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Summer Wines 2023: A Pair of Wine Tasting Events
Enjoy our favorite selections with Food Pairings
Summer approaches and it’s a perfect time to do a wine tasting at home. If you ever struggled with how to set up a fun event, see my previous newsletter: “8 Tips for Hosting a Blind Wine Tasting in Your Home.” Our two tastings this month, “A Cool Wine Tasting of Great Value Wines” and “A Wine and Food Pairing Event,” were not done “blind,” but we did vote for our favorites.
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A Cool Wine Tasting of Great Value Wines
While interviewing Tim Gaiser, MS, about his new book, “Message in the Bottle- Book Review, Author Tim Gaiser, MS,” Tim gave me his suggestions for 12 very cool, unique, and great value wines from all over the world. I matched the twelve wines with appetizers that ranged from a charcuterie cheese board to smothered meatballs to ham/Swiss-based cocktail sandwiches….a wide range of flavors to compliment a wide range of wines.
Drum Roll for the Winners
(They were very close but the French wine one came first.) I’m going to give you both of them.
The 2022 had James Suckling, 90 Points.
Wilfred Wong, 91 Points.
Clos René, Pomerol, Bordeaux France - I purchased this wine from Last Bottle for $47 but normally that wine is $85 -- unfortunately it is out of stock now. You snooze, you lose on Last Bottle -- sign up for it. It is a blast when Last Bottle has its New Year’s and March Madness sales. Normally they offer one wine per day that is deeply discounted, but four times a year, it’s a newly discounted wine every 4-5 minutes or so. Kind of like casino gambling.
2nd place Best Reds (tie):
James Suckling, 90 Point rating.
2020 Yalumba Samuel’s collection bush Vine Grenache, South Australia, $20. Wine Enthusiast,
Wine Enthusiast, 92 Point rating.
Best Overall Wine:
The Pomerol Bordeaux Red Blend -- All of you have expensive tastes, but I cannot blame you. I really like this wine, too. I’m heading to Pomerol this summer.
Best Value Wine:
2019 Corvo Nero d’Avola, Sicily, Italy -- Out of stock now. But find another good Nero d’Avola here:
Wine & Spirits, 91 Points.
A Wine and Food Pairing Event
As a great idea for varying the program for a board meeting, book club, or non-profit group meeting, it is fun to have a side event like a wine and food pairing to get audience participation rolling. Thank you to Joanie Stephens, Plano Junior League, for hosting this event. I believe we thoughtfully paired great summer wines with her delicious finger foods. We began the event with a primer on the AVA’s and appellations of our paired wines and concluded with a sequential tasting and food pairing process. All five wines got rave reviews. The sequence of the wines presented should be in this order: white and lightest weight to the heaviest red.
Wine and Food Pairing Recommendations
Paired with: Goat cheese with herbs, and Green Goddess Sandwich with Herb Mayo. The smooth goat cheese and sandwiches complemented the aromatic, crisp New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
Paired with: Crab Cakes and Greek Flatbread Pizza.
2020 Château d’Esclans Rock Angel Rose, Côtes de Provence, France, $43.
Paired with: Smoked Salmon, Bruschetta with Prosciutto, Ricotta, Arugula, and Grilled Chicken. The rosé wine is so versatile with many foods and its strawberry and raspberry aromas were perfect with the Smoked Salmon.
2021 Argyle Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, OR $44.
Paired with: Brie and Stuffed Mushrooms. Mushrooms and Pinot Noir are a perfect pairing as Pinot Noir often has forest floor and mushroom-y aromas. This Argyle Reserve wine was one of the crowd favorites.
2019 Ridge Lytton Springs, Dry Creek, Zinfandel, Sonoma, California, $46.
Paired with: BBQ brisket, grilled peppers, and roasted sweet potatoes. The Ridge Zinfandel has pepper and plum flavors that hold up well to the BBQ and grilled peppers. Perfect for the serious picnic, too.
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