Rosé & White Wine Live Blogging at the Wine Bloggers Conference

10 Rosé and White Wines – These wines from California and Oregon range from $13-$38. While not every one was a winner, there were a very gems in this group. Cheers! | AGlassAfterWork.com

10 Rosé and White Wines – These wines from California and Oregon range from $13-$38. While not every one was a winner, there were a very gems in this group. Cheers! | AGlassAfterWork.com

One of the signature events at the Wine Bloggers’ Conference is the Live Wine Blogging. For those who haven’t read my previous recaps or haven’t been to the conference, it’s an hour-long speed tasting where winery representatives have 5 minutes at a table of wine bloggers. The winery representatives talk about the wine while bloggers taste, ask questions, act like the paparazzi taking photos of both the bottles and the reps, and Tweet thoughts or tasting notes. After that, the winery representative moves onto the next table.

The live blogging is like speed dating with wine, and just like speed dating, it’s one of those things that people either love or hate.   Admittedly, I used to find the chaos of it stressful, but over the last couple of years, I’ve learned to really love it. The only thing I would change about the Live Wine Blogging sessions would be to have all of the wines come from the region where the conference is being held. Otherwise, I use the experience as a chance to weed out wines I have no interest in tasting again from wines I think have a lot of potential, are a good quality/price ratio, or that just deserve a little more attention. I then try to taste (and sometimes review), those wines at another time.

Here are the wines I tasted during the Rosé and White Wine Live Blogging:

2015 LangeTwins Family Winery Sangiovese Rosé – At $13, this California rosé wine has a great quality/price ration.  It won’t offer you anything unusual, but it’s reliably tasty and very food friendly Rating: 3.5 out 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2015 LangeTwins Family Winery Sangiovese Rosé

2015 LangeTwins Family Winery Sangiovese Rosé (winery, snooth)
Price: $13
Light-to-medium pink color.
Strawberries and grapefruit rinds on the nose.
Light, but creamy strawberry tart and sour cherries in the mouth.
Bright acidity.
3.5 Corks

2015 d’Art Wines White Barbera – At $20, this white wine from California has a light body and would make a nice summer sipping wine.  Rating: 3 out 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2015 d’Art Wines White Barbera

2015 d’Art Wines White Barbera (winery)
Price: $20
Pale straw yellow.
Tart green apples and grapefruit on the nose and in the mouth.
Bright acid with a light-to-medium body.
3 Corks

2015 Michael David Winery Sauvignon Blanc – At $16, this white wine from California is sustainably grown and has nice fruit flavors.  It’s a refreshing Sauvignon Blanc at an affordable price. Rating: 3.5 out 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2015 Michael David Winery Sauvignon Blanc

2015 Michael David Winery Sauvignon Blanc (winery, snooth)
Price: $16
Grapes: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Light straw yellow.
Full of grapefruits, tropical fruit, and minerality.
Good acid, although a tough high on the alcohol in the mouth.
This wine is sustainably grown.
3.5 Corks

2015 Trione Vineyards and Winery Sauvignon Blanc – At $23, this is a whole lot of California white wine for not too hefty of a price.  Think peach, grass, green pepper, and rose petals.  Every sip will having you thinking “wow” and wishing for oysters. Rating: 4.5 out 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2015 Trione Vineyards and Winery Sauvignon Blanc

2015 Trione Vineyards and Winery Sauvignon Blanc (winery, snooth)
Price: $23
White peaches, grass, hints of green pepper and rose petals.
Nice minerality. Every sip had me thinking…wow and wishing for a raw bar!
4.5 Corks

2015 Klinker Brick Winery Rosé – At $15, this California rosé wine is a perfect summer porch sipper with a nice quality/price ratio. Rating: 4 out 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2015 Klinker Brick Winery Rosé

2015 Klinker Brick Winery Rosé (winery, snooth)
Price: $15
Grapes: Carignane, Syrah, Mourvedre, and Grenache grapes
Bright salmon pink color.
Lots of grapefruit mixed with hints of tart raspberry and flowers.
Nice acidity and light body.
This wine is a perfect summer porch sipper with a nice quality/price ratio.
4 Corks

2015 Oak Ridge Winery Old Soul Chardonnay – At $13, this white wine from California tastes like pineapple, toasted oak, and baked apples mixed with a lot of alcohol. Rating: 3 out 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2015 Oak Ridge Winery Old Soul Chardonnay

