24 November 2005

2003 Mama Mia Zinfandel

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.

Just returned from the family Thanksgiving lunch... Traditionally we eat with my Mom's side of the family, as they're all here in town. Every year everyone brings the same thing. Over the years I've occasionally brought spicier dishes to contribute, but only my father and I would eat them. I've just gotten used to carrying a bottle of hot sauce in my pocket.

Two years ago I started bringing wine. I figured a glass or two of plonk could make the day more enjoyable, but was stopped at the door for fear of offending some of the more religious older relatives. (There's people around here who are still angry that Prohibition ended eighty years ago.) So I just grabbed my father, brother, and a couple of the cooler uncles, and we drank the wine out by my car. I had glasses and an opener in the trunk, and we had a great time. I did it again last year, as well as today. It's become a fun mini-tradition, and we always get odd looks from people driving by.

I brought a bottle of the Desolation Flats "Rustler's Red" that I reviewed back in September, and my father brought the 2003 Mama Mia Zinfandel, made by the Silo Winery in Healdsburg, California (Dry Creek Valley). Sadly, I have no web links on this wine--according to the back text, it's named in honor of his mother, who died in January 2005, and of his granddaughter (Mia) who was born the same month. I can't read the signature, but it's signed off "L'Chaim", so I'm guessing it's a Jewish winemaker. Or not, I've been known to use that toast before. If the wine is flowing, I'm liable to run through about a dozen languages worth of toasts over an evening.

It's not a sweet Zinfandel, though I think it might need a little more time in the bottle. It's got 14.5% alcohol, and a lot of that comes through in the nose. WIth a little breathing, it evens out somewhat, giving way to some ripe cherry flavors and a very dry finish. It's not my favorite Zin, but it worked well for the carside tasting. No idea on the price, as this is yet another in my series of drinking Dad's mystery wines from small producers.

Tomorrow I'm cooking a second Thanksgiving dinner, just for my immediate family, and then I'll share the leftovers with friends over the next few days. One problem with the big 20-person Thanksgiving is that there are no leftovers, robbing me of the ability to run to the fridge at midnight and make a sandwich with turkey and cranberry sauce. So also for the past couple of years, I've cooked a little Thanksgiving dinner for my roommate and me. I'll probably post some pictures this weekend, and of course I'll provide details on the wines we drink.


Anonymous said...

hi! Ben,

Please tell more about Silo Winery in Healdsburg, CA.

When I do a google search, it shows only White Silo winery in new england.

I still have a '97 bottle of Silo's cab somewhere.

Where did you get the 03 Zin from silo?


Anonymous said...


Sorry, I don't have any more info aside from what's posted here. It was part of a mixed case of California wines that my father got as a gift, and he gave some of the bottles to me.


Unknown said...

Last weekend, opened a bottle of the 2003 Mama Mia Dry Creek Zin you referenced 9 years ago. I can't even remember how it came to be in my cellar, but it had been in there for some years obviously, and it just seemed likely to be ready. Happy to report that it was superb. Loads of pepper and brier, just enough fruit to remind you where it came from. We didn't finish it off the night it was opened, so vacuumed it out, but then things got busy, you know how it goes. Finished it off tonight (12/13) and it was as good or better...had acquired a little pruney-ness, like an Amarone. What a great surprise for a bottle that I had written off as a marketing gimmick. Wish I had a couple more. $25 price tag on the bottle. My complements to the vintner!