Tag Archive | wine tasting

Oh What Fun!, Day 7

I love Rose – I was excited to see a rose included in my wine advent calendar!

Unfortunately, this was not the dry rose I have come to love.  This California rose was more reminiscent of the syrupy, overly sweet White Zinfandels that were a staple of the 1980s. Honestly, I drank this one very slowly, and had a hard time finishing it.

The description on the bottle was of strawberry and juicy watermelon, which seemed accurate, but it was like drinking a runny, strawberry syrup.

You can’t win them all – it still looked pretty in it’s picture!

Oh What Fun!, Day 6

Cabernet Sauvignon isn’t my favorite grape.  Or maybe the grape is fine, but it’s what most winemakers do with the grape.  I’ve found that so many Cabernet Sauvignons are aged in heavy oak, and the wine leaves you feeling like you just chewed on a 2×4…

So I wasn’t that excited to find this little bottle, but I was pleasantly surprised!  This Cabernet wasn’t over-oaked, and had nice flavors of black cherry and tobacco.

At 13% ABV it was a fairly light Cab, and one I would certainly drink again.

Oh What Fun!, Day 5

I know, I know… I got sidetracked!  But this just means we get to enjoy my Wine Advent Calendar into January!

Day 5 was a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.  It had that crisp minerality that a good Sauvignon Blanc has, with flavors of lemongrass and lime.  I loved this one! 

The grapes were grown in the Marlborough region of New Zealand, and it clocked in at 13% ABV.  Delicious!

Oh What Fun!, Day 3

My mother, as my most loyal reader, pointed out that I must not have liked the advent calendar’s day 2 wine… The Shiraz… Cardboard? I mean, I didn’t like it at first, but thankfully it opened up after 20 minutes or so and redeemed itself!

Unlike Day 2, Day 3’s Pinot Grigio was delicious right from the first sip.  Golden delicious apple flavors at first, finishing with a tart lemon on the finish.  Both Tiffany and I really enjoyed it – a definite crowd pleaser!

It was 12.5% ABV and a product of Italy, from the Terre Siciliane region.

If only we could take a trip to Italy!

Oh What Fun, Day 2

Yesterday evening’s Advent Calendar wine was an Australian Shiraz.

My girlfriend accidentally locked her keys inside her house, and had to track down a spare pair, so I had to wait a bit longer than anticipated to get my drink on… Soon enough though, it was on!

We poured our mini-bottles into the glass, and smelled…  What’s that smell – cardboard?  Black cherry?  Not much of a nose…

We tasted.  What’s that taste?  Cardboard?  This wine was not giving us much…

Quick – let’s aerate!  We swirled the wine in our glasses for several minutes.  This was taking too long, considering the day we both had!

After several minutes the wine started to open up, giving us black currant or black cherry flavors with just barely a hint of black pepper.  That’s better…

This one clocks in at 13.5% ABV, and was also bottled by Paul Sapin and with the reference to La Chappelle de Guinchay, but this one is a product of Australia.  I’m confused…

In the end, a perfectly acceptable Wednesday night wine, but be sure to decant it first.

Circus Trip 2018: Finger Lakes Wineries

Day 45, Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Finger Lakes Wine Trail, Geneva, New York

Seneca Falls, New York is right on the Finger Lakes Wine Trail, so of course I wasn’t going to miss an opportunity to check out some of the wineries in the area!

I don’t remember how I decided which wineries to visit, but I ended up first at Ventosa Vineyards.  It was lunch time, so I started out with a glass of wine and pizza for lunch; of course I had a Riesling, as that is what the Finger Lakes region is known for!  It was delicious and lovely sitting on their patio overlooking the lake, although it was breezy!

After lunch, I went back inside to have a tasting, and Marissa guided me through some wonderful wines! In addition to Rieslings, Ventosa focuses on the Italian/Tuscan varietals, and grows all of their grapes on their estate.  I really enjoyed their Tocai Fruilano, which is unique and not often found in the United States!

After I left Ventosa, I headed a little way down the road to find Zugibe Vineyards, which was recommended by my server at Ventosa.  My visit there is best described as efficient.  My server was polite and… well… it felt rushed… And not a little unlike I was overstaying my welcome.  I did really enjoy the Dry Riesling though, so I hope she was just having a bad day…

All in all, it was a great day spent visiting the Finger Lakes Region; I would love to go back and see more of the area!

2017 Massaya Rosé

I had never had a Lebanese wine, until yesterday!

About a month ago, with my favorite wine shop still closed to indoor shopping, I had the owners put together a six pack of summer sipping whites and rosés.  Beyond a general description of what I like, I let them choose for me – I’ve done this several times and have always been pleased with the results.  With curbside pickup, it was a breeze to just pull up and have them load my purchases into my car!