2015 Oak Ridge Winery Old Soul Chardonnay (winery, snooth)
Price: $13
Pineapple and toasted oak mixed with a hint of baked apple.
Lots of heat.
Lots of other bloggers enjoyed this wine at WBC16, but it was not my thing.
3 Corks

J Vineyards & Winery Brut Rosé – At $38, this sparkling wine from California is a little pricey, but it’s worth opening on a special occasion or during a holiday like Thanksgiving.  It’s elegant and lingers in the mouth. Rating: 4.5 out 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

J Vineyards & Winery Brut Rosé

J Vineyards & Winery Brut Rosé (winery, snooth)
Price: $38
Grapes: 69% Pinot Noir, 29% Chardonnay, & 2% Pinot Meunier
Salmon pink color.
Strawberries and cream with hints of rose petals and apples.
Bright acidity with lingering finish.
An elegant sparkling wine.
4.5 Corks

2014 Concannon Vineyard Chardonnay – At $18, this California white wine is very smooth and is a perfect food wine.  Rating: 3.5 out 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2014 Concannon Vineyard Chardonnay

2014 Concannon Vineyard Chardonnay (winery, snooth)
Price: $18
Apples, pears, & some chewed on Popsicle stick.
This wine is very smooth. Would be a great food wine.
3.5 Corks

2014 Peirano Estate Winery "The Other" White Blend – At $14, this California white wine has a sexy label, but is not a sexy wine.  It’s soft mouth feel mixed with perfumey taste makes for a flabby wine that’s not worth the price. Rating: 2.5 out 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2014 Peirano Estate Winery “The Other” White Blend

2014 Peirano Estate Winery “The Other” White Blend (winery, snooth)
Price: $14
Grapes: 65% Chardonnay, 25% Sauvignon Blanc, and 10% Viognier
White flowers & apples.
Soft mouth feel & perfumery with hints of bubble gum.
Love the label, but sadly I don’t the wine.
2.5 Corks

2015 Left Coast Cellars White Pinot Noir – At $24, this white wine from Oregon has a light body, nice acidity, and a lingering finish.  It’s truly a delicious wine.  Rating: 4 out 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2015 Left Coast Cellars White Pinot Noir

2015 Left Coast Cellars White Pinot Noir (winery, snooth)
Price: $24
Full of stone fruit, pineapple, and grapefruit on the nose.
In the mouth, there were stone fruits, Granny Smith Apples, grapefruits, and pineapple with hints of raspberries.
Light body. Nice acid. Lingering finish. Delicious wine!!
4 Corks

Question of the Day:  Have you ever gone wine tasting?  What are you thoughts on trying multiple wines in one sitting?

Bonus Question: If you’ve been to a Wine Bloggers’ Conference, what are you thoughts on the Live Blogging?

WBC16 Pre-Conference (Part 5): Last Day in Livermore Valley

Las Positas Vineyard

Las Positas Vineyard

The final vineyard stop on the Livermore Valley pre-wine bloggers’ conference excursion was to Las Positas Vineyard. The gracious hosts not only had space for us to taste their wine, but also the wines from several other wineries in the area. There were also several booths from local businesses. Our schedule up until this point had been crammed full and a little rushed (although I wouldn’t have wanted to cut anything off the schedule!), so it was nice to have a little bit of time to relax and enjoy the gorgeous scenery.

2012 Las Positas Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve – At $68, this California red wine is very non-intrusive. It has medium body, a mix of fruit and spice characteristics, and is definitely meant for food. Rating: 3 out 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2012 Las Positas Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve

2012 Las Positas Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve (winery)
Price $68
Dark ruby color
Plums, cherries, and a hint of spice on the nose
Plums, cherries, tobacco, and hints of clove in the mouth
Medium body and tannins, high acid
I know this wine won the Double Gold at the 2015 San Francisco International Wine Competition and the Silver at the 2016 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, but I was really underwhelmed, particularly at such a high price point.
3 Corks

2013 Heine Petite Sirah by Vasco Urbano Wine Company – At $48, this California red wine is the epitome of big, bold, and beautiful. Just give it a little time to breath and the wine will be one to spend an entire evening getting to know. Rating 4.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2013 Heine Petite Sirah by Vasco Urbano Wine Company

