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Wine, food and conversation make for a balanced meal

Eating food and drinking wine are communal experiences that are all the more pleasurable when shared with good company.

My parents treated Richard, Roger, Trish and me to dinner at Bonefish Grill in Mishawaka on Wednesday — known as Bang Wednesday when you’re in Bonefish country — and naturally, if my family is involved, we ordered plenty of wine to complement our meal.

The restaurant was stuffed to the gills with customers by the time we arrived. We sat at our table, and immediately started swimming in Bang Bang Shrimp and wine. Throughout the night we sampled four different noteworthy wines on the restaurant’s menu: 10 Span’s Pinot Noir ($32), Francis Coppola’s Claret ($40), Kim Crawford’s Sauvignon Blanc ($48) and Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Riesling ($27). (Prices are in cost at Bonefish Grill)


  • 10 Span Pinot Noir: This was a nice, light, classic California Pinot Noir. It maintained a pleasant red fruit aroma, with hints of oak that continued into the mid-palate and the finish. There was nothing disappointing about the experience of this wine from start to finish.
  • Francis Coppola Claret: This premier mid-range wine from California was as good or better than the director for which it’s named. It had a unique aroma for a Bordeaux-style blend; more of a spicily hinted aroma that was clean and subtle. The mid-palate and finish were smooth, with breaths of red fruit and an herbal quality — a pepperiness and greenness — with wisps of oak in the finish.


  • Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc: This New Zealand wine from Marlborough had the best aroma of all four wines we tasted. It had a clean, grassy aroma that was reminiscent of a freshly cut lawn. The grassy aroma transitioned into the mid-palate, along with a citrus flavor. The only way this wine would have been better is if there were a grapefruit pop in the finish.
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling: There was a big and elegant floral and honey aroma on this wine, which lead into an intense explosion of green apple in the mid-palate and the finish, with a nice acid bite. The balance between floral and honey in this wine was exceptional.

The 10 Span was the clear winner of the red wines for flavor and cost, and there was no doubt that the Chateau Ste. Michelle won out among the whites for flavor and cost. Overall, the Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling came out on top as the best complement to a meal of conversation and dining among friends around the table.

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