Thursday, February 25, 2010

Battle of the dishes: Missouri vs. Kansas table wine

Posted By on Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 3:00 PM

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For this week's battle, I went in search of two dry table wines -- one for each side of the state line. I grabbed a bottle of the Somerset Ridge Winery's Flyboy Red as my Kansas representative and selected Les Bourgeois Vineyards' Jeunette Rouge as the standard bearer for Missouri.

And with a bottle of red in each hand, I set out to discover which wine should represent the region as the table wine of choice. The victor is after the jump.  

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Somerset Ridge Flyboy Red. The wine from Somerset, Kansas, is named after the late Lt. Col. Arch Tucker (the "Vice President of Tasting") and it is his visage on the label, emerging from a jet fighter after completing a mission in Korea. The wine is a mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin and Chancellor grapes. 

I grabbed a bottle ($14.99) from Rimann Liquors in Prairie Village, where it had a prime front-of-store display. Interestingly, a small selection of Missouri wines was relegated to the small room off to the left at the back of the store. I was the only one who ventured back and found myself feeling guilty for considering wine from a neighboring state. 
 
The Somerset Ridge is remarkable in that it doesn't seem to possess strong attributes. It is neither too oaky nor too dry. Instead it is mellow and extremely drinkable with almost hints of cherries or berries. A Cabernet drinker would easily embrace this red.  

If you want to try the Flyboy Red, I know it's on the wine menu at Bonefish Grill in Leawood and will be featured at the Pork 102 dinner tonight at Jasper's Retaurant.

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Les Bourgeois Jeunette Rouge. An American Table Wine described on the label as a "refreshing dry red," this wine from Rocheport, Missouri, was on the shelf at Berbiglia (4500 Belleview) for $9.99. It's made with a mix of Chambourcin, St. Vincent and Syrah grapes, which make it a "medium-bodied wine with fruity character." 

This is a simple, relatively dry wine that's slightly astringent -- and yet the finish is still smooth enough for what I think of when it comes to table wine. I didn't pick up the fruit notes, but didn't mind that despite the wine's acidity.  

Jeunette Rouge is widely available at 72 area liqour stores  

Neither wine opens up dramatically after a few hours -- the first impression holds true. Although the Flyboy Red is more polished and has a bit more body, on pure value, the easy winner is the Jeunette Rouge.

It was a $10 bottle that I could pick up and drink over the course of few days, either by itself or with food. It went well with pizza bagels, chicken pesto soup and white cheddar -- which is exactly what I would want from my table wine. The longer it stayed in my house, the easier it seemed to pour a glass. 

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