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Friday, February 27, 2015

Villa Maria 2010 Private Bin Dry Riesling, Marlborough

Villa Maria Dry RieslingThe Marlborough of Australia is renowned for its Sauvignon Blanc and we enjoy this wonderful nectar. We pulled a little switcheroo during a recent visit to our friends. We brought a bottle of  very nice Dry Riesling from Marlborough.

It was a chilly winter evening and we decided to warm things us with a visit to friends for some libations and a game night. Our friends John and Maria were getting ready for a trip to Mexico, so we wanted to spend the evening with them before they left.

The Dry Riesling might have been a contributing factor, but John and I loosened up the rules of the game a bit. It was a card game and the winner of the hand was the one who got ride of their cards first. The losers had to give the winner chips based on how many points were left in their hand.

Things were looking good for me, but then my fortune turned. As we neared the end, John and I kept randomly tossing chips into the pot, which drove Green Dragon wild, because we weren’t following the roles. She eventually was the winner.

Also a winner was the Villa Maria. The wine was tasteful (like our hostess of the same name).

In the glass, the wine is a pale lemon color. It’s fresh tasting with a light body. There are flavors of citrus, lime and green apple. There is acidity, but it doesn’t have the intensity of the acidity either in Finger Lakes Riesling or the Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough. It’s ideal for warmer weather, or in our case, a wintery evening when you want to think about warm weather.

Rating: 2.5 of 5  Value: 3 of 5 (Based on $11 price)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

From The Archives: The 5 S’s Of Wine Tasting

Whether it’s a home wine tasting for friends or a tasting at a winery in Napa Valley, there are some rules that can make it more enjoyable. Always select the wines so that the light, weaker wines come first and the stronger ones follow. Dry wines should precede the sweet ones and typically white before red. Also you should progress according to quality. Don’t start the tasting off with a $75 bottle of Stag’s Leap Chardonnay and then finish with a run of the mill $10 wine.

As you begin to taste the wines, keep the Five S’s in mind: “See, Swirl, Smell, Sip, and Savor.”

See
The first step is to enjoy the wine's color. For white wines, the older the wine the more golden it gleams. It can be a pale yellow all the way to an amber color. Reds can range from a garnet red to a beautiful deep purple. Tip your glass (partially!) and view the color against a white background, such as a napkin or tablecloth, to admire the hue.

Swirl
To release the aroma, gently swirl the wine in your glass. This mixes oxygen into the wine to release the fragrance. To best swirl wine, place the glass on the table and hold the stem of the glass. With the glass remaining on the table, quickly move it in small circles.

Smell
Much of wine's pleasure is in the aroma, which comes from the grapes, and reflects the wine making process. After swirling, immediately place your nose close to the opening of the glass. Gently sniff the wine making note of your first impressions. Depending on the type of wine, you may discover hints of familiar smells such as fruit, spice, floral or even toasted (such as nuts, coffee or cocoa). Higher quality wines will express more aromas than inexpe3nsive, poorly made wines.

Sip
Take a medium-sized sip small sip, roll it around in your mouth for about three to five seconds. Breathe in a little air to once again release the aroma as you are tasting. Notice the taste and the "texture" - how it feels in your mouth, from light and refreshing to full and robust. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to experience a wine’s flavor.

Spit or...
Swallow. The former may sound impolite, but it's not. In fact, it's the only way to taste if you are sampling many wines, and it can be done very discreetly. At many tasting counters, you'll notice a large bucket for that purpose as well as for any leftover wine in your glass. You can reset your palate by eating a piece of bread or cracker. If you aren't driving or consuming many wines, you may prefer to swallow the small samples. Just don't overdo it.

Savor
Most wines have a lingering aftertaste or "finish" even after you have completed the actual tasting. Take some time to appreciate the unique flavor of the wine.
You may want to write tasting notes, which at first might be very simple: deep red in color, fruity. With experience, your notes will become more descriptive.

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Photo by feverblue

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Toledo Area Wine Events & Tastings: February 25-28, 2015

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Wine April 21 2013 011Wednesday, February 25
The Andersons, Sylvania, 6– 8 PM. A Big Chard and Some Warming Reds for Pure Winter Pleasure: 1. Hartford Court 2011 Russian River Valley Chardonnay, 2. Masciarelli Marina Cvetic 2010 Montepulciano, 3. The Federalist 2013 Zinfandel, 4. The Federalist 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon. Nominal fee per sample or $9 per flight.

