Wining Wife®

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Tag: Wine tasting descriptors (page 1 of 2)

Sierra-Oro Farm Trail – Day One

The Sierra-Oro Farm Trail, like the North Sierra Wine Trail, is quite the North State event. There are many wineries and farms on the trail – 22 stops altogether – so it makes it difficult to see everything in the two-day schedule. So, we had to prioritize. We covered most of the Chico area today. Here’s a rundown of what we did.

Mooney Farms – This w as our starting point, and it was a good thing. We got in lunch from all of the samples they offered. Bella Sun Luci, makers of sun-dried tomatoes and olive oil had a plethora of samples for us to try. Out of their samples, we liked their Rustico Balsamic Olive Oil, Rustico Garlic Olive Oil, and Regular Olive Oil as well as the butternut squash – sun-dried tomato risotto they offered.

They also had Skylark Ranch there serving their pomegranate products. Their pomegranate fruit spread and grenadine were quite delicious.

The Basque Norte Marmalade was really good. As was the Brannen Gourmet Pepper Sauces and barbeque sauces. We also enjoyed the California Habanero Blend sauces.

Odyssey Winery and Vineyards –  We’re no strangers to Odyssey’s wines. We were there a few months back, and we enjoyed their selection. This time, we tried two new ones. Their Cabernet Sauvignon was very nice, fruity, light, and oakey. Their Fidieux was a very robust version of a rose wine. It is a Syrah/Cabernet Sauvignon mix and was very good.

Emerald “C” Vineyards – This is a newer winery in the area. The history of the vineyard (it’s where Errol Flynn hung out during his Robin Hood filming days) is more fascinating than the wines, which were okay.

New Clairvaux – This winery is a local favorite, and they produce, consistently, very good wine. We were just there a few weeks ago and tasted the same wines. Their wines come strongly recommended.

Roney Wines – This was quite a find in terms of their Cabernet Sauvignon wines. We started off by tasting their 2010 Old Vine Zinfandel from Butte County. The wine had a tight nose, and had notes of sour cherry. It was slightly smokey, spicy, and tannic, and it had a finish of red pepper flakes. ($17)

The 2010 Old Vine Zinfandel from Amador had a fruity, tight nose. It was sweeter and smoother and had a vanilla and cloves finish. ($20)

The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon barrel tasting had notes of vanilla and cloves. It was a very young wine, but it was also very good. I look forward to seeing how this one ages with time.

The 2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was tanic and smoother with a blackberry finish. ($38)

The 2010 S&P 500 Napa Wine was a sweet dessert wine. It was dry for a desert wine and had milk and dark chocolate notes.

Maisy Janes – This is a neat little store. They have almonds, marinades, and a lot of local organic goodies.

Bertagna Son Kissed Vineyards – This is a family-owned winery, and they do great wine. We love their Sangiovese Rose.

2011 Pinot Grigio ($11) – Crisp, apples, some spices – overall, it’s sweet and yet very balanced.

2010 Sangiovese Rose ($11) – Apples, almost a bubbly wine – spice, oregano and basil finish.

2010 Sangiovese ($14) – This one has a buttery nose and olive oil notes. It was light  with a cherry and raspberry finish.

2010 Barbera ($14) – This wine was spicy, and tasted of dark blackberries and apricots. It was big and bold.

2009 Petite Sirah ($16) – This one was sweet with notes of butter and spice. It had a red onion and basil finish.

2008 Vino Rojo ($16) – This wine was a Barbera and Cabernet Sauvignon mix. It was smokey and had a spicy nose as well as notes of paprika.

2008 Vino Dulce ($20) – This wine was sweet, but not too sweet. It was quite enjoyable.

Gale Vineyards – This was our last stop on the first day of the tour. After Bertagna, it’s hard to compete. Their winery is gorgeous. There were two weddings going on there at the time, and with good reason. Here are my notes from the tasting.

2011 Sauvignon Blanc ($12) – This had a wet dog nose. After swirling, it dissipated some, and it was a light and easy drinking wine with notes of citrus and grapefruit you expect from a Sauvignon Blanc.

2011 Rose di Primitivo ($12) – This wine had a tight nose. It was watermelon and paprika with notes of cumin and oregano. It would be a nice summer picnic wine.

2009 Temperanillo ($16) – This had a burnt coffee and smoke nose. It would pair well with brats. It had a hazelnut/almond finish to it.

