With a Calabrese dish of lamb chops in a red pepper, tomato, and olive sauce, I was thinking Southern Italian, but what came up from cellar was the 2005 Clos Roche Blanche Cabernet. Delightful red for the $12ish pricetag, with ripe red fruit tinged with smoke, tobacco, and pepper. Very nice, with good backbone of both acidity and tannin, stands up to red meat nicely. Maybe even better on second night. B+
With bluefish with scallions and gin (?!), a 1991 Ch. de Chassagne-Montrachet Chassagne-Montrachet. I know, '91 would be pushing it for a village Chassagne from a good maker. But I recently took a flyer on a very cheap assortment of white Burgundies based on others that had a better shot. This one actually was alive, with only light nutty oxidative notes. Even that faded a bit as it got air, it seemed much younger. But after an hour of opening the wine fell apart with a vengeance. During the 45 minutes it was at its best it wasn't really impressive, other than the fact it was alive- warm apple fruit, a little lemon, decent acidity (which is probably what let it live), but short on finish and a tad dilute. Probably deserves a C+, partially for just being alive.
So I opened a bottle of red after dumping most of the Chassagne, another wine that should have been a goner, the 1995 Ridge Sonoma Station Zinfandel. Some Ridge Zins have long lives, but the Sonoma Station is usually the earliest drinker. I was even more pessimistic when the cork was like sawdust. But I filtered into a decanter, and discovered a nice briary warm red. Black plum and raspberry fruit, a touch of forest floor. Round and soft. Not much Zin character left - I don't think I would have guessed this as Zin blind, more a few year old Merlot (New World or possibly satellite Bdx). Nothing exciting, but a pleasant easy drinking red.
Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.