Veritas Cork and Craft, 505 Jefferson Avenue, Toledo – (419) 214- 9463. 5:00 – 8:00 PM. Wednesday Wine Tasting. Come out with friends, have fun, taste good juice! $15 per person.

Zinful Wine Bar, (419) 878-9463, 7541 Dutch Road, Waterville, 5:30 – 8 PM. Wednesday Wine Tasting.

Thursday, February 26
Andersons, Maumee, Wine Tasting. 5-7 PM. Mid-Winter Wine Selections
2014 Matua – Sauvignon Blanc – Marlborough, New Zealand, 2. 2013 Apothic Crush – Red Blend – California, 3. 2013 Josh – Cabernet Sauvignon – California, 4. 2012 Coda – Cadence – Red Blend – Seattle, Washington. Nominal fee per sample or $5 per flight.

Andersons, Talmadge Road, Wine Tasting. 6-8 PM. Wines That Go with Tony Packo's Chili. Spice to Spice and bold to bold! Sample Packo's Chicken and Regular Chili. 1. Chateau de Segries Lirac, 2. Finca Sandoval Salia, 3. Pozzan Napa Back Barn Zinfandel, 4. If You See Kay Red, 5. Terra Barossa Shiraz, 6. Pepperjack Barossa Red, 7. Jim Barry The Cover Drive Cabernet. Nominal fee per sample.

Corks Wine and Liquor, Promenade Plaza, 27250 Crossroads Pkwy., Rossford – (419) 872-6800. 6-9 PM. Weekly wine tasting.
 
WineTastings-1_thumb1_thumb_thumb_thNoir Fine Wine and Beer, 1616 East Wooster, Bowling Green, 6-9 PM. Nominal fee per sample or priced per flight.

TREO Wine Bar, 5703 Main St., Sylvania, (419) 882-2266. Wine & Cheese Thursday. Explore the wonderful world of wine and cheese. Try four different wines with a sample platter of the day’s cheese.
 
Zinful Wine Bar, (419) 878-9463, 7541 Dutch Road, Waterville. 7 PM. Zen and Zin. Please join us for an hour of relaxing yoga followed by a delicious glass of Zinfandel.
 
Friday, February 27
Toledo Museum of Art, 6:30 – 8:30 PM. Wine by the Glass Pavilion. February Thaw: Wines with Floral Notes. Enjoy four wines and light snacks at the Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion. $20 for members, $30 for nonmembers. Purchase during Museum hours by phone at 419-255-8000 ext. 7448.

Walt Churchill's Market, 26625 Dixie Hwy, Perrysburg, (419) 872-6900. Wine tasting. 4:00 – 7:00 PM. Cru Beaujolais with special guest. Nominal fee per sample.

 
Saturday, February 28
Walt Churchill’s Market, 3320 Briarfield. Maumee, (419) 794-4000. 12:00 – 5:00 PM. Betz, Cayeuse & More Superstars of Syrah. Perhaps America’s greatest value in premium wine are rich full-bodied reds made from Syrah. We’ll taste from Washington State to California with a bevy of high-rated, limited production superstars. Nominal fee per sample.
 
AREA WINE BARS
  • Veritas Cork and Craft, 505 Jefferson Avenue, Toledo – (419) 214- 9463.
  • Zinful Wine Bar, (419) 878-9463, 7541 Dutch Road, Waterville.

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[Information on tastings can be sent to TWAV@ATT.NET.]

Up & Coming:

Tuesdays – Weekly wine tasting at Forrester's on the River, 26 Main St. Toledo – (419) 691-2626. 5:00 – 7:00 PM. Five to six unique tastings of wine, that are not found on the menu, along with an assortment of tapas style appetizers to complement the wines.  Tastings are between $10-$15 per person and are held in their wine bar (Paige's Wine Bar). 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Join The Celebration: Open That Bottle Night 2015 Is Saturday, February 28

027Mark your calendar for Saturday, February 28. That's the date for Open That Bottle Night.

Since the millennium, one night in the dull, dark month of February has been immeasurably brightened for wine-lovers by the creation of a special day to celebrate cherished bottles of wine, champagne and spirits. Open That Bottle Night is dedicated to making sure that those bottles of fine wine put away for a special occasion, are used and enjoyed.

Open That Bottle Night is an annual occasion that aims to motivate people to reconnect with each other over a bottle, and create good memories with friends and family.