2010 Primativo – This had a nice color. It had notes of almonds and walnuts and Italian seasoning or Herbes de Provence. It would pair well with salami or sourdough with tapenade.

2010 Melage – This wine was 50% Petite Verdot and 50% Primativo. It was okay, but frankly, we had a lot better wines on the trail.

2009 Cabernet Sauvignon – This one had a fruity nose with strawberries. It was a bit jammy with a vanilla finish. It would go well with teryaki steak.

We definitely made out like bandits after our first day on the farm trail. Here’s a preview of the goodies we brought home with us.

Emerald "C" Vineyards wines we picked up on the Farm Trail

Emerald “C” Vineyards wines we picked up on the Farm Trail

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Roney Wines we brought home with us

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New Clairvaux wines we brought home with us.

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Creekside: Proprietor’s Selections

English: Domaines Schlumberger Pinot Gris Vend...

English: Domaines Schlumberger Pinot Gris Vendanges Tardives 2001, a late harvest wine from Alsace (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

This week’s selection at Creekside Cellars was a combination of wines selected by the proprietors. Overall, we enjoyed the selections.  Here’s a rundown of what we tasted.

 

2011 Errauriz Sauvignon Blanc, Chili ($14) – This wine was very dry and minerally. There were hints of rosemary, and it reminded us of one of our favorite under $10 drinkable wines, La Ferme Julian Blanc (available at Trader Joe’s).

 

NV Domaines Schlumberger “Les Princes Abbes” Pinot Gris, Alsace, France ($22) – This wine earned a star and an exclamation mark from us in our notes. It had a sweet nose, and it balanced butter with paint thinner (but in a very good way) – it was strong and robust. This wine would hold up to a variety of rich dishes.

 

2008 La CremaLos Carneros” Chardonnay, Sonoma ($30) – This was a very nice wine, (worth a star) with hints of butter, pepper, cream, and a hint of oak. There was also ginger and white pepper on the wine’s finish. It would go well with a vegetarian dish that incorporated tofu.

 

2010 Lange Winery Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon ($29) – This wine was incredibly smooth, and the only cheese it paired with was the brie, which brought out a bit of its spice. It had sour cherries, paprika, and nutmeg on the finish. Honestly, it was so smooth it was almost invisible, and after the La Crema, it didn’t stand a chance.

 

2008 Bell Cellars “Canterbury Vineyards” Syrah, Sierra Foothills ($25) – WOW! What a wine. This wine had that cigar box flavor both Wining Husband and I adore in wines. It had notes of butter and chocolate, and its tannins were well-balanced.

 

2010 Charles & Charles Cabernet 51% & Syrah 49%, Columbia Valley, Washington ($15) – This was another very nice wine. It too hat a cigar box aura about it with cherries, sweet tobacco, and an oil and butter combo. It’s a great wine for under $20.

 

2009 Murphy Goode “Liars Dice” Zinfandel, Sonoma County ($20) – This wine was also outstanding! It was smooth and had hints of cloves.  It’s highly recommended at one star and an exclamation mark.

 

2009 Barnard Griffin Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, Washington ($20) – So, this summer we were in Seattle, and we went to a place called The Purple Cafe & Wine Bar. At this bar, they had a selection of wine flights. One such flight was called “The Farm.” This flight consisted of four 2-ounce pours with the themes of “flower, dirt, vegetable, and barn.” The barn wine…well, let’s say its nose definitely smelled like a barn – and it tasted like I would imagine the floor of the barn would taste. Since then, I’ve had a “barn monster.” Why am I telling you all of this? Well, the Barnard Griffin Cab Sauv we tried was a barn wine – but it was a barn wine done right. It had a lot of spice – namely paprika and cayenne pepper. It would pair very, very nicely with curry beef.

 

For those beer lovers out there, we rounded things off by tasting the Allagash “Black” Belgian Style Stout Beer from Portland, Maine ($15) It was very nice, and tasted of coffee and Guinness. It’s highly recommended!

 

 

 

 

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To Zin or Not to Zin? There is No Question!

Zinfandel Grapes

 

This week’s wine tasting at Creekside Cellars featured a selection of Zinfandel wines. It’s always fun to do comparisons of wines, since each has its own unique qualities that it brings to the table. Here’s a list of the wines that we tried.

 

NV Codorniu Cava, Spain ($10) – This wine was sparkling and had a citrus and wheat bouquet to it.

