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?

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

At Anthony Road

John Martini, owner of Anthony Road Wine Company, in the vineyards

John Martini, owner of Anthony Road Wine Company, in the vineyards

The second day of the 2015 Wine Bloggers’ Conference pre-excursion started at Anthony Road Winery. Anthony Road is on the west side of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. The current owners, Ann and John Martini, planted their first grapes at the vineyard in 1973. They initially sold their grapes, but, in 1990, decided to start making their own wine and opened Anthony Road Winery. Now the family-run business grows grapes at two different vineyard sites and produces its own wine.

Me and wine barrels at Anthony Road Wine Company

Me and wine barrels at Anthony Road Wine Company

John Martini took us to the vineyard that is part of the Cornell Cooperative Extension: Finger Lakes Grape Program. The program conducts research and provides the grape and wine industry in the region with information on a variety of different topics, and this vineyard is part of research on the practicality and sustainability of growing Gruner Veltliner in the Finger Lakes.

Bottling at Anthony Road Wine Company

Bottling at Anthony Road Wine Company

We returned from the vineyard to a glass of the 2014 Anthony Road Cabernet Franc Rose. With glass in hand, we were then off to see the winery operations, getting an up close view of the stainless steel tanks and oak barrels, as well as watching the winery’s bottle process in action. After that, we had a chance to taste some of the other Anthony Road wines and enjoy the beautiful scenery. It was a great way to start the day!

2014 Anthony Road Cabernet Franc Rosé

2014 Anthony Road Cabernet Franc Rosé

2014 Anthony Road Cabernet Franc Rosé ($18)
Beautiful color with a vibrant nose and good fruit flavors–mostly strawberry and cherry. The wine was light-bodied with bright acidity. It was a good summer wine that would pair nicely with cheese.
3.5 Corks

2014 Anthony Road Unoaked Chardonnay

2014 Anthony Road Unoaked Chardonnay

2014 Anthony Road Unoaked Chardonnay ($17)
Very pale lemon yellow. There were some green apples along with a hint of pears, pineapple, and something minerally. The wine was light-to-medium bodied. An easy sipper.
3.5 Corks

2014 Anthony Road Skin Fermented Chardonnay

2014 Anthony Road Skin Fermented Chardonnay

2014 Anthony Road Skin Fermented Chardonnay (price not listed on Internet)
This wine was reminiscent of its unoaked counterpart, but in a way I didn’t enjoy as much. It had a medium lemon yellow color with some green apples and pears on the nose. In the mouth, there were apples and something bitter. The wine had a medium body and acidity.
3 Corks

2014 Anthony Road Dry Riesling

2014 Anthony Road Dry Riesling

2014 Anthony Road Dry Riesling ($18)
Lots of citrus–oranges and grapefruits, along with a hint of lemon and lime–mixed with white flowers. There was also some minerality. The wine had a light-to-medium body and good acidity. This vintage is sold out, but I ended up buy some of the 2013 vintage, which I will review separately.
4 Corks

2014 Anthony Road Skin Fermented Riesling

2014 Anthony Road Skin Fermented Riesling

2014 Anthony Road Skin Fermented Riesling(price not listed on Internet)
For as much as I liked the dry Riesling, I disliked the skin fermented one. In fact, this was my least favorite of the wines, mixing some baking spices with citrus and apple notes.
2.5 Corks

A taste of the 2008 Vignoles Trockenbeeren

A taste of the 2008 Vignoles Trockenbeeren

2008 Vignoles Trockenbeeren ($75)
Pure lusciousness. It was full of tropical fruits–mango and pineapple–along with apple and pear notes. It was full-bodied with nice acidity.
4.5 Corks

Question of the Day:  Do you visit wineries or breweries?  Do you think it changes your opinion of the wine or beer?

A Spirit Hawk Chardonnay to Lift the Spirits

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

If I’m being honest, even though I absolutely love my job, there are bad days at work.  Sometimes, really bad days.  January 30th was one of those days.  The organization I work for has been very involved in the Common Core State Standards debate, but as I prefer to avoid the actual politics of Common Core, I’ll spare everyone the specifics.  What I will say is that in a short amount of time, my morning went from being fairly calm to completely blowing up.  My email inbox was filling up rapidly with questions about what was actually happening, yet the folks I needed answers from “outside the building” had gone dead quiet.  There was an emergency internal meeting to make sure all efforts were coordinated, which meant my going back and forth across town from my office to the headquarters building.  I had a short turn-around time to review a press statement, and then a little while later similarly short turn-around to review a blog post that was ready to go live.  The whole time, I was trying to calm everyone day, explain that there was no need to overreact.  But, the frenzy was well underway and my attempt at reason fell on deaf ears.  Everything became a fire drill.

2011 Lander-Jenkins Vineyards Spirit Hawk Chardonnay

2011 Lander-Jenkins Vineyards Spirit Hawk Chardonnay

The 2011 Spirit Hawk Chardonnay  (winery) is made from 100% sustainably grown grapes from vineyards in the North Coast, Monterey County, and Central Valley of California.  The wine was a bright, Mt. Dew yellow.  On the nose, there were apricots and pineapples mixed with hints of honey and butter.  In the mouth, the wine was full of peaches, apricots, pineapples, and honey with a hint of vanilla and buttered toast.  The wine is full-bodied with good acidity.

