While it may seem like our philosophy is along the lines of "never miss a chance to torment the dog", that's not exactly true. But what better opportunity than Halloween to have fun with a Golden Retriever that has too much personality and energy to be just a dog? In honor of the festivities, Chase donned his bow tie and decided to go as a butler (or was it maitre 'd?) After a few moments of primping and adjusting, Chase grabbed his pumpkin and was ready to go around the neighborhood collecting goodies.
All kidding aside, Chase did greet the kids at the door (sometimes a little to friendly), and even managed to drop a lollipop into one neighbor's grab bag!
After things died down, it was time for the "adult" portion of the evening. We opened up the GatoNegro Merlot -- Black Cat Merlot for those of you that forgot your high school Spanish lessons. Gato Negro is a from Chile (hence the Spanish) and was an inexpensive impulse buy in late October. Our past experience with Chilean wines hasn't been phenomenal, so we started with fairly low expectations on this bottle. Even with that in mind, by itself the wine was a bit disappointing -- somewhere between a cheap Italian red and a too young Australian wine. I came across this on the web site, which may explain it a little bit: "This renowned brand of Chilean wine was born in the 1960s through the genius of a German winemaker at the time." While Germans make some great Reislings, I'm not sure that applies as well to the world of reds. We decided to let the wine breathe a bit as we made dinner.
We opted for a little "treat" of our own -- some homemade pizza of course. Using our homemade dough, we topped it with carmelized onions and shitake mushrooms, port-soaked figs, fresh arugula (from our CSA), and blue cheese. After baking to perfection (minus a few interruptions from the stragglers of the neighborhood still looking for more free candy), we ended up with the spectacular pie below.
Now back to that wine. Sipped alone it didn't have a lot going on, when paired with food the GatoNegro was quite enjoyable. It had a nice balance -- not too spicy, or too tannic, just a litle acidity, and a fairly good finish -- to go well with the pizza and to stand up to the arugula. Overall, it was a nice Halloween wine!