 

2010 Ventana Pinot Gris, Monterey 2010 ($12) – This was pretty good. It was floral and sweet with an almond flavor. It would pair well with a pear and candied walnut salad I make.

 

2010 Talbott Logan “Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Chardonnay,” Santa Lucia Highlands, ($20) – This wine was filled with notes of butter and spice. It also had hints of dry mustard when paired with the Red Dragon cheese.

 

2011 Doe Mill Vineyards Dry Rosé of Zinfandel, Sierra Foothills (Butte County) ($16) – This wine had a cheesy, almost sweaty gym sock nose. On the tasting, it had notes of watermelon, being similar to a Jolly Rancher.

 

2010 Sextant “Wheelhouse” Zinfandel, Paso Robles ($20) – This wine was quite good. It was both light and spicy and had lots of tannin. It also had notes of cashews and berries.

 

Laurel Glen 'Terra Rosa' Malbec, Mendoza Argen...

Laurel Glen wine (Photo credit: Renée S.)

 

2009 Laurel Glen “Za Zin” Old Vine Zin, Lodi ($19) – We did not care much for this wine. It reminded us too much of a “barn” wine that we had at Purple Wine Bar and Cafe some months ago. It was sweet and almost like Play-Dough. It did have notes of allspice, chocolate, cream, and cloves.

 

2009 Green & Red Vineyards Chiles Canyon Zinfandel, Napa Valley ($24) – This wine was pretty good. It went with everything on the cheese plate, and it had ink and paint on the nose, but became tannic on the swirl. It was buttery.

 

2009 Joel Gott “Dillian Ranch” Zinfandel, Amador ($27) – This wine was also quite good. It had flavors of vanilla and berry, but at the same time there was a lot of spice and tannin to balance the wine.

 

2009 Rock Wall “Julie’s Vineyard” Zinfandel, Sonoma ($23) – This wine was outstanding. It had notes of dark chocolate and raspberries. While it was richer than some of the other wines, it was also easy drinking and a bit spicy. It would pair wonderfully with the smothered pork chops I shared with you the other night.

 

2009 JC Cellars “Sweetwater Springs Vineyard” Zinfandel, Russian River Valley ($43) – This wine was also amazing. It had a french roast coffee nose, and it was filled with spices and allspice. If you’re looking for a wine for a special occasion, this is your wine.

 

 

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Wednesday Night Wine Flight at Christian Michaels

Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Photo taken at Skil...

Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Photo taken at Skillogalee Winery in the Clare Valley in 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Wednesday nights are wine nights at Christian Michaels Ristoranté, where you can get 25% off your wine order. We went in thinking that we would take advantage of this, but then we saw that they offered flight tastings. We decided to try out the flights to see what wine we might prefer. Here are our notes from the flights offered.

 

The theme of the first flight was “Light and Bright.”

 

2007 Pacific Rim Dry Riesling, Columbia Valley ($24) – This wine was dry on the nose. Tasting it, it presented a wheat and oat flavor and was smokey and complex.

 

2010 Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough ($36) – This wine was drier and green. It had notes of bell peppers, white pepper, Anaheim pepper, and spice.

 

2010 Cline “Cool Climate” Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast ($30) – This wine had a latex and paint thinner nose, and a butter and oil taste when drinking. It was very distinctive. It would pair okay with calamari or food, but it was not great on its own accord.

 

The second flight we tried was “Drink Me.”

 

2010 Coppola “Votre Sante” Pinot Noir, California ($28) – This wine was light no the nose. It had a tobacco and sour black cherry taste to it. It was almost inky, but that was kept in check. It would go very well with spaghetti.

 

Coppola wines terrace view

Coppola wines terrace view (Photo credit: Chasqui (Luis Tamayo))

 

2008 Cosentino Cabernet Franc, California ($38) – This wine was all butter and spice and curry. It was very smooth. It would go well with something like the Indian Butter Chicken dish. It reminded me of cardamon and chai tea, and it had a lot of red pepper in it.

 

2010 Trinedo Malbec, Mendoza ($31) – Sweet and minty, this wine also had hints of spice, vanilla, and plum.

 

The final flight was the “Big Bold Reds” flight.

 

2007 Jade Mountain Merlot, Napa ($31) – Initially, this wine had a chlorine nose and smelled like a swimming pool. Upon swirling, this nose disappeared. It changed into a smooth and fruity nose after the swirl. On tasting, it had notes of cloves, nutmeg, cherries and plums.