Are you saving a certain bottle of wine for a special occasion that never seems to arrive? Created by Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher, wine writers for the Wall Street Journal, Open That Bottle Night makes the last Saturday in February just that occasion. Use OTBN as a reason to enjoy that special wine — while it’s still at its prime!

Are you feelin’ it yet? Here is a link to our report from last year’s OTBN to get you in the spirit. This year we’ll have a gathering at Toledo Wines and Vines international headquarters to celebrate the event.

If you follow us on Twitter (@toledowav) , you’ll be able to see the various bottles we sample in real time. You can share your activities on our Facebook page, Google+ page, comment on the blog or tweet us. All that social media should help you work up a big thirst!

Happy OTBN!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Ken Forrester 2012 Petit Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch

Petite 001

The Green Dragon and I will be visiting South Africa this spring to celebrate a wedding anniversary. In addition to a safari, we’ll be visiting the Winelands to sample ample South African wine.

The country of South Africa ranks eighth on the list of wine production, behind such behemoths as France, Italy, and the United States. It’s history reaches back to the 17th century and exports have doubled since 2013.

Stellenbosch is one of the wine regions we will be visiting, and so when I spotted this bottle at Walt Churchill’s Market in Perrysburg, I picked it up. It’s always good to do some advanced research.

Chenin Blanc is the widest grown grape in the country. It is known for producing outstanding wines in France’s Vouvray region, but it can also produce uninspired wine.

The Petit Chenin Blanc is a youthful wine that is suitable for everyday drinking. At a cost of $6.99, you could actually afford to drink this every single day. This is one of the Petit “range” entry level wines. The top range at Ken Forrester is the Icon Range, with single vineyard wines designed for aging.

This is a fresh and fruity wine. there are tastes of green apple and grapefruit. The body is light and there is no harsh acidity. It is a soft, ready to please wine.

According to Green Dragon, it is a perfect wine to enjoy while taking a warm bubble bath. In that case, I better order her some more.

Rating: 2 of 5  Value: 3.5 of 5

Friday, February 20, 2015

Don’t Miss Out! Glass City Wine Festival Scheduled At Toledo Seagate Center on March 7

GCWF5Tickets are now on sale for the Glass City Wine Festival. The third edition of this popular event will take place March 7 at the Seagate Convention Center in Toledo.

All VIP tickets have been sold out, but regular tickets are available. Admission tickets are from 1:00 to 4:00 PM ($25) and 6 PM to 9 PM ($30). If tickets don’t sell out, they will be available at the door for $5 more. You get the hint, if you are planning on going, you should buy your tickets now.

Glass City Wine Festival is an opportunity to taste regional wines, sample gourmet cheese and fare from local restaurants and shop for unique gifts from a number of local, craft businesses. More than a dozen Ohio wineries will be pouring at the event.

We were very pleased with last year’s events. It was fun, fashionable with plenty of great wine. There are 19 different wineries participating. You can find see them here.

For more information, and to order tickets, visit the Glass City Wine Festival website here.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Henry’s Drive 2010 Pillar Box Reserve Shiraz, Padthaway

Pillar Box 2010 Reserve ShirazMy wife, the Green Dragon, loves Mardi Gras – as I do. We love the spirit of New Orleans, the people, the music and the food. The joie de vivre saturates this annual blowout.

So on Tuesday we fired up the Zydeco music while the Green Dragon baked some beignets and cooked some jambalaya. Her jambalaya is spicy with sausage, but also has shrimp. That makes it a tough call on a wine pairing.

I grabbed this 2010 Pillar Box Reserve Shiraz from  Henry’s Drive Vignerons. I scored it a while ago from Underground Cellar.

Shiraz is the same grape as Syrah but the style is usually different. Shiraz can be a bit sweeter, but it also can be incredibly rich and complex, resulting in some of the world’s best wines.

The wine is a deep, dark crimson in the glass. We sipped our initial glass while the rest of the bottle decanted. We had some nice crusty bread to counteract the spice of the entrée. We were pleased to discover that the Pillar Box could stand up to the spice. As Green Dragon put it, this is no wimpy wine.

While there is a nice medley of fruit flavors, it tends toward the dark side. With deep flavors of plum and cooked fruit minced with scratches of tar and spice. It has multiple layers. Hours later we revisited the decanter and found more delicate flavors that our Cajun dish had overpowered earlier.

