In October, you may recall that I was in NYC and enjoyed a lovely dinner with The Daughter, who attends college there. Our meal at Sofia Wine Bar prompted a Halloween-themed ghost and wine post. Last week it was Kip’s turn to have fun in the big city, and again we have a ghost-related post to share. This time, featuring none other than The Old Ghost Zin by Klinker Brick Winery. I’m not sure why we keep finding ghosts in New York, but they continue to lead us to a lot of fun, so here’s Kip to tell the tale:
Yes, I am proud to boast that I am one of those very lucky dads who happens to have a daughter who shares my love for a great piece of grilled beef and a good bottle of Zinfandel. Most people prefer their beef with the classic pairing of Cabernet Sauvignon or a Cab/Merlot blend, but I share The Daughter’s strong preference for Zin as being the perfect beef accompaniment. Zin seems to bring out all the great flavors in the beef: the salty, smoky, peppery, charred goodness that many of us crave from time to time.
Being a true beef lover, I knew I couldn’t go wrong in NYC which is home of some of the world’s best steakhouses— places like Peter Lugar, Quality Meats, Del Frisco’s and Keens, just to name a few. I settled on BLT Prime Steakhouse due to it’s convenient location for both myself and The Daughter and also for its contemporary feel, less stuffy than the traditional dark wood paneling of many old school steakhouses. We arrived for our 7:15 reservation and were promptly seated by the friendly staff. After perusing the extensive wine list, the sommelier steered us to a bottle of the 2009 Old Ghost Zinfandel, which is one of the mainstays of the Klinker Brick Winery located in Lodi, California. Lodi is actually the self-proclaimed Zin capital of the world, producing over 40% of California’s premium Zin.
For those of you who don’t know Klinker Brick, the winery dates back to the early 1900’s. Proprietors Steve and Lori Felton are the fifth generation of the family run the winery and they continue the family tradition of focusing on Old Vine Zin. The Klinker Brick website explains what “Old Vine” means and why they think it makes the best wine:
“The most rich, intense and multi-dimensional zinfandel tends to be produced from Old Vines, vines that are at least 50 years old. Old Vines (also known as Ancient Vines, Gnarly Vines, Old Timer Vines, Old World Vines or Old Twisted Vines) are in decline, mature in age, with low vigor. They tend to have fewer clusters of grapes with smaller berry size, yielding more intense sugars, color and concentration of flavors, producing wines that are generally better balanced with more body and structure.”
Tasting notes from the winery say that the Old Ghost “is an elegant ghost, indeed. With aromas of mocha, brambleberry and exotic spice, this full-bodied wine displays layers of dark fruit on the palate, finishing with a rich, velvet texture.” The wine was delicious from the very first sip and continued to open up beautifully as the evening unfolded.
Now onto the food! Our meal included warm, cheesy popovers to start, chopped salad (ordered by The Daughter) and tuna tartar (ordered by The Father— to die for!), the Porterhouse for two (cooked to perfection and served with both Bearnaise and peppercorn sauces) and sides of creamed spinach and cheesy cauliflower. We topped off this incredible gastronomic adventure by sharing a dish of the peanut butter chocolate mouse with a scoop of banana ice cream. What more could a Father ask for in a dinner with his Daughter?
In this spirit, we toast this week to Fathers and Daughters, to creating dinner traditions together around the love of great beef (or any other shared love, for that matter), and to The Old Ghost who joined this particular Father and Daughter for a scrumptious meal in the big city. Cheers!