2013 Heine Petite Sirah by Vasco Urbano Wine Company (winery)
Price: $48
Grapes: 100% Petit Sirah
Cases produced: 100
Dark inky purple
Blueberry, blackberry, and boysenberry syrup on the nose
Add chocolate to that in the mouth
Big, grippy tannins, full body, and good acid
This wine is the epitome of big, bold, and beautiful once it has a little time to breath. There is a lot going on, but its so well balanced that it’s the type of wine I want to spend an entire evening getting to know.
4.5 Corks

2013 Dante Robere Estate Syrah – At $38, this California red wine is one that is a food-friendly wine that you should feel comfortable ordering at a restaurant or grabbing in the store. Nothing crazy different, but solidly enjoyable. Rating 3.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2013 Dante Robere Estate Syrah

2013 Dante Robere Estate Syrah (winery)
Price: $38
Grapes: 100% syrah
Cases produced: 115
Medium-to-dark ruby color
Blackberries, smoke, and cedar on the nose
Blackberries, dark plums, smoke, cedar and baking spices in the mouth.
Medium-to-full body, tannins, and acid.
3.5 Corks

And with that, my final thoughts on Livermore Valley…

Collin Cranor, the winemaker for Vasco Urbano Wine Comapny and Nottingham Cellars

Collin Cranor, the winemaker for Vasco Urbano Wine Comapny and Nottingham Cellars

WOW! There is no doubt, I’ve fallen in love with wine from the area. Admittedly, my favorites were Murrieta’s Well, which I reviewed here, and Vasco Urbano Wine Company, which we didn’t visit, although we tasted their wines at a variety of stops throughout the Livermore Valley trip (my thoughts on their wines are here). Vasco Urbano specializes in Rhone styles (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Petite Sirah, and the delicious blends that can be made from those grapes), so it’s not a surprise that I enjoyed their wines as those tend to be the grapes I gravitate towards. That said, their winemaker, Collin Cranor, does amazing things with grapes, as I also really enjoyed the wines we tasted from Nottingham Cellars—Vasco Urbano’s sister winery. Nottingham Cellars wines are all Bordeaux-style red blends made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot and Petit Verdot.

All that said, if you aren’t drinking wine from the Livermore Valley, you should be. Whether it’s the larger producers or the smaller producers, the wines are mostly reasonably priced and they are ridiculously good.

Question of the day: When you pick wine for yourself, would you go for the Rhone styles or the Bordeaux styles?

Sunday Baking: “The Corruption” & Pinwheels

DC Brau Brewing Company “The Corruption” & Pinwheel Icebox Cookies– At $13 for a 6-pack of cans, this American IPA is a solid, reliable, easy-to-drink option. It has a nice IPA hopiness without being over-the-top. It pairs nice with ribs and burgers, but also is nice on its own with good company and conversation. The cookies are great sugar cookies that, while time consuming, were easy even though the finish product looks complicated. Rating 3.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

DC Brau Brewing Company “The Corruption” & Pinwheel Icebox Cookies– At $13 for a 6-pack of cans, this American IPA is a solid, reliable, easy-to-drink option. It has a nice IPA hopiness without being over-the-top. It pairs nice with ribs and burgers, but also is nice on its own with good company and conversation. The cookies are great sugar cookies that, while time consuming, were easy even though the finish product looks complicated. Rating 3.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

Red, white, and blue pinwheel icebox cookies

Red, white, and blue pinwheel icebox cookies

I’m way behind in my Sunday Baking posts. However, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to post about the Pinwheel Icebox Cookies I made because while they’re a little time consuming, they were easy to make while looking complicated and fancy. Plus, now that it’s September, cookie season is right around the corner, and these can be made with any combination of colors (brown and orange for Halloween; white, blue, and silver for Chanukkah; red and green for Christmas; pastel pinks and purples or blues and greens for baby showers, etc). Since I made them for Independence Day, I went with red, white, and blue.

Ribs and DC Brau "The Corruption"

Ribs and DC Brau “The Corruption”

I opened DC Brau Bewing Company’s “The Corruption” to go with my baking because Hubby was slow grilling ribs, and I knew the pairing would be a good one; and, if I’m being honest, I thought opening a beer that was made in the Nation’s Capitol, but also had an irreverent name was fun for July 4th.

