but I find that they are getting better and more varietally correct with each vintage.
2008 Wyndham Estate Bin 555 Shiraz
South Eastern Australia
$10, 13.5% abv.
Black cherry, touch of tea, medium tannins and a long chery finish. I really love this profile in inexpensive syrah, and it tends to be a good match for lots of casual fare. The challenge for this set of wines was to write about your first Syrah/Shiraz, or a particularly memorable one. My best experiences with this grape have come in Rhône blends or wines made in that style. The first magical experience was with a Côte-Rôtie. Not only did it seem exotic and interesting to blend Syrah and Viognier, but the wine was delicious and perfectly balanced. Every sip evoked a "wow", and I was sad when the glass was empty.
Note: These wines were received as samples.