We’ve been drinking a lot in the kitchen, but the good news is the dining room is now open with limited capacity. Our drinking might not be as robust as during just take-out. Unfortunately, there are only a few more weeks left of the kitchen. Not to worry, got lots of wine and food pairings to share with you.

We reached into the cellar for this Kitchen Wine! 2010 Whitecliff Vineyards Sky Island. What many people may not know is that Michael Migliore the owner is my mentor in this crazy world of wine. Both my husband Paul and I have learned so much from him. Paul was the winemaker there for 7 harvests before we moved to South Jersey. Something we both miss.

In the springtime I would love sitting down with Michael, Yancey and whoever else they invited to blend the Sky Island. We would always begin with the previous years blend and adjust. It’s so interesting to see the variations between vintages and how the blend is proportioned each year. The last blending trial for the Sky Island that I participated in we had it down pat. It only took us 3 trials before we all agreed on the final blend based on what the winemaker was looking for. Damn we were good! To read about my experience blending the 2011 Sky Island click here.

2010 Whitecliff Sky Island – Merlot based blend with 32% Merlot, 30% each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, 4% each of Malbec and Petit Verdot. The wine had a great nose with stewed cherries, black raspberries, blueberry and a touch of all spice. Still a complex palate with flavors of black fruit, black raspbery, black cherry, juicy ripe black plum with a hint of white pepper on the finish. The wine was decently balanced and had a nice backbone of acidity. Personally, I felt it was a little light on the mouthfeel, but hey, it’s 10 years old.

Chef’s Pairing Suggestions: Venison Loin, Veal in a Rose demi, Rack of Lamb, Duck Meatballs or Fritters.