“Making good wine is a skill, fine wine is an art.” – Robert Mondavi
Now most people who know me personally, know that when you say wine, you’re literally speaking my love language. Among my friends, I’m the Yneaux [wino]; primarily because I am known for my erudition and indulgence of all things wine. Simply, wine is everything. And that’s not to boast, that’s just how intrigued and passionate I am about the whole experience from grape to glass.
A self-taught connoisseur of wine and all it entails, wine has been a passion and an intimate part of my life for the better part of six years and I foresee many more years to come. But my sojourn with wine, hasn’t just led to nights of imbibing, it’s undoubtedly expanded and improved my palate to be able to identify and discern flavours in foods. Which has impacted my cooking too. It’s a whole food thing and I love it!
What’s been super cool about this journey though are the doors that it’s been opening for me. From food writing to photography and now, networking with a Senior Winemaker for one of the most renowned brands in the world-Robert Mondavi.
…and it was amazing!
“Even more importantly, it’s wine, food and the arts. Incorporating those three enhances the quality of life.”-Robert Mondavi
If you’ve never heard of Robert Mondavi Wine, firstly, where have you been? I kid, kind-a! But seriously, Robert Mondavi Wines has been around for over 50 years and is renowned for producing some of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon wines in the world, as well as for its Sauvignon Blanc grapes used in the production of their signature, Fumé Blanc.
The namesake of Robert Mondavi himself, Robert Mondavi Wines is located in the town of Oakville, in the Napa Valley County of California-aka wine country, really. Their belief was that wines produced should reflect the origins of the grapes used to produce them and as such their unique flavours and varietals did just that. But unique to this brand is the use of Jamaican Rum Barrels in the aging process of their Robert Mondavi Private Selection Merlot.
But this isn’t a lesson on wines…nor history on Robert Mondavi.
[Look out for that in the next issue of Indulge Food & Wine Magazine]
When your Editor says, “Hey, we have an 8:00 am meeting with Jason Dodge from Robert Mondavi wines,” no matter how much of a morning person you are NOT, you make it happen. When she goes further and says “He’s the Senior Winemaker for their Private Selection, do you have any questions for him?”, even if you think you’re the ultimate brain on wines, you find something to ask. And that’s exactly what I did.
Crav’nish: What’s the best pairing for a Beef Patty?
For (Tastee) Beef Patties, I’d say RMPS Heritage Red Blend. –JD
Crav’nish: What’s the best pairing for Jerked Pork?
Jerked Pork- RMPS Pinot Noir. –JD
Crav’nish: What’s your recommended pairing for Curried Goat?
Curry Goat- RMPS Rum Barrel Aged Merlot. –JD
Crav’nish: What’s your recommended pairing for Oxtail?
Oxtail- RMPS Cabernet. –JD
Crav’nish: What’s the one thing you’d suggest to someone, like myself, who is fascinated by wine and wants to become an expert?
To become an expert you need to expose yourself to wines from around the world. Only then will you start to build that database of smells and tastes and textures. There are some great resources on the internet as well. I recommend traveling as well to experience a wine region I person. –JD
Crav’nish: What’s your favourite varietal from the Robert Mondavi Private Selection?
It’s hard to choose a favorite variety because I love all of my children but I tend to drink the Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet most often. The Sauvignon in the warmer months is fantastic as well. -JD
…and considering it’s usually warm in Jamaica, I’m personally honing in on that Sauvignon tip!
And there you have it. A long over-due blog post on what it was like meeting a winemaker and a few things I had to know from THE EXPERT himself, Jason Dodge, Snr. Winemaker at Robert Mondavi Private Selection.
Follow him on IG at @jasondodgewine
**RMPS-Robert Mondavi Private Selection