This wine is a winner: a great Aussie for about $25. You’ll be glad to go “down under” for this Shiraz.

Rating: 3.5 of 5  Value: 4 of 5

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Toledo Area Wine Events & Tastings: February 18-21, 2015

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Arcadian 1Wednesday, February 18
The Andersons, Sylvania, 6– 8 PM. Closeouts, Part Trois/Drei/Three: 1. Steelhead 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, 2. Los Cardos 2013 Malbec, 3. Allamand 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, 4. Santa Rita 2007 Triple C. Nominal fee per sample or $6 per flight.

Veritas Cork and Craft, 505 Jefferson Avenue, Toledo – (419) 214- 9463. 5:00 – 8:00 PM. Wednesday Wine Tasting. Come out with friends, have fun, taste good juice! $15 per person.

Zinful Wine Bar, (419) 878-9463, 7541 Dutch Road, Waterville, 5:30 – 8 PM. Wednesday Wine Tasting.

Thursday, February 19
Andersons, Maumee, Wine Tasting. 5-7 PM. Wow, What a Treat! 1.
Fantini – Trebbiano – White Blend – Italy, 2. La Vite Lucente – Red Blend – Italy, 3. The Riddler – Red Blend  – Lot Four – Napa California, 4. 2006 Chateau d’Armailhac – Pauillac – France. Nominal fee per sample or $12 per flight.

Andersons, Talmadge Road, Wine Tasting. 6-8 PM. Our Annual "Heart of Darkness" Wine Tasting. The darkest, fullest, firmest, heftiest wines from around the world for the darkest days of winter. You’ve got to “like” very dark and very dry to like this tasting. 1. Romantico, Toro, Spain, 2. Brumont Torus, Madiran, France, 3. Chateau Grand Abord Bordeaux, Graves, Bordeaux, France, 4. Chakana Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina, 5. Terredora Dipaolo Taurasi, Taurasi, Italy, 6. Black Rock Petite Sirah, Red Hills, Lake County, California, 7. Delectus Petite Sirah, Spring Mountain, Napa, 8. Noval Black Port. Nominal fee per sample.

Corks Wine and Liquor, Promenade Plaza, 27250 Crossroads Pkwy., Rossford – (419) 872-6800. 6-9 PM. Weekly wine tasting.
 
WineTastings-1_thumb1_thumb_thumb_thNoir Fine Wine and Beer, 1616 East Wooster, Bowling Green, 6-9 PM. Nominal fee per sample or priced per flight.

TREO Wine Bar, 5703 Main St., Sylvania, (419) 882-2266. Wine & Cheese Thursday. Explore the wonderful world of wine and cheese. Try four different wines with a sample platter of the day’s cheese.
 
Friday, February 20
Maumee Wines, (419) 893-2525, 2556 Parkway Place, Maumee. Zinfandel Tasting. 6:30 – 8:30 PM. Artisan pizzas to compliment the evening.  $30 per person. Call to reserve your spot.
 
Toledo Museum of Art, 6:30 – 8:30 PM. Wine by the Glass Pavilion. You Had Me at Merlot: Wines That Make a Great Impression. Enjoy four wines and light snacks at the Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion. $20 for members, $30 for nonmembers. Purchase during Museum hours by phone at 419-255-8000 ext. 7448.

Walt Churchill's Market, 26625 Dixie Hwy, Perrysburg, (419) 872-6900. Wine tasting. 4:00 – 7:00 PM. Ports by Request: 1. Kopke Dry White Porto, 2. Dow’s 10 Year Old Tawny Port, 3. Six Grapes Reserve Porto, 4. Fiest 2006 LBV Porto, 5. Kopke 2011 Vintage Port. Nominal fee per sample or $15 per flight.

 
Saturday, February 21
Walt Churchill’s Market, 3320 Briarfield. Maumee, (419) 794-4000. 12:00 – 5:00 PM. Perrin Family Wines: Old World vs. New. The Perrin Family have built a leading reputation for organic wines in Southern France and around the world. We’ll taste some examples. Nominal fee per sample.
 
AREA WINE BARS
  • Veritas Cork and Craft, 505 Jefferson Avenue, Toledo – (419) 214- 9463.
  • Zinful Wine Bar, (419) 878-9463, 7541 Dutch Road, Waterville.

Technorati Tags:
[Information on tastings can be sent to TWAV@ATT.NET.]

