I t isn’t always about the wine. I don’t spend enough time talking about the other part of a wine tasting…. catching up with old friends and making new ones. Tonight it was about the people as much as the wines. The wines were very nice. Not a Cab amongst them.
The Nua Brut was an excellent sparker. This would make an excellent holiday sipper. Not too sweet and not too dry. Just right.
I bumped into Ed. He was one of the first people I interviewed at the very first tasting that BottleReport.com covered. We were both lamenting over the state of the most current Zinfandel vintages. But we also talked about how nice the Velvet Devil Merlot was. Not a in-your-face merlot. Ed commented that he wasn’t much of a merlot fan but he really like this one. Nice and pleasant. A good sipper. Good fruit on the back of the throat. Nice little wine from Washington State.
I also met a first time taster Jane. She was very excited about trying some new wines with her friends. I wish I could have stuck around and gotten some quotes about their favorites for the night.
Where: Wine World, 133 Georgia Ave., North Augusta, SC
When: Friday, October 4, 2013, 5 to 8 pm
Cost: $5, with rebate on the purchase of 1 bottle of the featured wines.
Here are the wines presented (click to see more):
- Nua Brut (Sparkling) 2011
- Campuget Blanc 2012
- Val de Salis Grenache Gris 2012
- Underwood Pinot Noir 2012
- Charles Smith The Velvet Devil Merlot 2011
- Europa ChocoVine
Here are the detailed wine notes:
Nua Brut (Sparkling) 2011 | Piedmont, Italy
A beautifully crisp sparkling wine made from the Erbaluce grape (unique to the Piedmont region of Northwestern Italy). Pale yellow in color with lovely and persistent bubbles, the bouquet shows hints of freshly baked bread and mint, then of honey and hazelnut. It is balanced, full-bodied and flavorful, with slight almond aftertaste. A terrific aperitif. A fine complement to practically everything. Fish, shell fish, chicken, sushi. Tasty appetizers.
Campuget Blanc 2012 | Vin de Pays du Gard, France
Le Campuget’s 2012 Blanc, a Grenache Blanc 70% and Viognier 30% blend, offers an attractive floral, citrus & melon-accented nose with notes of honey. It shows a subtle hint of sweetness at the start of each sip against a crisp, dry finish. It shows terrific fruit, a lush texture, and an excellent dry finish. Here’s a delicious, mouth-filling, fruit-filled, fresh, dry white. Enjoy while young. Here’s a terrific wine for Thanksgiving. (It’s coming sooner than you think.) Try it with sautéed flounder or catfish. Chicken with herbs. Chicken enchiladas with green chilis. Pasta with green vegetables.
Val de Salis Grenache Gris 2012 | Pays d’Oc, Southern France
A lively rosé from the south of France that emphasizes strawberry aromas and flavors with aspects of apricot & stone fruit. It is very food friendly. Crab cakes. Roast pork. Dishes with Mediterranean herbs & spices. It can even stand up to many red meat preparations. A Wine World favorite! (The Val de Salis vineyards lie in a dry ancient lake bed. Today this natural bowl is flooded at the end of winter annually and the vines are cut down almost to the ground so the entire vineyard is under water. Since Phylloxera aphids cannot survive in the water, these vines are grown on their own roots. It is one of the few European vineyards still using native rootstocks.) Tangy cheese appetizers.
Underwood Pinot Noir 2012 | Oregon
Forward, appealing flavors of cherry, raspberry & plum with an emphasis on tart strawberry fruit. There’s a lively flavor boost in mid-palate. Balanced tannins add interest in the fruit-filled finish. This wine delivers a lot of delicious flavor for the price. Sourced from several Oregon vineyards. A good match to grilled salmon. Tuna with fruit salsa. Grilled burgers. Mushrooms. Casual fare. Charcuterie plate of cured meats.
Charles Smith The Velvet Devil Merlot 2011 |Washington State
Classic Merlot aromas of dark cherries, cedar, anise, and cherry blossoms. Flavors of cherries, plums, bittersweet cocoa with a lovely velvety texture. It’s classic Washington State Merlot, home of outstanding Merlots. (Velvet Devil is Merlot 91%; Cab Sauv 9%). It’s solid and slightly dusty. Braised lamb or veal shanks. Beef steaks, burgers. Duck with mushroom sauce. Blue Cheese. “Naughty and nice, a true Velvet Devil.”
Europa ChocoVine |Holland
“A fine French Cabernet subtly combined with a rich dark chocolate from Holland to create a decadent, silky smooth drink.” Definitely a dessert wine! It can also be served on the rocks or as the main ingredient to an array of sinful cocktails. Tastes a little reminiscent of Bailey’s Irish Cream –with a lot less alcohol. Sweet for sure, the delicious ChocoVine Dutch Chocolate and Fine Wine is pretty good stuff; lots of chocolaty flavors; very easy to drink. (Consider gifts & holiday entertaining at this special one-time price.)