I met Charlie when I was in graduate school at Indiana University in Bloomington, and he was an undergrad studying criminal justice. We were neighbors in an apartment complex just off campus and we've kept in touch over the years as he moved to Boston and I moved to the west coast, then I moved back to the midwest and he moved out to the west coast to get his MBA at USC. So it was great to catch up and finally meet his family. He treated me to his famous chicken with a butter caper and lemon sauce, chipotle grilled corn and sauteed asparagus, it was really quite delicious.
And of course there was wine! Charlie's parents live in Napa and so he has great access to some wonderful California wines and he certainly didn't disappoint me on this visit! We first enjoyed a starter of a Columbia Winery blend and then he pulled out the big guns, a 2001 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon that was drinking beautifully! Quality Napa Cabernet can age gracefully as this one had, and it was a real treat to enjoy (even with chicken, as Charlie shares my sensibiliy that big red wines can pair with just about anything!).
Charlie gave me a tour of his beautiful home (including the pet rabbits home) and as we enjoyed some ice cream for dessert as it began to get dark around 10:00 pm (I forgot the 18 hours of daylight in the summer in Seattle) we opened a bottle of 2009 Astrale e Terra Estate Cabernet Sauvignon from the Atlas Peak AVA in Napa Valley. It's tough to admit, but this wine was the highlight of the night, a wonderfully fruit forward and exceptionally structured, classic Napa Cabernet. A perfect wine to end a night of wine, food and fun!