At The Spiced Pear, we are proud to say we have a wonderful wine list, as recognized by Wine Spectator magazine, Award of Excellence, for many years now. A little over 3 years ago, our Food and Beverage team was sampling wines from the famous stable of wines from The Wagner family in Napa, makers of the renowned Caymus wines. They embarked on this pinot noir program a while back and we were introduced to it several years ago. Under the label of Belle Glos (pronounced Bell Gloss), we tasted through the several different vineyards available, and chose Clark & Telephone Vineyard from the Santa Maria Valley in Santa Barbara County.
This wine really impressed us so much so we decided to pour it and it was immediately embraced by our guests. We have been continually pouring now for over three years, currently the 2014 vintage, and are very excited about how it has been received and continues to delight our guests ordering it. The wine garners great ratings from several consumer publications, with the 2013 currently rated 90 pts. by Wine Spectator! Now, the wine itself is not your typical pinot noir. Rather, it is an overly extracted version displaying notes of brown spices and red and black fruit, and as John Wagner, winemaker and family member says, “it’s like a taste of Christmas all year long!”
It has great acidity, the true backbone of a great wine, and it has a wonderful mouth feel to it. So, pairing this wine and Chef Duffy’s food is relatively easy. It will go nicely with his chicken, beef and lamb dishes and will actually go surprisingly well with his tautog, a local fish. When he has salmon, tuna or swordfish, this wine will create a match made in heaven. For lunch in our Veranda, we would definitely pair this with the BLT or the Angus Burger Club, a true delight! Pinot noir to us is the quintessential red food wine. It pairs up with many more foods than say cabernet sauvignon or merlot, and being on the coast and enjoying the bounty of the sea, it works well with the fattier fishes available, specifically the aforementioned. Our suggestion: dine with us and enjoy a truly great offering from the Wagner family. You will not be disappointed by this attractive pinot noir! And, if by chance you are just going to enjoy it on the lawn, make sure you ask for an ice bucket, no water in it, to keep the wine cool as the wine benefits greatly from a slight chill.