Have you guys heard of Apothic wine? I hadn't heard of it until my friends gave me a bottle of Apothic Red last Christmas. It's a full-bodied blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, Cabernet, and Merlot and has these wonderful chocolaty undertones, as well as black cherry and vanilla notes. I'm so glad my friends introduced me to it, and I've definitely had a few more bottles since that first one.
Recently I was invited to meet the winemaker, Boyd Morrison, and to try the new Apothic Rose, as well as Apothic Red and Apothic White, at a dinner at Tavern Road. I happily accepted the invitation since I knew I already loved Apothic Red and couldn't wait to try the rose and white as well. And I brought along my friend who's a big fan of Apothic Red too.
Tavern Road just opened recently and I hadn't been yet, so I was also excited about the opportunity to try some of the dishes there. The restaurant is in Fort Point and is owned by Louis and Michael DiBiccari. I was really impressed with the atmosphere, which is very spacious, modern, and artsy. You wouldn't expect it from the nondescript outside of the building.
Rose was being poured as soon as we sat down, so we started sampling it right away. My first thought? This wine is way too easy to drink! The rose is a limited edition wine made from a blend of Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. It's described as smooth and approachable and having big, luscious flavors of watermelon and strawberry. It was definitely smooth and fruity -- but not overly so.
Boyd happened to be sitting right across from us, so we chatted with him and learned a little about the wines while we enjoyed the rose. He was so down-to-earth and mellow and clearly knows a lot about wine. One thing I didn't realize is that all the Apothic wines are vintage wines. This means the grapes are harvested in a single year, so the 2011 Apothic Red might be blended slightly differently from the 2010.
Soon some delicious, cheesy rolls were set in front of us, along with an orange butter. I loved the light, citrusy balance the orange gave the rich rolls.
We got to choose our first and main courses from a preset menu. I opted to try the chilled watermelon soup with grilled halloumi, hazelnut, and mint. The soup was on the sweet side, but the salty halloumi provided a nice contrast.
My friend got the grilled octopus with focaccia croutons, lolla rossa lettuce, and cured meat vinaigrette. The octopus was incredibly tender.
The first courses were paired with the rose, and our glasses were filled with the red for the main courses.
I went with the harissa-rubbed lamb leg steak with romesco, ramps, and hazelnuts. I've found that Apothic Red pairs well with spicy foods and this lamb dish was no exception.
My friend opted for the other option: olive-oil-poached Chatham bluefish, fava beans, English peas, and Pat's littlenecks. I loved the freshness and hint of mint in this dish.
Along with our main courses, we all got to try some family-style sides. There were baby beets with dates, cauliflower, and horseradish; bok choy with green beans, shallots, and almond; and potato gnocchi with dandelion and aged balsamic. All the combinations were so interesting.
We switched to Apothic White before dessert. The white is a blend of Chardonnay, Riesling, and Moscato. The texture was very full and smooth, and the flavor is described as having notes of peach, pineapple, honey, and vanilla spice. I'm more of a Sauvignon Blanc girl when it comes to whites, so it wasn't quite crisp enough for me, but I think Chardonnay lovers would be fans.
The white was paired with a warm, slightly underbaked cookie, and a bowl of spicy Mexican chocolate ice cream. The cookie was wonderful, the ice cream so spicy I could only take small scoops of it.
I enjoyed dinner, but more than that, I enjoyed trying Apothic Rose and chatting with Boyd Morrison about Apothic wines. I know the rose is going to be a summertime favorite at my house, especially on grilling nights.
I've found Apothic Red at Whole Foods and am going to keep an eye out for the Apothic Rose now too. To find the wines near you, contact Apothic's customer service.
This dinner was complimentary, but as always, my opinions are my own.
Have you ever tried Apothic wines?