I just returned from a week in Jackson Hole Wyoming for my best gal's wedding, and BOY, can I tell you- these Westerners sure know their wines! Granted, the beer and whiskey is what keeps the cowboys running to the saloon after a hard day of riding on the ranch, but for me, it was some great wines while kicking back in the hot tub, or watching the sunset behind the Teton Mountain Range in the late evening.
Now, I presumed that 85 degree weather was going to call for ice- cold beer and the occasional Sauvignon Blanc, but when I found out that 90% of the local cuisine was big game, it was time to bring on some equally big reds. I knew from the moment I hopped in the taxi, and our driver boasted of his recent hunting bounty (bear), which he promptly made into jerky (he claimed it's too tough to chew otherwise)- who knew?, that I had to find a wine shop- and fast!!!
Thank goodness Jackson is a "gentleman's ranch town"- complete with $5 and $10million vacation homes, and therefore some REALLY great wine shops. The guys at Dornan's were more than happy to oblige my obscure requests for chillable but hearty reds. Here's what I ended up with:
Remember for reds that can take a little chill try Cabernet Franc, Gamay/ Beaujolais/ and some lighter/ less woody Pinot Noirs
Charles Joguet Chinon Cuvee Terroir ($23)
Domaine de Vissoux Moulin Au Vent- ($29)
Permutations Pinot Noir (yes I'm STILL TOTALLY HOOKED ON THIS AUSSIE PINOT- BACK OFF!!!- $15)
Matua Pinot Noir- ($12)
Roc du Chateauvieux Pinot Noir - ($13)
even this malbec- Calzo ($10) worked with some chill time!
And I have to say- the HIT of the week was this awesome wine that is impossible to find (Thank you Steven from Jess Jackson Wine Estates for tracking it down for me!)......If you find it, you have to BUY IT and send me some!!!!
Byron IO Ryan Road Syrah OR their Rhone Blend of Sryah and Grenache-@ $70- omg!- Really OVER the top. Before I headed to Jackson, my dear friend Danielle Botros of Majestic Wines brought a bottle to a "Rhone Ranger" Tasting I was hosting, and it BLEW my doors off. Inky-black in color, with Moroccan spices, cloves and blackberry jam. Just to die for. I had it in Jackson at my friend's reception, and I paired it with Elk Sausage in a black currant and pepper reduction. Nothing better- really. Buy it!