Rasa Vineyards, Riesling – 2013

  • Basic info: Rasa Vineyards, “The Composer,” Riesling, Walla Walla Valley, Oregon, 2013
  • Type: White
  • Price estimate: $30 (from vineyard)
  • Look: Very pale yellow, some legs
  • Smell: honeysuckle, lemon, white peach
  • Taste: Smooth. Lemon and honey.
  • Conclusions: Fantastic. Good, clean, refreshing and just enough sweetness to cut the acid but not a sweet wine at all. Bob thought the amount of flavor and complexity from such a delicate wine was pretty amazing, and I have to agree.
  • Other notes: I’m suddenly very glad I started this little adventure because I may have avoided this wine just because I associate Riesling with sweet. This was not a sweet wine, but it had a nice touch of sweetness to offset the acidity. It was light, easy drinking and incredibly good. It is more than I generally spend on a white, but if I had an occasion where I needed a really good white, this would fit the bill.
  • From the bottle: No bottle notes, but from the winery, “Light straw in color, the wine offers superb aromatics of apple, pear, spice, petrol, and white flowers. The aromatic complexity follows through on the palate with notes of spice, mineral, wet stone, apple, pear, and lime. Nuances of mineral and petrol echo on the long, vibrant finish.” 12% alcohol by volume.

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Castello di Corbara, Orvieto – 2014

  • Basic info:Castello di Corbara, Oriveto Classico Superiore, Italy – 2014
  • Type: White
  • Price estimate: $14 (local wine store)
  • Look: Golden yellow in color with good legs.
  • Smell: Lemon, merengue
  • Taste: Clean, crisp with a little bit of red grapefruit. Some spice that I can’t identify. Bob got lots of citrus with a lot of tartness and some peach pit flavor.)
  • Conclusions: I liked this wine more than Bob did. He thought it was a bit too citrus tasting and a little too tart. I thought the crispness of the citrus worked for a summer sipping wine.
  • Other notes: This is definitely a summer wine and not one that I think I would want at other times of the year, and I’m not sure how often I would drink it since I’m not a huge grapefruit fan, but I did like this one.
  • From the bottle: “Straw yellow color, mature fruits of peach and apricot with a floral background and it’s well balanced acidity reflect the terroir of the Orvieto region.” 13% alcohol by volume.

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Wine, but something a little different

I like to think that when I decide to learn about something, I go in all the way. Some may call this obsessive (ok, even people who love me call this obsessive) but it works for me. It is why I do well in school, and why I’m good at my job. But I knew wine had to be a little different. I’m not going for a sommelier certification and I need to be careful how much I drink so I could do a lot of research, be super organized, try a lot of different varieties, but the actual drinking had to stay to one or two glasses a day.

IMG_20170610_172749Thankfully I also have friends that like to drink wine and are game to try new things. The other night we had Kate and Leta over and we did a little exploring of French wines with the help of a site I found by a podcast I listen to (long story). Weekly Tasting (no, I’m not getting multiple bottles every week) offers different packs of wine each week. You get the wine (4 bottles), pairing suggestions (with recipes), wine notes and access to a tasting video. IMG_20170610_174653We thought it would be fun to see how our sense of taste and smell compared to what the professionals said, and we tried a few new wines along the way. We had a blast. The one white was a particular hit – a muscadet that was salty and had some great lemon-lime notes. We paired everything with cheese, cause, well, it was cheese box week, and we made it a little end of the school year celebration.

IMG_20170507_195955I’ve also gotten very organized in my wine storage. It takes a little upfront work whenever I get a new bottle, but it helps. Yes, it is a spreadsheet. A color coded spreadsheet so I know where I go the wine from, but there is no longer the mystery of what is in the wine fridge or where a particular bottle is. IMG_20170507_132540For the wine fridge in the kitchen, we went low tech but the miracle of the white board has made my wine life so much easier. It is kind of like my meal list – it takes the guess work out of what to have each night.

I’m still taking notes on each wine, and refining what I do and do not like in a glass of wine. I’ve found that I’m a little more adventurous with my wine than I was before, and that makes me happy. If I go to a restaurant and there is a wine varietal that I don’t know, I’m more likely to try it. I may ask a little bit about it – make sure it isn’t a super big earthy wine that I just won’t like at all – but I venture beyond pinot noir and zinfandel. I can add wine regions to my list of places I want to travel and go beyond cities with lots of deep history. (Not that I will ever stop traveling to old cities with deep history.) I am enjoying my little adventure and feel like I’m learning a little something along the way. Since that was the whole point of this experiment, I’m calling it a success. No need to order pizza. 🙂

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Chateau Thebaud, Muscadet – 2012