 

2009 Sobon Estate “Rocky Top” Zinfandel, Amador ($36) – This wine was a cigar box in a glass. It also had hints of blackberries, cashew nuts, black currents, butter and oil, raspberry and spice. It went very well with bruschetta.

 

2007 Geyser Peak Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley ($39) – This was the star of all the flights. It was fruity and vanilla on the nose, but otherwise very tight. It had a green beans and leather bouquet on the tasting. Upon ordering the bottle, with the larger red wine glass, this wine opened up more and showed notes of chocolate cake, artichoke, and was much smokier with a buttery finish. This one is quite a star.

 

 

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New Clairvaux New Release Party

English: Wine tasting sign outside of New Clai...

English: Wine tasting sign outside of New Clairvaux Abbey in Vina, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

New Clairvaux Vineyard is a personal favorite. They always deliver when it comes to good, quality wine. They had a release party for their Aimée Old Vine Zinfandel and Napa Valley Primativo, and they allowed us to taste many of their quality wines. Here’s a rundown of our notes.

 

2011 St. James Viognier 12.6% alcohol ($16) – This wine’s nose had a peach and lemon bouquet. The wine was nice, sweet, and off-dry. It would pair very well with white fish with sauteed mushrooms.

 

2011 St. James Syrah Rose 13.4% alcohol ($14) – This was very summery. It had a smokey nose and had notes of orange and strawberries. This New Clairvaux wine would pair quite well with sausage.

 

2009 St. James Syrah 14.1% alcohol ($17) – This wine had a lovely, buttery nose. It was full bodied and had notes of black cherries, white pepper, and plums. It would be a very nice pairing with pasta – especially a pasta with a white, creamy sauce.

 

New Clairvaux’s Aimée Old Vine Zinfandel and Primativo wines

2010 Aimée Old Vine Zinfandel 15.1% alcohol ($28) – This was my favorite wine of the tasting. The vines were planted seventy years ago in Napa. They produce less fruit, but more flavor. They were aged in American-French Oak for 18 months. The wine had notes of plums, cherry, vanilla, cloves, anise, licorice, and oak. It would be a lovely pairing for a Greek eggplant feta cheese casserole Wining Husband makes.

 

 2011 Aimée Napa Valley Primativo 16.2% alcohol ($22) – The Primativo grape is genetically the same as the Zinfandel grape, though the wine is higher in alcohol content which makes it slightly sweeter and bolder. The Primativo grape is the first grape to ripen, and legend has it that wine from the Primativo grape was the wine to be served at the Last Supper. This wine gave off a bouquet of licorice on the nose. It was sweet and had notes of berries, milk chocolate, mocha, cigar box, tobacco, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. It was a robust wine with a lavender color that would pair very well with Wining Husband’s spicy chicken recipe.

2009 Poor Souls Petite Syrah 13.1% alcohol ($18) – This wine had notes of almonds and a nutty flavor to it. It also had notes of Italian spice, allspice, cherry, and plum. It was dryer, and was more of a cheddar than a mozzarella. This was also quite nice as far as wines go.

If you’re close to Vina, California, I strongly suggest visiting this vineyard and tasting their wines. They are consistently very good.

 

 

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Grey Fox New Release Party

Cluster and Roses - Day 37

Cluster and Roses – Day 37 (Photo credit: Velo Steve)

We were excited about the prospect of a new release wine-pairing dinner. We readied ourselves for an exciting wine experience when we received word that Grey Fox would be hosting a wine-pairing dinner. Traditionally, when I’ve heard the term wine pairing, I think of a dinner of several courses where each course is paired with its own unique wine. This was not the case.

Instead, each course was paired with one wine, a new release white wine, Verdelho. The wine started off good when we had it with the crackers and cheese prior to the first course, a yogurt-berry cold soup. Unfortunately, after the sweetness of the soup, the wine took on a medicine/cough syrup quality that couldn’t be shaken after subsequent courses of salad, fish, and desert. I was sad because had the wine pairing dinner been treated properly. I think that their wines would have been highlighted for us.

Previously, we found Grey Fox to have good wines – especially when it comes to their ports. We have a good number of Grey Fox wines on hand. I just wish they had done more to showcase the wine, rather than knowingly mismatch it with such a sweet dish out the door.