Up & Coming:

Thursday, February 26 -- “Zen and Zin” (1 hour yoga class followed by a glass of Zinfandel). Zinful Wine Bar, (419) 878-9463, 7541 Dutch Road, Waterville.

Tuesdays – Weekly wine tasting at Forrester's on the River, 26 Main St. Toledo – (419) 691-2626. 5:00 – 7:00 PM. Five to six unique tastings of wine, that are not found on the menu, along with an assortment of tapas style appetizers to complement the wines.  Tastings are between $10-$15 per person and are held in their wine bar (Paige's Wine Bar). 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Ten Great Places to Hike, Bike and Sip in California Wine Country

Sean NaberHas the long cold winter got you down? Here are 10 great suggestions for planning your next trip to California wine country, courtesy of Wine Institute. All of California's dozens of wine regions offer hiking and biking opportunities, as well as new "favorite" wineries and wines to taste and discover. Below are just a few of the many opportunities to get out and active among the vines suggested by Wine Institute.

For more information on California's wine regions, wineries and wines, go to www.DiscoverCaliforniaWines.com.

North Coast
Free Self-Guided Vineyard Walking Tours in Sonoma County Wine Country

Take a free self-guided tour with no appointment necessary at several wineries in Sonoma County, getting a healthy burn as you take in spectacular views. Stop in the tasting room to pick up a detailed walking-tour guide, with points of interest clearly marked along the route. You can finish at the tasting room and sample wines from the vines you just explored (tasting fee may apply). Tours offered at wineries including: Schug Carneros Estate Winery, Landmark Vineyards, Balletto Vineyards, Mauritson Family Winery, Stryker Sonoma Winery and Francis Ford Coppola Winery.

Guided Sip & Cycle Tours of Sonoma County, Napa Valley and Carneros Regions
Whether amateur or pro, the landscape in and around Sonoma County and Napa Valley is breathtaking. For those who prefer a guided experience, there are many options for bike rentals and guided tours that take you to wineries in and around Santa Rosa, some with picnic lunches or with tasting fees waived. Vendors include Ace It Wine Country Bike Tour, Getaway Tours Sip 'N Cycle Tour (Healdsburg, Santa Rosa, Calistoga, Carneros), Napa Valley Bike Tours, St Helena Cyclery and Wine Country Bikes' Cycle Dry Creek and Madrona Manor Tour Package (includes stay at the inn).

Hike or Bike Napa Valley on your Own
The Napa Valley Vine Trail offers a 47-mile path for exploring the world-famous region by foot or pedal at your own pace from Vallejo's Ferry Terminal to the foot of Mount St. Helena in Calistoga. For a packaged but still self-guided experience, Clif Family Winery at VeloVino offers bike rentals through Calistoga Bike Shop. Start the day at the winery's Clif bar for an espresso and a map of the winery team's favorite routes. End the day with a food and wine pairing experience and wine by the glass at the lively tasting bar displaying cycling memorabilia or at the outdoor patio and wine sensory garden.

Sierra Foothills
Hiking or Biking the Sierra Foothills Wine Region

Just a quick day trip from Sacramento and Lake Tahoe is the Sierra Foothills wine region, which encompasses the great wine sub-regions of El Dorado, Amador and Calaveras. These regions have been producing wine since the Gold Rush days. Most of the grapes are grown on rolling hillsides at elevations over 1,200 feet above sea level – making for scenic bike rides and hikes. The El Dorado Trail boasts 28 miles of beautiful mountains and vineyard views. If you'd like to ride but want someone else to do the planning, Giro D'Oro Cycling offers weekend and five-day trips through the area, as well as daily bike rentals.

San Franciscso East & South Bays
Livermore Valley Wine Tasting by Foot, Bicycle or Train

First-time visitors to Livermore are often surprised at the numerous, closely situated wineries surrounded by open space and gentle hills of vineyards in San Francisco's southeast bay. Cycling routes are plentiful and winery and bike path maps are available through the Livermore Valley Winegrowers. A good walking route is on Greenville Road where six wineries are within less than a mile, including Big White House Winery, McGrail and Bent Creek Winery. Another good hike is on Tesla Road where walkers can visit Wente, Steven Kent, Page Mill, Concannon and Retzlaff. Niles Canyon Railway offers a laid-back way to taste Livermore wines paired with hors d'oeuvres. The wine-tasting trains run alternate Sundays in the summer.

