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Gordon Brothers 2003 Syrah

2003 Syrah from Gordon Brothers Winery in Washington State.

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Wine from Eastern Washington State: Time Marches on

  • Aug 3, 2009
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Rating:
+5
My uncle Paul used to tell how Italian immigrant farmers in the Walla Walla Valley of south eastern Washington State used to make good wine for themselves. He came of age during Prohibition when alcoholic beverages were illegal in the US, and young people drank whatever they could get their hands on. The wine, he always said, was so much better than anything else that, long before most Americans discovered the pleasures of wine, he sought it out because the local stuff had given him a hint of what fine wine might be. For years the Christmas card from him and Caroline, his wife, always contained a couple of bills with the instructions to “buy some good wine.”

I’ve often wondered what he would make of the excellent wines now being made around Walla Walla and in the Columbia River Valley. Recently my husband arrived home with a bottle of Gordon Brothers 2003 Syrah. He’d found it at our neighborhood liquor store, the Société des alcools du Québec, which always has a good selection of European and Australian wine but doesn’t often have much from the western US. He’d never heard of the winery but what sold him was the notation on the back that Gordon Brothers’ postal address is in Pasco.

When I was born my parents were living in Pasco: my father was working for the US Army Engineers at Hanford, and my mother had gone home to Walla Walla--about 60 miles away--to have me. It was wartime and what was going on in that corner of the country was the deepest secret. Only when the first atomic bomb was tested in July, 1945, did the world learn what the secret was: plutonium. The problems unleashed by the work done there are still with us, unfortunately.

Time marches on, though, and, happily, some of the paths time takes are more agreeable than those toward war and destruction. The wine we drank  was rich, fruity, and great accompaniment to garlic chicken. That it came from near where I was born made it particularly pleasant. Of course, my Dad would have never given house room to garlic chicken--with the exception of baked Walla Walla sweet onions, he hated any dish with either garlic or onions--but the fact that both are staples of ordinary North American cooking now is another bit of progress, I think.

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August 05, 2009
Thanks for the tip on the wine reviews. As for garlic and onionis: well, my Dad was a man of his time and place. Meat and potatoes, and not many vegetables. It's hard to believe that not all that long ago Italian food was considered exotic, and Julia Child (can't wait to see the movie with Meryl Streep ) was a pioneer in presenting French cooking. What do you think she'd say about poutine, BTW?
August 06, 2009
No problem!  And that's interesting how culinary tastes have evolved over time.  I can't wait to see Julie and Julia either.  I'm iffy about whether Julia Child would like poutine or not.  Something tells me that Paula Deen would love it though!  By the way, I think that you would like this review of Julia Child.  The lady who wrote it actually got to work with her, so the review's written from more of an insider's perspective.
 
August 04, 2009
What a wonderful little history lesson, as well as a glimpse into your life through a wine review!  Your Uncle Paul and Aunt Caroline sound swell, and how could your Dad hate garlic and onion in dishes?  Garlic chicken and wine sound wonderful together! :)

Since you like wine, you might want to check out some of @CuveeCornerWineBlog's wine reviews.  He's my go-to guy when I need a wine pairing suggestion!
 
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About the reviewer

Ranked #92
Mary Soderstrom is a Montreal-based writer of fiction and non-fiction. Her new collection of short stories, Desire Lines: Stories of Love and Geography, will be published by Oberon Press in November, … more
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Wine, Syrah, Atomic Bomb, Washington State, Pasco

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