What: How do you celebrate a good day? That’s always a question to ponder because there are so many good days. And it’s easy to lose track of those good days because it seems like most of us are naturally inclined to complain and think about the bad things in life.

But I like to celebrate good days, and Monday was a good day. I ate the rest of my leftover machunka (a Slovak stew made with bacon, pork and sauerkraut) for lunch, Marcus and his crew were working on stopping the leaks in my roof, I was getting a lot done, my fiancee Teri and I went for a nice long walk (and exercise always makes you feel good), so I decided we should celebrate.

Teri Moore with delicious dinner of ribs, mashed potatoes, salad and Turley Hayne Vineyard Zin.

When I got an email announcing the Turley Wine Cellars Spring release, I knew just how to do it. Surely that email was an omen.

After placing my order I headed for the cellar and pulled out a bottle of Turley Cellars Hayne Vineyard 2005. I knew that would go perfectly with the Dreamland ribs we were going to have with homemade mashed potatoes, peas and a salad.

I was right. The wine was sublime. It took about  20 minutes in the glass to open up, even after pouring it through a wine aerator. (Or snobinator as some of my friends say, but what do they know.)

When it opened up, it was a Big Bang. What an incredible wine. The aroma draws you into the deep ruby wine. The flavors are huge, with lots of black cherry, raspberry, ripe plum, spice and minerals. This is what all Zinfandels would like to grow up to be.

It’s a huge, rich, opulent wine that goes really well with food. It was a perfect math for the spicy, savory ribs. The rich fruit is backed by good acid, so it holds up well to the food. If you have any of this at home, I would suggest drinking it soon, because I think it’s at its peak. Or you could invite me to help you drink it.

Some Zinfandels can be too overpowering, with high alcohol, and overwhelm the food. Not so with Turley Zins, and especially this one. Larry Turley makes nearly 30 single-vineyard Zins, as well as a few other wines, and they all are made to be enjoyed with a meal.

The Hayne Vineyard is one of the best. My record-keeping for my cellar is not exact, but I think I paid about $60-70 for this wine. If you could find one today it would be about double that. And it would be worth it.

Teri and I agreed it was a spectacular wine. She thinks I’m spoiling her, but I’m just trying to make sure she doesn’t back out of the marriage. At my age, you can’t be too careful.

The meal and the wine were great, and I was looking forward to watching Hawaii 5-0 later. (I may like great wine, but I also am a fan of popular culture. It doesn’t have to be great culture, just fun.) But I discovered one problem to being in love with a woman who also loves wine. I only get a half bottle with dinner now because I have to share.

So by the time Hawaii 5-0 approached I couldn’t open another Zin because I was sure I didn’t have another one that would compare. So I had a little glass of Otard XO Cognac. A nice way to finish the evening.
From: California
Cost: $70
Year: 2005

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