Hike, Bike and Horseback Ride
through the Santa Cruz Mountains

Whether your favorite transportation is your own two feet, a bike or a horse, Fremont Older—a 763-acre open space preserve bordered by Garrod Farms Stables and home of Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards—is a great place to hike or ride. The oak studded hillsides are home to many native animals, from bobcats, coyotes and deer to a variety of bird species. Begin the trail in the Cooper Garrod Estate Vineyards parking lot, and end in the tasting room for wines from their Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing vineyard. Horseback riders can rent from the stables and book a tour of the sustainable chardonnay vineyard and estate.

South Central Coast
Bike Tours from the Vines to Coast
in Paso Robles Wine Country

Named the 2013 Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Paso Robles has a lot to offer the biking fan. Take a self-guided tour from City Park town square through vineyard country up to J. Lohr Winery for a tasting and return to City Park to enjoy more tasting rooms, boutique shops, galleries and wine-centric eateries. For guided tours, Paso Bike Tours offers several wine country tours, including "On a Mission," where guests bike to the historic San Miguel Mission, winding through the countryside past farms, ranches and vineyards. Or sign up with Central Coast Outdoors for a Pacific Coast / Paso Westside guided biking tour, where you'll pedal past stunning stretches of coastline and rolling hills and enjoy a picnic lunch at a local winery, followed by tastings at wineries, such as Lone Madrone.

Hike, Bike and Sip in Santa Barbara Wine Country
Santa Barbara, known for surfing and the "Sideways" movie that made the wine region famous, is also a prime hiking region. Work up a sweat on the seven-mile Reyes Peak trail in the Los Padres National Forest. Reward yourself afterwards by checking out nearby Santa Ynez Valley wineries. Cyclists also can sign up with Santa Barbara Adventure Company for a full-day wine country bike tour. Cycle through spectacular vineyards and ranches along Foxen Canyon Trail or Santa Rita Hills, stopping at notable vintners such as Zaca Mesa Vineyards and Riverbench Vineyard & Winery. Tour includes a picnic lunch.

Inland Valleys
Hike through Nature Preserves near Lodi Wine Country

Surrounding Lodi are thousands of acres of nature preserves, a paradise to avid birders and nature lovers. The Cosumnes River Preserve is a favorite among visitors and offers year-round hiking trails and an educational visitor center. Nearby is the interactive Lodi Wine & Visitor Center where you can walk through the demonstration vineyard, learn about winegrowing and winemaking, find out more about local wineries and taste Lodi wines.

Southern California
Hike, Bike or Jog through Temecula Wine Country

Just 90 minutes from Los Angeles and San Diego is the Temecula wine region. Several wineries offer opportunities to walk among the vines. Eco-conscious travelers may want to book a stay at The Ponte Family Estate which offers AAA Four Diamond, sustainable accommodations. The winery and vineyard are third-party certified by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Program—one of the most widely adopted programs in wine for sustainable practices. The estate has 300 acres of scenic, sustainably-farmed vineyards, and is popular for guests who want to run, walk, cycle or hike. The winery also formed a marathon team of staff, locals and guests who meet weekly to jog through the vineyards at dusk. Celebrate your efforts by sipping wines in the tasting room or at the restaurant.

Photo Credit: seannaber via Compfight cc

Monday, February 16, 2015

Dry Creek Vineyard 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Dry Creek Valley

DCV Cabernet SauvignonCabernet Sauvignon in Dry Creek Valley is relatively unknown. Dry Creek Valley is much more widely known for superb Zinfandel.

Surprisingly, the valley has almost as much Cab planted as Zinfandel. Conditions are great for Cabernet grapes with long days of intense sunshine that let the grapes ripen to perfection.

The 2011 Dry Creek Vineyard Cabernet has a flavor profile of bright cherry, but with undertones of spice and earth. As I sip the wine, I can picture the hilly, sun baked soil. The wine has an herbal quality as well.

The blend is 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 5% Cab Franc and 1% Malbec. It’s a winning combination, with the Merlot providing just the right amount of softness. We let the wine decant for about a half hour as we sipped and this is recommended as it really opened up.

This vintage was barrel aged for 18 months in Hungarian, French and American oak. The grapes come from vines that are 15 to 20 or more years old. While enjoyable now, this wine will only improve over the next four to five years.

Selling for $25, this is a solid California Cab suitable for entertaining, or relaxing with a loved one on a chilly February evening.

Full disclosure: We received this wine as a marketing sample.