The 2017 Massaya Rosé is 100% Cinsault, hand picked from vines that are on average 30 years old. It is stainless-steel aged and bottled after 8 months. This wine is a beautiful light strawberry color, with flavors of ripe berries.  It is dry with a hint of light spice and just a touch of sweetness.  It was great to enjoy it on the deck on a hot summer day!

It made me happy to try something new!

12 Corners Aromella

When I was in Michigan visiting my family, my cousin and I took a day to head over to Lake Michigan.  We had lunch at a brewery, did a little bit of shopping, went to a couple of the wineries in downtown South Haven, and checked out the lighthouse too.

We stopped at 12 Corners Winery tasting room in downtown South Haven, named for the Twelve Corners neighborhood where the vineyard makes its home, and did a wine tasting.

The Aromella intrigued me.  It is a hybrid grape; a cross between Traminette and Ravat 34, developed at Cornell University’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY in 1976.  It was renamed Aromella in 2013 (that took a while!).  I have had Traminette, and like it, but I have never had, or even heard of Ravat 34.

The result is a sweet (but not overly so) white wine that tastes similar to Moscato, but with more floral flavors.  The 12 Corners Aromella is estate grown, the residual sugar on this wine is 5.5 percent and the alcohol content is 11.8 percent.  It was delicious and a great opportunity to taste a new-to-me grape!  It is also reasonably priced at $14.99 a bottle.

If you have tried it, let me know what you think!

 

 

Walla Walla 2017: Wine on the Way…

Day 4 – Monday, May 29, 2017

The last day of our trip we headed out of town, stopping at Sleight of Hand Cellars along the way.  I had known about Sleight of Hand, but never been, and Lelani had found them and decided that should be where we went.  Of course, she didn’t have to twist any of our arms…

Sleight of Hand has a Magician theme.  Their wines are delicious and have magician themed names!  The tasting room has is brightly decorated in a modern theme, and they have a ton of music posters (many are autographed) and magician posters on the walls.  They also have records – over 2,000 of them – they always have something playing on the record player!

I brought home their Magician’s Assistant Cabernet Franc Rosé and their Conjurer Red Blend.  That isn’t to say I didn’t love all their other wines, because I did, but they are a bit above my price point, starting at $45 for their varietal reds.  I did get a tank top though – which I love!  Lelani found a Prince Purple Rain themed tank top there too!

Me at Sleight of Hand – I’m not sunburned – it’s just the red umbrella above me

 

Lelani took this photo, not realizing I was photo bombing her!

 

After Sleight of Hand, it was time to get on the road and start working our way home.  We stopped in Yakima for Miner’s Burgers – Home of the Big Miner Burger – these burgers are huge!  Trust me, if you go, split the fries.  One order of fries is probably enough for four people if you plan on having a burger to yourself!  Especially if you have a milkshake, and trust me on this too, you should have a milkshake!  Miner’s has been a Yakima institution since 1948.  We left stuffed, and happy.

Waiting for our burgers!

Our next stops were the Fruit and Antique stand in Selah, just outside of Yakima, and the Thorp Fruit and Antique stand.  I love going there!  We all spend some time poking around and checking out the fruit, gourmet foodie items and antiques.

Brandon, me and Lelani waiting for Joel

Soon enough, it was time to hit the pass and get back over the mountains toward home.  The traffic was just as bad on the way back and this time I was awake for it!  It was, however, the end of a really great friends weekend…

 

Blue Mountain Cider Company Raspberry Hard Cider

I’m home from a busy weekend, after spending last night in Seattle.  We watched my brother-in-law’s band play at a little hole-in-the-wall pub a couple of hours from home.  Jon and I went down a bit early to do a bit of wine tasting in Woodinville, then met Jon’s parents for the evening.

The band was good, and the venue reminded me that I’m old, and I’m terrible at staying up late.  Being out until after midnight is brutal!  Today we slept in, and before coming home, we visited the Seattle Art Museum and saw the Impressionist exhibit, a collection on loan from the National Gallery of Art.  It was a great exhibit, and we had some time to check out other areas of the museum too.

Now, at home, I’m enjoying a glass of Raspberry Hard Apple Cider, by the Blue Mountain Cider Company, in Milton-Freewater, Oregon.  If you haven’t heard of Milton-Freewater, it is right next door to Walla Walla.  The Raspberry Hard Cider is a great balance of sweet and tart, with just a hint of carbonation.  Delicious!  If you are in the area, be sure to stop by and grab some – according to the Blue Mountain website, it is only available in the tasting room.

A line up of several Blue Mountain Ciders, courtesy of the Blue Mountain website.

A line up of several Blue Mountain Ciders, courtesy of the Blue Mountain website.

Cheers to the end of a great weekend!