The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

One More Bottle of Wine: Izway Mates 2004 Red Wine

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Dec 16, 2008 7:00PM


Our standard go-to wine pairing for a turkey dinner — which seems so frequent and common this time of year — is a petite syrah. Actually, any red wine with upfront bright fruit flavors and minimal tannins would pair well with the Tom. This is also the time of year where our wine rack empties quickly as we attend these dinners.

Thanksgiving was no exception. We brined and broiled chicken breasts, served them with a chocolate ancho mole, homemade corn tortillas and homemade sweet potato chips. That's a lot of sweetness on that menu; a red wine we picked up at a clearance sale at Sam's in spring was an ideal pairing. Izway Wines makes some very nice varietals and blends from Australia's Barossa Valley. Their "Mates" is inspired by classic French oenology. The base grape for this blended red wine is 50 percent Grenache, noted for both its sweetness and sturdy vines. 25 percent syrah, with its rich fruit notes and deep color, is added to the mix (remember, the skin of grenache grapes are thin, so the wines tend to be a lighter-colored red as a stand-alone varietal). To keep the wine from becoming sweet as syrup, 25 percent Mataró, better known as Mourvèdre, completes the blend, giving the 2004 vintage of Izway Mates some weight, more color, much desired tannins, and some spice.

Later vintages of this wine tend to retail in the $20-$25 range. We honestly cannot remember what we paid for the '04, although, since it was on clearance, it certainly wasn't in that price range. Most likely you'll find the '05 vintage at the larger wine shops around town.