DC Brau Brewing Company "The Corruption"

DC Brau Brewing Company “The Corruption”

The Corruption (brewery) is made in Washington, DC and is DC Brau’s take on a Pacific Northwest American IPA. The beer had a dark honey color that was almost amber with an inch of off-white foam. On the nose, there was sticky, sweet bread and caramelized grapefruit. In the mouth, there was pine, grapefruit, and hints of the sweet sticky bread with a touch of butteriness on the finish. The beer was medium bodied.

Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely!  If you see this beer in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed. At $13 for a 6-pack of cans, this beer is a solid, reliable, easy-to-drink option. The brewery describes the beer as “assertive without being overbearing,” and I think that sums up The Corruption perfectly.

DC Brau The Corruption and Red white and blue pinwheel icebox cookiesThe cookies were inspired by Just a Taste’s recipe, and they were great sugar cookies that ended up being a huge hit with my coworkers. The key to these cookies is to have the patience to let them chill in the refrigerator. And, when it’s time to layer the different colors, it’s very important to roll the dough tightly together. If you don’t, there will be cookies with big gaps of air within the cookie rather than having a nice solid piece. These will definitely be repeat cookies, particularly when I’m looking to make a larger batch or want something reliably yummy.

Ribs, maple glazed carrots, and DC Brau "The Corruption"Overall, both the beer and the cookies were delicious on their own and made for a fun pairing when put together.   That said, the beer was definitely a better match for the ribs and maple glazed carrots, as it cut through the fat without overpowering the juicy flavor of the meat.

Question of the Day: When you’re grilling for a big holiday like Labor Day or July 4th, do you tend to drink beer or wine?  Do you have a favorite that you usually reach for?

Bonus question: What, if any, baked desserts to you serve when you have a cookout?  Do you have a go-to recipe?

Red, white,and blue pinwheel icebox cookies
Pinwheel Icebox Cookies
Print Recipe
These sugar cookies chill in the refrigerator, are rolled into a log, and then sliced into perfectly sized and delicious treats.
Servings
4 dozen
Servings
4 dozen
Red, white,and blue pinwheel icebox cookies
Pinwheel Icebox Cookies
Print Recipe
These sugar cookies chill in the refrigerator, are rolled into a log, and then sliced into perfectly sized and delicious treats.
Servings
4 dozen
Servings
4 dozen
Ingredients
Servings: dozen
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter for 1 minute. Add sugar, and beat until light and fluffy (about another minute). Add vanilla and the eggs, beating until just combined (about 30 seconds).
  3. On low speed, add dry ingredients and beat until just combined.
  4. Separate dough it into three equal pieces. If you are keeping one of the swirls white, shape one piece into a 4-by4-inch square. Wrap it in plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge. This will be the white swirl in the cookies.
  5. Now it's time to color the other two pieces.
  6. Put one of the remaining pieces of dough back into the stand mixer bowl. Add your the first color (in this case, I used red). Mix on low until dough is desired color. Then remove the dough from the mixer, shape it into a 4- by 4-inch square, wrap it in plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge.
  7. Clean out the bowl to remove any food coloring residue.
  8. Place the final piece of dough in the stand mixer bowl, and mix your second color into the dough using the low setting (in this case, I used blue). Remove the dough once it has reached your desired color, shape it into a 4- by 4-inch square, wrap it in plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge.
  9. Refrigerate all the dough for 30 minutes.
  10. Remove the dough from the fridge and cut each square in half. Take one half of each color and wrap it back up in the plastic wrap. Put it back in the fridge while you make the first log.
  11. Place one of your colored rectangles of dough in between two pieces of wax paper. I started with the red one. Roll it into a rectangle. I made mine 1/6 inch thick because that is one of the settings on my rolling pin, but the dough can be thinner if you prefer.
  12. Next, do the same thing with a second rectangle of dough. I used the white one.
  13. Finally, repeat with your third color. This was my blue rectangle. Make sure that all three rectangles are the same size when you are finished rolling them out.
  14. Now it's time to stack the three different colors of dough.
  15. Leaving the wax paper on the bottom, peel the top layer of wax paper off your first section (in my case, the red dough). Then peel the wax paper off one side of your second section of dough (my white dough). Place the exposed dough on top of each other (I placed the white dough on top of the red dough). Now, remove wax paper from the top of the two stacked pieces of dough (in my case, the white dough was now on top because I wanted it sandwiched between the two colored pieces of dough). Then, remove the wax paper from one side the final section of dough (my blue dough). Place the final section of dough on top of the exposed dough in the dough stack, creating three layers of dough.
  16. Very lightly and briefly roll the three layers to help them meld together.
  17. Starting at the shorter end of the rectangle, tightly roll the dough into a log. You want to roll it as tightly as possible, this way there are no air gaps in your final cookies.
  18. Repeat the rolling, stacking, and log-creation process with the remaining dough in the fridge. Wrap both logs in wax paper before wrapping them in plastic wrap and placing them in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  19. Remove the dough logs and roll them on the counter several times to prevent a flat side from forming. Refrigerate for at least 4 more hours.
  20. Preheat oven to 350F. Line cookie sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
  21. Remove the dough from the fridge and slice each log into 1/4-inch cookies. Place each cookie on the baking sheets, about an 1 1/2-2 inches apart.
  22. Bake the cookies for 9 to 11 minutes or until they are starting to turn golden. Let cool for a few minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Recipe Notes

