Fellow Early Birds at the White Table with Dick Benjamin
Fellow Early Birds at the White Table with Dick Benjamin

I ‘m glad for technology. Sometimes it wins out over brains. I arrived at Wine World’s Third Thursday a bit early because I was on a tight schedule for the evening. I was so proud because most people who know me know that I’m always late. I had to charge my big camera and had it on the charger in the car. As I was getting out of the car I realized I left the disk at home.

That’s why I love technology, my iPhone 5, although no match for my Nikon, came to the rescue. This also brings up that I’m glad for the format on Wine World’s Third Thursday and First Friday tastings. You can easily find time to fit it in even when pressed for time.

I was really impressed with the Graffigna Centenario Pinot Grigio Reserve 2012 and the Robertson Late Harvest Gewürztraminer 2011. The Graffigna for me was nice and balanced. I find that many Pinot Grigios are to light or acidic but this one has a bit of ummph to it. Nice apricot flavors. The Robertson is a Gewürztraminer that has some real body to it. It also felt like liquid velvet. Should make a nice turkey wine for Thanksgiving.

I found the Votre Santé Chateau Red from Coppola very nice. It’s not the “everyday wine” that their Rosso aspires to be but a wine that when matches up with the right cheese or roasted meat would be even more spectacular.

With that I found myself on my way.

Where: Wine World, 133 Georgia Ave., North Augusta, SC
803-279-9522 When: Thursday, Nov. 21 2013, 5 to 8pm Cost: $5 fee—$3 rebate with your purchase of  one bottle of featured wine
Here are the wines presented (click the name to see the tasting notes):

  1. Graffigna Centenario Pinot Grigio Reserve 2012
  2. Hidden Crush Chardonnay
  3. Robertson Late Harvest Gewürztraminer 2011
  4. Votre Santé Chateau Red 2012
  5. Hidden Crush Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
  6. Weingut Beck Burgenland Blaufrankisch 2011

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Here are the detailed wine notes: Graffigna Centenario Pinot Grigio Reserve 2012 | Argentina
Yes, from Argentina!  A lovely, harmonious white wine with floral aromas, hints of jasmine, and flavors with notes of peach and apricot.  A balanced, fresh finish.  Enjoy with Seafood, Chicken, lighter Pork dishes. Seasoned ethnic food such as Mexican, Indian and Asian dishes.  Tangy cheeses.

Hidden Crush Chardonnay | Central Coast, California
Aromas of lime, lemon blossom, green apple, pineapple and white peach. Generous fresh fruit flavors, rich texture, refreshing crisp acidity and lovely lingering flavors.  Pair with Sauteed fish. Crabcakes, three-cheese white pizza or a Cuban sandwich. Think about a really good Fettuccini Alfredo.  Pleasing aperitif.

Robertson Late Harvest Gewürztraminer 2011 | South Africa
Sumptuous honeysuckle and rose petals in bouquet. Rich and smooth. Beautifully balanced sugar and acid given added interest by a touch of honeyed botrytis, an earthy complexity, and nuances of exotic spice. Complements chicken, turkey, seafood and curry. A splendid dessert wine. Wonderful Thanksgiving wine, matching dark meat, dressing, gravy, cranberry sauce, and even the pumpkin pie. (Serve lightly chilled but not icy.)

Votre Santé Chateau Red 2012 | California
This wine from Francis Ford Coppola Winery has rich sweet flavors reminiscent of black cherries, currants and plums that are supported by hints of minerality and leather notes. This blend of traditional Rhône varietals, primarily Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre, has soft and supple texture with  easy finish. It was aged in older oak barrels.  You’ll enjoy this wine with lamb chops, sausages, burgers, ratatouille, mature cheeses.  (The name Votre Santé is a tribute to Francis Ford Coppola’s grandmother who toasted her family’s health with each sip of wine.)

Hidden Crush Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 | Central Coast, California
Aromas of cherry and black currant with layers of cedar, spice, coconut and vanilla. A medium-bodied wine with bright fruit flavors of red berries and spices. Full flavors and easy finish. Pair with red sauce pasta with sausage, grilled burgers  or steaks.  Consider a steak sandwich with Tillamook Cheddar.

Weingut Beck Burgenland Blaufrankisch 2011 | Austria
This grape is also known as Lemberger, a black- skinned grape variety giving deeply colored silky wines with flavors and aromas of black raspberries, blackberries and cranberries. The wine has lovely balance with good acidity and depth. This is another fine match for southern Thanksgiving dinners. Big & rich, yet finishes more delicately & won’t overwhelm the turkey.  It’s also fine match for roast beef.   Judith Beck is one of the most highly regarded young Austrian winemakers. The Beck family practices organic, bio-dynamic viticulture.


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