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Wine and Cheese for a Summer’s Eve

Napa_0357

Napa_0357 (Photo credit: jstaub1)

 

This week’s tasting at Creekside had several stars. We tasted eight out of the ten wines offered, and enjoyed most of them. The theme for this week was wines that can be enjoyed during the summer – either as summer sipping wines or as accompaniments to summer food fare.

 

2010 Green & Red Sauvignon Blanc, Catacula Vineyard, Napa Valley ($20) – This wine had notes of orange peel, honeydew melon, and oats. It was quite green and pretty good. It would be a nice by the pool kind of drinking wine.

 

2007 Arrowood Saralee’s Vineyard Viognier, Russian River Valley, Sonoma ($30) – This was a rustic, warm, and spicy wine with roses on the nose. There were also hints of rosemary and thyme in the wine. This wine will be going on our wishlist.

 

Pinot noir grapes have a much darker hue than ...

Pinot noir grapes have a much darker hue than the bluish-gray coloring of Pinot gris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

2010 Gassier “Sables d” Azur, Provence, France – Rosé ($13) – This wine was lovely. It had notes of peaches, and it was light like a wonderful pink lemonade. It was sweet. It would be a great wine to pair with a fruit salad at a summer BBQ.

 

2008 Steele Pinot Noir, Caneros, Napa ($20) – This wine would go very nicely with a blackberry cobbler. It had notes of plums, blackberries, tobacco. It was definitely a wonderful, robust and full Pinot Noir.

2010 Sevin Sinners Petite Syrah, Lodi ($20) – This wine had an ink flavor, but tit did not turn into a monster. It had a ton of spice, including cardamon. It also had notes of black cherries.

2009 Landmark “Steel Plow” Syrah, Sonoma Valley ($30) – This wine was fabulous. It was very good with green olives, and it would pair well with any of your feistier foods. There were notes of blackberries, raspberries, black pepper, currant, and tobacco. This one is highly recommended to those who love a bold wine.

2009 Sbragia “Gino’s Vineyard” Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley ($30) – This was light but spicy and had a bit of cream to it. It was nice, and is a good staple wine, especially if you’re looking for a lighter, less jammy, Zinfandel to enjoy.

2009 Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, Sonoma ($30) This wine has a wonderful nose. This wine is filled with notes of dark chocolate, espresso, cayenne pepper, almonds, and that cigar box that Wining Husband and I so love.

Have you had any of these wines? What were your thoughts on them?

 

 

 

 

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Creekside’s Hazy Days Tasting

 

Baby Grapes

Baby Grapes (Photo credit: AdamLogan)

 

This week’s tasting featured some nice wines. The theme was the “Lazy Hazy Days of Summer” – and the wines were nice wines to complement the theme. This week’s tasting featured nine wines, we tasted eight of those wines.

 

2011 Voss Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley – ($19) – This wine had a hay and Cheerios bouquet on the nose. It had hints of grass as well as raw egg and peach.

 

Pinot noir grapes have a much darker hue than ...

Pinot noir grapes have a much darker hue than the bluish-gray coloring of Pinot gris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

2010 Benton Lane Pinot Gris from Willamette Valley, Oregon – ($17) – This was a good generic white, it had apricot notes and paired quite well with the Petite Agour cheese (sheep’s milk cheese with a nutty brown butter flavor from the French Pyrenees) that was served.

 

2009 Sbragia Chardonnay from Dry Creek, Sonoma – ($27) – This chardonnay was a lovely combination of oak butter, and cream. It would pair well with the creamy Swedish meatball dish I make. It also had some subtle hints of cantaloupe during the tasting.

 

2011 Muga Rose of Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain – ($13) – This rosé was sour with a watermelon nose. It had notes of grapefruit with a bit of kick and spice. It was a bit like a sour Jolly Rancher.

2009 The Dreaming Tree “Crush” Red Blend from the North Coast – ($17) – This wine was very nice and balanced. It had a cigar box feel to it with berry notes. It was sweet with a bit of a bacon fat taste – but in a very good way. This wine also carried notes of pluots – it was very good and very nicely crafted.

2008 St. Amant Tempranillo from Amador County – ($18) – This wine was wow. It’s nose contained hints of the ocean and a forest and cigar box taste. It was just lovely as a wine.