Sunday Baking: Sofia Minis & Andes Mint Cookies

*** I received this wine as a sample. ***

Sofia Mini Blanc de Blancs & Andes Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies – At an SRP of $20 for a 4-pack, it is worth grabbing this sparkling wine in a can from California. During these last days of summer the Sofia minis are the perfect beach or poolside sipper or a fun option for a cookout. The cookies are delicious, although not the best pairing with the wine. Cheers! Rating 3.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

Sofia Mini Blanc de Blancs & Andes Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies – At an SRP of $20 for a 4-pack, it is worth grabbing this sparkling wine in a can from California. During these last days of summer the Sofia minis are the perfect beach or poolside sipper or a fun option for a cookout. The cookies are delicious, although not the best pairing with the wine. Cheers! Rating 3.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

Sofia Blanc de Blancs 4-pack box

Sofia Blanc de Blancs 4-pack box

Recently, I’ve noticed a number of “wine in a can” options, and I admit that rather than shying away from them, I’ve been intrigued. I always prefer my soda from a can, and often, while I will pour my beer into a glass, there is an argument to be made for the beer tasting fresher from a can than from a bottle. So, why can’t the same theory work for wine?

I decided my first can of wine should be a Sofia mini, which are the Coppola Winery’s single serving cans of the Sofia Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine.   The minis come in a 4-pack box, and each can comes with a perfectly sized straw so that you can daintily sip from the can. Since there were several cans for me to experiment with, I made sure to taste the wine both directly from the can, as well as from a wine glass.

Sunday nights have been dedicated cookie time for several years now, but Hubby and I have also started turning it into pizza night because my new dietary restrictions mean I need to make my own at home. Since I already have the oven going, we usually make the pizza once I’m done baking cookies. And, as you can imagine, the Sofia minis seemed like a perfect wine for Sunday night cookie baking and pizza making.

Sofia Blanc de Blancs Mini

Sofia Blanc de Blancs Mini

The Sofia Mini Blanc de Blancs (winery, snooth) are made in Modesto, California. The wine was a light-to-medium lemon yellow and had small, persistent bubbles. On the nose, there were flowers and perfume mixed with hints of pineapples and cream. In the mouth, there was honeysuckle and passion fruit mixed with hints of pineapple. The wine was light bodied with nice acidity and a bit of sweetness.

Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely!  If you see this wine in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed. At an SRP of $20 for a 4-pack, it is worth grabbing a pack or two the next time you’re at the store. The can format gives the wine a little extra bubble, similar to what it does with a soda or beer. Plus, it’s nice to be able to enjoy some bubbly without having to open a whole bottle.  That said, while I enjoyed the sparkler, I also have to admit that this isn’t my favorite of the Coppola wines. Maybe they’ll think about cans for some of the others?

pouring Sofia Blanc de Blancs 2The Andes Mint cookies were delicious and ended up being a big hit in my office. They’re not the type of cookie to make every week, but if you want a minty Christmas or St. Patrick’s Day cookie or are looking for something a little different throughout the rest of the year, these cookies are would be a good option.

Overall, while the sparkler didn’t make a very good pairing with the cookies, it was exactly what I was looking for with the white pizza. Plus, during these last days of summer the Sofia minis are the perfect beach or poolside sipper or a fun option for a cookout.

Question of the day:  What are your thoughts about wine in a can?  Have you tried any?