  • Basic info: Chateau Thebaud, Clos des Morines, Muscadet Severe et Mare, 2012
  • Type: White
  • Price estimate: $23 (Chamber St. Wines)
  • Look: Pale yellow, translucent. Medium legs.
  • Smell: Lemon, honey and some herbs.
  • Taste: Round, tart, crisp. notes of lemon, grapefruit and melon. Not sweet, but too dry either.
  • Conclusions: Good wine, but would not go out of my way for it. It is a great sipping wine.
  • Other notes: I’m sure I’ve had muscadet before, but I can’t remember what I thought of it before. I liked this wine, but it did remind me of chardonnay a bit. It’s a soft white, which is nice, but it isn’t my favorite.
  • From the bottle: From Chamber Street: “subtle aromas of dried pears, herbs, citrus, almond and stone, quite subtle and elegant.” 12% alcohol by volume.

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Chiesa Carlo – Roero Arneis 2014

  • Basic info: Chiesa Carlo Roero Arneis Quin Wine, Italy, 2014.
  • Type: White
  • Price estimate: $20 (Chamber Street Wines)
  • Look: Light yellow. Translucent with medium legs.
  • Smell: Lemon and orange. (Bob got anise and licorice smell, but I honestly didn’t get any of those)
  • Taste: Lemon, chive. Tangy, but not grapefruit-like. Crisp and a descent body. (Bob found mineral and some scallion for his tasting note.)
  • Conclusions: We both really liked this wine, but not as much as the vermentino. It had a really nice texture and a good, clean taste, but for me it was good, but not great. I liked it, and I would have it again, but I am not going out of my way to find more.
  • Other notes: This was the second in the mixed case that we ordered. So far we are really happy with the wines, and I can’t wait to try some of the reds.
  • From the bottle: No notes on the bottle, but from Chamber Street, “wine is bright straw yellow and has persistent flavors of green apples, stone fruit and white flowers with just a touch of honey.” 13.5% alcohol by volume.

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Gros Ventre – Vermentino, 2016

  • Basic info: Gros Venrtre Vermentino, El Dorado, CA, 2016.
  • Type: White
  • Price estimate: $23 (from online wine store (Chamber Street Wines – NYC wine store that also sells online)
  • Look: Pale yellow, translucent. Medium legs.
  • Smell: peach, fresh apricot and a vague honey smell.
  • Taste: Clean. Apple, mineral. Soft wine but has a nice tang.
  • Conclusions: Bob called this one of the best white wines he has ever had and I have to agree. It it stunning and really drinkable. It tastes incredibly smooth and light and while very different than the last two whites that we liked, it is one that I will look for again.
  • Other notes: I hate to admit it, but I think I am really getting back into white wines. The last three that we had I loved, and I can’t say the same for the reds. I love red wine, but now that I’m finding whites that are not as grapefruit-y, I am really enjoying them. I also loved the winery information on this one. They use sustainable farming practices and lean organic and bio-dynamic which you can taste the care in the wine. Once we drink down our current stock, I am probably going to try a few more from them.
  • From the bottle: No tasting notes on the bottle, but from the winery, “This Vermentino has been co-fermented with a touch of Picpoul Blanc, which brings bright, refreshing acidity to complement the minerality found on the palate. It offers notes of citrus leaf, lemon zest, white flowers, and a hint of Nashi pear.” 12.6% alcohol by volume.

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Michael Picard – Vouvray, 2015

  • Basic info: Michael Picard, Chien Blanc, Vouvray, France, 2015
  • Type: White
  • Price estimate: $21 (at local wine store)
  • Look: Light yellow; transparent. Very few legs, probably lower alcohol.
  • Smell: Mainly wine with some lemon or citrus when it warmed up just a little. (Bob got lemon right away)
  • Taste: Crisp, slightly tart with a light texture. Green apple noticeable on the first sip. Very refreshing.
  • Conclusions: This wine may get me to drink more white wine. There was a smoothness to the wine that I didn’t expect. While tart, it wasn’t sour and it didn’t have the grapefruit overtones I don’t like. I may have to pick up a few more bottles of this for the summer.
  • Other notes: Our local wine store doesn’t shelve wine by grape, they shelve by category. The owners taste every wine in the store and decide if it is a big, bold wine, a fruity wine, a crisp wine, etc. When we did a wine tasting the other week, I had a wine that was in the same category and I loved it, but it was a little more than I wanted to spend on a bottle. Since this was in the same category, I decided to try it and I am so glad I did.
  • From the bottle: No tasting notes on the bottle, but from the website: “Off-dry in sweetness, this Chien Blanc has freshness on the palate with hint of apricot and stone fruit. Its hint of sweetness is counterbalanced by a high level of acidity making this a wine that is round and fresh easy to drink now or a wine that can age well.” 11.5% alcohol by volume.

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