2008 Cooper Vineyard Zinfandel from Amador County – ($26) – This wine was also very nice. It was big, beefy, yet at the same time it was a balanced and well-rounded Zinfandel. There were notes of vanilla, cinnamon, and plums. It would pair very well with beef bourguinon, steak, or beef tacos.

2009 Honig Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley – ($38) – This wine was smooth. It had sweat on the nose, but somehow that smelled good. On the tasting there were notes of chocolate, coffee, and hazelnut.

Have you had any of these wines? What did you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

 

 

 

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Creekside Cellars’ Olympic-Themed Tasting

 

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 28:  Giant Olympic ...

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 28: Giant Olympic rings are towed on The River Thames in site of the O2 arena (R) and Canary Wharf financial district on February 28, 2012 in London, England. With 150 days remaining before the start of the London 2012 games the Olympic rings, measuring 11 metres high by 25 metres wide, are being showcased on the river as Mayor of London Boris Johnson is announcing details of two new cultural programmes, which will be part of the London 2012 Festival, along with details of other cultural events being organised to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

This week’s tasting took patrons on a tour of the world’s wines. There were many successes on the list. It was one of the rare events that we actually tasted all ten of the wines offered. Here’s a rundown of the notes we made on the wines.

2011 Col de Salici “Prosecco Superior” from Valdobbiadene, Italy – ($19) – This prosecco was smooth and understated, but quite nice.

2010 Boutari Assyrtiko from Santorini, Greece – ($20) – This wine was very Greek and minerally, almost like sea foam. It had thyme and rosemary notes, and went well with an aged goat’s milk cheese called “Pico” from Perigod, France.

2011 Nautillus Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand – ($18) – This wine had a pine and green nose, you could tell it was a young Sauvignon Blanc. It was also nuanced – foresty, and had hints of mushrooms and white pepper. It was pretty darn good, and is on our wish list to purchase in the future.

2009 Glen Carlou Charonnay from Paarl, South Africa – ($19) – This wine was quite versatile, rustic, and oaked. It would be lovely with a chowder or white cheddar. It was really versatile, and it’s the kind of wine that would pair well with many different meals.

2011 Chateau de Lancyre Rose of Syrah, Grenache, & Cinsault from Pic Saint Loup, France – ($19) – This wine was summery and fruit-salady. There were notes of watermelon and cantaloupe.  It would pair well with falafel and other light vegetarian or Mediterranean dishes. This is a great wine for summer parties.

2009 Migration by Duckhorn Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, California – ($36) – This was a light, chocolaty Pinot Noir that had cigar box and allspice notes. It was very nice.

2009 Urban Ribera Tinta Del Pais (Tempranillo) from Ribera Del Duero, Spain – ($16) – This wine had notes of tomato, and would go well with a spaghetti or pizza. It was a fairly standard red wine, but had good balance. It was fruit forward done right.

2011 Achaval Ferrer Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina – ($25) – this wine had hints of paprika and cayenne pepper. It was a firecracker and reasonably good.

2010 Langmeil “Hanging Snakes” Shiraz from Barossa, Australia – ($19) – This one had plum notes and it was okay.

Dow’s White Port – Served chilled with lime twist and tonic water from Douro, Portugal – ($17) – This was the star of the show. It was cocktail-ish, and didn’t need a pairing. It had vanilla and blueberry notes. It would pair well with broiled plums and marscapone chesse.

 

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Odyssey Winery and Vineyards

Odyssey Vineyards and Winery

Odyssey Winery and Vineyards held an event featuring wine tasting and jazz music from the Eric Peter Trio. This winery is a hidden jewel located in Chico, California. At the event, there were five wines available for tasting.  All grapes were grown at the Odyssey estate.

The 2008 French Colombard was up first. This wine was light and easy drinking – it was very nice. It had hints of celery and cardamon.

The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon was very good. Had we not recently purchased bottles of Cabernet, we might have brought this one home. It was oaky and smokey with hints of vanilla, blackberry, cloves, and tobacco.

The 2008 Blush Grenache was very very nice. This was a sweet rosé – it was like orange marmalade on sourdough toast. This was followed by the Late Harvest Symphony. This was very sour and would make a great pairing with a key lime pie or a berry cheesecake. It would be absolutely amazing with creamy deserts. The Zorba Port rounded out the tasting. It was very dark and heavy, and needs to be paired with something dark. This desert wine showed hints of dark chocolate and cherries.

Have you tried an Odyssey wine? What did you think?

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