Andes Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
Print Recipe
A deliciously minty take on chocolate chip cookies.
Servings
3 dozen
Servings
3 dozen
Andes Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
Print Recipe
A deliciously minty take on chocolate chip cookies.
Servings
3 dozen
Servings
3 dozen
Ingredients
Servings: dozen
Instructions
  1. In medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, salt and unsweetened cocoa powder. Set aside.
  2. In mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine butter and sugars until fluffy.
  3. Add vanilla, peppermint, and egg, and beat for 30 seconds (or until well combined).
  4. Add egg yolk, and beat for 30 seconds (or until well combined).
  5. On low speed, add dry ingredients and mix until just blended (about 30 seconds).
  6. Fold in Andes Mints by hand.
  7. Divide dough in half and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
  8. Preheat oven to 350F. Line cookie sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
  9. Remove dough from the refrigerator. Take a rounded tablespoon of dough and roll between the palms of your hands to create 1-inch balls. Place on the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Press them down so that each is about 1/2 inch high.
  10. Bake for 10 minutes or until edges are slightly browned.
  11. Let cookies set on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
Recipe Notes

Suggested Retail Price: $20 for a 4-pack
Received as a sample.
Overall: 3.5 Corks

The Tribe Chardonnay with My Wine Tribe

2013 The Tribe by Covenant Wines – At $35, this kosher white wine from Lodi, California is a bit expensive on the quality-price ratio scale. It’s a good, enjoyable wine that was delicious with goat cheese, but it’s an “everyday wine” at not-so-every day pricing. Rating 3.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2013 The Tribe by Covenant Wines – At $35, this kosher white wine from Lodi, California is a bit expensive on the quality-price ratio scale. It’s a good, enjoyable wine that was delicious with goat cheese, but it’s an “everyday wine” at not-so-every day pricing. Rating 3.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

My setup for July's Blogger HangoutI’ve mentioned before that at the 2014 Wine Bloggers’ Conference in Santa Barbara, I became friends with the several amazing women that make up my “wine tribe” (Alison from Bon Vivant, Ann from Oddball Grape, Becca from The Gourmez, Krista from Upkeep: Wine, Body, and Soul, and Lisa from Wine with Lisa). The two “Allisons/Alisons” live in DC, which means we get to see each other occasionally, but the rest of the group is spread out all over the United States and Canada. Our geographical diversity means we all bring very different perspectives to the conversation, although it also means that almost all of our face-to-face time is done over the Internet rather than in person. It’s one of the many exciting things about this year’s Wine Bloggers’ Conference (WBC16) in Lodi…I’ll have a chance to see Alison, Becca, and Lisa in person!

In preparation for WBC16, we grabbed some Lodi Chardonnay to pair with our monthly discussion about blogging. Check out Becca’s recap, which not only covers our some thoughts on the different wines we each opened, but also includes great photos from previous Wine Bloggers’ Conferences and her pre-conference thoughts about WBC16.

2013 The Tribe Chardonnay

2013 The Tribe Chardonnay

My 2013 The Tribe by Covenant Wines (winery, snooth) was a kosher wine made from 100% Chardonnay grapes and using a new flash-dente technique that allows the winery to flash-heat the grapes straight out of the vineyard, rather than heating the wine to make it kosher (read this post for more information on what makes a wine kosher). The wine was a medium lemon yellow. On the nose, there were pineapples and Granny Smith apples. In the mouth, there were pineapples, pears, and cream mixed with the taste of a chewed Popsicle stick.

Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely!  If you see this wine/beer in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed. At $34, this wine is a bit expensive on the quality-price ratio, even for a kosher white wine. Don’t get me wrong…it’s a good, enjoyable wine that was delicious with goat cheese, but it’s an “everyday wine” at not-so-every day pricing.

The Tribe CorkOn a fun note, after Krista and Becca mentioned that they had cinnamon characteristics in their Lodi Chardonnay, I detected a hint in mine. However, I have to be honest and say that I’m not really sure if that was power of suggestion or if it was really there. I’ll be on the lookout for cinnamon notes in the Chardonnays while I’m in Lodi this week!

Question of the Day: How do you like your Chardonnay…crisp and aged in stainless steel, a plush oak-and-butter monster, or slightly oaked and somewhere in-between?

Price: $35
Purchased at Schneider’s of Capitol Hill
Overall: 3.5 Corks