Is this worth a glass after work? Sure…you won’t be drinking anything out of the ordinary, but you’ll have a decent, reliable glass of wine.  At an SRP of $15, this wine is nicely balanced and enjoyable even without offering something unusual.  Normally, I prefer Chardonnays that either are  over-the-top oak monster, full of buttery popcorn and cliches about California wine or are clean, crisp wines that let the more subtle aspects of the grape sing.  The Spirit Hawk is neither.  It’s a wine that has definitely seen some oak, so it has a full-body that  hints at vanilla and butter, while still maintaining a balanced acidity that keeps it fresh and food-friendly.  By offering a little of both, it’s a wine that I would happily serve to others.

As for my night with the Spirit Hawk, admittedly, my first glass was almost finished by the time Hubby finished making dinner.  I spent the entire time, tasting the wine and talking his ear off about my rough workday.  By the time we sat down for dinner, I was settled into the wine and my evening.  The Spirit Hawk paired nicely with the grilled shrimp seasoned with Old Bay and olive oil and the mixed coastal blend veggies that Hubby made.  All around the wine, dinner, and company were exactly what I needed to unwind.

Question of the Day: Are you a Chardonnay drinker?  Do you prefer the bigger, bolder, buttery Chards or the clean, crisp ones?

Suggested Retail Price: $15
Received as a sample.
Overall: 3 Corks

Top 5 White, Rosé, & Sparkling Wine for Thanksgiving 2013

Yesterday, I posted my top 5 red wine suggestions for Thanksgiving.  Today’s post is all about the white, rosé, and sparkling wine suggestions.  Since wine is usually the backdrop of a holiday meal, and everyone around the table is likely to have very different palates, I tried to provide suggestions that can meet both the sweet and the dry wine lovers preferences.  That said, in order to make sure the wines don’t overpower the meal and keep everything tasting fresh, my suggestions are all wines a lighter body, are unoaked, and have bright acidity.  Enjoy!

 

2010 Michel-Schlumberger La Bise Pinot Blanc

2010 Michel-Schlumberger La Bise Pinot Blanc

The 2010 Michel-Schlumberger La Bise Pinot Blanc (winery) was the white wine I chose for the post-Thanksgiving dinner Hubby and I did for ourselves last year.  It’s a white wine from California, and it had wonderful grapefruit and lime characteristics that were followed by hints of white flowers, grass, honey, and jasmine.  It was a delicious accompaniment to the meal, but was particularly good with Hubby’s pesto mashed potatoes.  I gave this wine 4.5 corks and purchased it for $24.

 

2009 Buried Cane Chardonnay

2009 Buried Cane Chardonnay

The 2009 Buried Cane Chardonnay (winery) is a no-oak Chardonnay that is very food-friendly.  The wine tasted of limes, granny smith apples, and pears, with the slightest hint of lemon custard. The wine has a light-to-medium body and a bright acidity that will go nicely with the turkey without overpowering it.  And, if some reason you manage not to finish the bottle (although I will be very surprised if that happens), the wine holds up nicely over a couple of days.  I gave the Burried Cane Chardonnay 4.5 corks and received it as a sample, but the suggested retail price is $14.

 

2011 Sawtooth Riesling

2011 Sawtooth Riesling

The 2011 Sawtooth Rielsing (winery) is probably the wine that I will bring to my in-laws, as my mother-and-sister-in-law both prefer wines with a hint of sweetness.  The wine tastes of peaches, Lemonheads candy, honey, and flowers with a hint of minerality.  What is great about this Riesling, though, is that it isn’t overly sweet and the acidity is bright.  So, even if you tend to prefer dry whites, you should give this wine a try.  I gave this wine 4 corks and purchased it for $10. (I will have a review of this vintage posted in the next couple of weeks, but here is my review of the 2010 vintage)

 

2012 Storybook Mountain Vineyards Zin Gris

2012 Storybook Mountain Vineyards Zin Gris

The Storybook Mountain Vineyards Zin Gris (winery) has nice flavors and good acidity, which will help keep the Thanksgiving meal fresh tasting, particularly when it comes to the butter-laden mashed potatoes and sweet potato casseroles.  The flavors, though, are will also help incorporated other dishes on the table, as the wine is full of nice mixture of cranberries, limes, and thyme.  This wine will be a great accompaniment without overpowering the food.  I gave it 4.5 corks and purchased it online through the vineyard for $19.

 

Gruet Blanc de Noirs

Gruet Blanc de Noirs

The Gruet Blanc de Noirs (winery) a bubble that is made with 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay grapes.  It’s full of berries, baked pears and hints of toast, cream, and vanilla.  The small, persistent bubbles, light body, and bright acidity will help keep your palate fresh as during the meal, as well as work as a nice digestive while you’re sitting around talking afterwards.  I gave this wine 4 corks and purchased it for $13. (I will have a full review posted in the next couple of weeks.)

(I didn’t post a Thanksgiving list last year, but here are my 2011 red wine and white wine recommendations)

Question of the Day:  Are you thinking about a bubbly or a rose for your Thanksgiving dinner or are you more likely to stick with red and white wines?