Saturday, February 27, 2016

What Wine Goes with Goats?

What kind of wine goes with goat? Hmmm. Not to eat, of course! But I do like wine, and it sure would take the edge off of some of those goat-farm-moments… It was a beautiful, sunny, February day in wine country, so Katherine and I did some investigating.

Katherine agreed to model for this blog, and she decided that her sister’s Lily Pulitzer sundress would be just the thing to wear… along with her muck boots. The ones that have a hole in them.
But, before we begin, a couple disclaimers and shout-outs. First, no goats or children were harmed for this blog. None of them actually drank any wine, for God’s sake. Me, on the other hand, well, I had to test a few wines. And a big “THANK YOU” to my neighbor, Mayo Winery, for letting us saunter, unannounced, into their tasting yard with our goat. The other visitors got a kick out of our arrival, and they all took a whole lot of photos. It will certainly make their experience at Mayo stand out from the other wineries. Huzzah!
So, here we go… the best wines for various situations on The Goat Farm:
Katherine and Mark at Mayo. 
First, we visited the winery next door to get some advice. I freely admit I am a member of their wine club and totally abuse my privilege of free tastings.  Thanks, guys! We love you! Here’s their link: 
Now that we had some ideas about what wines would work, we came home to see what was in the wine refrigerator(s). Wego (our bottle baby goat from this Fall) wasn’t so sure she liked those big, shiny, whirring machines…
Good girl, Wego
Many situations on The Goat Farm involve a lot of standing around, or sitting around if you are lucky. And I will attest to you here today that wine would make each and every one of those situations better.
That's "Spicy" - she's due to give
birth any minute now...
Let’s start with kidding: first we spend hours sitting around in the little pen, either in the folding chair or on the stump, watching goats amble past. I think a nice Chardonnay would do just fine in that situation. Something drinkable and light: Balletto 2013 Russian River Valley Chardonnay.
“The texture and balance are spot on, making it one of those wines that draws you in for another sip. The finish lasts for several minutes and is both tart and creamy with lingering stone fruit and creme brulee. Slight tannins accentuate and compliment the lush texture. This wine is easy to enjoy …” in the baby pen.           Balletto Chardonnay
When the goat finally goes into labor, Katherine moves her into the “Kidding Barn” where we wait for the blessed event to occur.  It usually takes hourrrrssss.  So, a couple bottles are in order for this situation.  It’s usually a night, and cold, so I’ve selected some mid-bodies reds: a red blend and a Barolo.  A big “THANK YOU’ to Rob Della Santina from Della Santina’s and Enoteca for putting us onto the Quinta do Crasto red blend from Portugal.    Quinta do Crasto
When that bottle’s gone, we can move on to the Negretti Barolo from Italy: “powerful and delicate, with a spicy note and traces of small fruits which are accentuated and perfected by being refined in noble wood. TASTE: dry, intense and full, with the right tannin richness and velvety.” Perfect. I am will be so ready for those babies to arrive!       Negretti Barolo
"Babies on the ground" calls for sparkling wine, of course (can’t call it champagne ‘cuz it’s not from F-R-A-N-C-E…). One of my favorite local sparkling wines is Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut (Gloria Ferrer).

Next stop: adolescent pen.  We spend a lot of time in there … watching the goats. Wine is certainly appropriate. How about something a little different? Spellbound Reserve Petit Sirah, Napa Valley 2009:
The elevation and terroir lend amazing complexity and lush dark berry flavors; French oak aging imparts flavors of toasted vanilla, spice and even a little violet perfume to the aromatics.” Spellbound
Mark is wondering...
Eeny meeny miney mo
The buck pen adjoins the adolescent pen, so let’s talk about that one next. We don’t actually spend too much time in this pen, because the bucks are, well, smelly. And friendly. The like to rub their “musk” all over our clothes. Yuck. So, it seems to me that a bold red is in order here. And I’m offering up two choices ‘cuz you never know just how “musky” it will be in there.  Rombauer Zinfandel   and  Gundlach Bunschu Cabernet Franc
After that experience, we need a bit of fresh air. Let’s relax in the luscious grass of the doe pen. Sauvignon Blanc would be PERFECT. Coquerel is one of my new favs.   Coquerel Sauvignon Blanc
"Whatcha' got there?"
Of course we don’t spend ALL of our time in the goat pen. Thank God. On many evenings David and I relax after dinner on our upstairs porch … that overlooks the goat pens. I have a pair of binoculars up there at-the-ready to spot dogs chewing on goats, mountain lions, goats in labor. You name it… I am on WATCH for it. Yes indeed. And a little bit of Port would tune up those tingly goat senses just that much more. Oh yeah.       Mayo Zinfandel Port
Last but not least by any measure: Goat Shows. Wine certainly improves ANY goat show. Many of my goat-show-friends will argue that tequila or vodka is the alcohol of choice, but I find those liquors a bit dangerous. (I refer you back to my blog post about convention this year and its warning about the vodka-infused gummy bears. I can down a whole lotta wine and still not spoon my besties on the lawn after the banquet. Just sayin’.)
So what wine to take to the goat show? ALL OF IT. Enough to share and then some.  
In the trailer, ready to go.