This would not be my recommended time of the year to go visit Boston, but who am I to be picky – sometimes you just need friends and family by your side, and I’m so lucky I’ve got great ones!
Despite the negative temperatures, I took a visit to one of Boston’s landmark restaurants, Oak Long Bar & Kitchen (formerly the historic Oak Room), and one that I hold especially close to my heart. Following the theme of comfort, we went for a wine that’s been a staple of mine over the past few years, Au Bon Climat, “La Bauge Au-Dessus”, Pinot Noir, 2008. Winemaker Jim Clendenen has been making Burgundy-style Pinots and Chardonnays in southern California since the ’70’s, when this style was NOT in style. It’s a gentle wine, with prominent cherry flavors, but also hints of forest and earth that make it so interesting. For your non-wine-o friends who maybe don’t love the same, ‘funky’ flavors in wines like you, the ABC has enough fruit flavors to keep them happy too. You can find his wines all over lately: from the retail shelves (this one run at about $20), to private labels for Daniel and Jean Luc le Du.
For a side-note of novelty: check out the closure on this Leese-Fitch Pinot Noir (2012). A plastic plug, with a pull tab that unwinds around the top until it is able to be easily removed. For a wine that retails at about $10, this is great! You can use it to re-seal the wine as you would a cork (albeit not quite as securely), and since these wines are not meant for aging, I’d rather this to the overly-synthetic corks that are terrible to remove and can almost never be replaced into the bottle. As for the wine, it’s totally drinkable – a light-bodied Pinot with a bit of welcome complexity. No stunner, but for the price, I’d buy it again!