Wine.com White Haul

Happy #WineWednesday!  Today, I’m unboxing my Wine.com case of white wines. Plus, I’m going to taste the Hugel Classic Pinot Gris with you. Cheers!

The wines mentioned in the video were:

Question of the Day: Are you a white wine drinker? Do you drink it year round with certain foods or do you tend to drink it more seasonally?

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?

Thanksgiving Wine Showdown: Cali Pinot Blanc vs. Oregon Pinot Noir

As we do almost every year, Hubby and I headed to his parents house for Thanksgiving, which meant I didn’t have to pick wine for a big group’s holiday feast.  However, Hubby and I started a new tradition a couple of year’s ago where we make our own Thanksgiving dinner for the two of us on the weekend after the holiday.  We justify it by saying it gives us a chance to celebrate just the two of us, but, between you and me, I think we do it because we don’t end up with many leftovers.  That is the downside of not hosting.

2010 Michel-Schlumberger La Bise Pinot Blanc

2010 Michel-Schlumberger La Bise Pinot Blanc

Hubby prepared our mini-feast for late Saturday afternoon, which included turkey seasoned with white truffle oil and garlic, pesto mashed potatoes, streamed green beans, and stuffing. I decided that a meal like that required two bottles of wine—a white and a red.  The white was the 2010 Michel-Schlumberger La Bise Pinot Blanc and the red was the Pali Wine Co.’s 2011 Alphabets Pinot Noir.

The 2010 Michel-Schlumberger La Bise Pinot Blanc (winery) is from the Dry Creek Valley area of California.  The wine had a pale, lemon-yellow color.  On the nose, there were grapefruits, limes, and hint of pears, jasmine, and white flowers.  In the mouth, there were grapefruits, limes, and hints of white flowers, grass, honey, and jasmine.  The wine was beautiful, light, and crisp with a bright acidity and light body.

Price: $24
Purchased at: Michel-Schlumberger’s Website
Overall: 4.5 Corks

2011 Alphabets Pinot Noir

2011 Alphabets Pinot Noir

The 2011 Alphabets Pinot Noir (winery) is from the Willamette Valley in Oregon and is made with 100% Pinot Noir grapes.  The wine had a medium-to-dark ruby with a pinkish, watery rim.  On the nose, there were Bing cherries, cranberries, and a touch of fireplace and sweet baking spices.  In the mouth, there were cherries, cranberries, and red currants with hints of white pepper, smoke, and cinnamon.  The wine had a surprisingly pleasant structure and beautiful balance, with medium-to-strong tannins, medium acidity, and medium body.

Suggested Retail Price: $21
Purchased at: Received as sample
Overall: 4.5 Corks

Final Thoughts: Out of curiosity, while writing this blog post, I went back to look at my selection of wine for last year’s Thanksgiving leftovers, and it turns out I opened a different Michel-Schlumberger–the 2008 Maison Rouge.  Clearly, I think of their wines for special occasions, and that’s probably because they are reliably delicious.  In this case, the Pali Wine Co.’s Pinot Noir had a tough competition, but it stood on its own and left me excited to try the bottle of white that is in my wine fridge.

Once I went through my “tasting” of each wine, I had a glass of each poured and took both with me to the dinner table, then with me to the couch where we spent the afternoon talking and working on our holiday photo card.  Hubby kept laughing at me because kept alternating which wine I was drinking, and after a few minutes of enjoying one, I would say something like “man, I picked a kick-ass wine” before moving back to the other one and saying something similar.

The Alphabets Pinot Noir was a slightly better all-around pairing with the meal, while the Michel-Schlumberger matched with the pesto mashed potatoes was pure heaven, but that’s really just being very picky. Overall, there was no favorite between the two, and that’s because they were both beautifully balanced and delicious wines.

Question of the Day:  What did you open for Thanksgiving?

WBC11: White & Rosé Wine Speed Dating…I Mean Speed Tasting

The big joke at the Wine Bloggers’ Conferences is to describe the live blogging wine tasting event as “speed dating” with wine.  Each conference attendee sits at a table, and everyone at each table will taste 20 wines over an hour period.  During that hour, a wine representative (usually the winemaker) has 5 minutes to talk about their wine, while conference attendees ask questions, taste the wine, and take notes before the representative moves on to the next table and a new representative comes arrives to start the process all over again.

White Wine Speed Tasting Kick-off.

White Wine Speed Tasting Kick-off.

The comparison to speed dating is perfect because 5 minutes is just enough time for a quick introduction and a little flirting before being able to make a decision as to whether or not there was enough interest for a follow-up.  At the same time, just like in speed dating, that 5 minutes isn’t enough time to learn everything or to really get a detailed impression.  That all said, I do hope that there is at least one major difference between speed dating and speed tasting—that most people aren’t tweeting during their speed dates!

I really enjoyed the speed tasting.   Unlike the WBC09, this year, the tastings were split into a white speed tasting and a red speed tasting, which meant that there weren’t any reds following whites.  This was definitely a welcome change.  I have to admit, though, that I was overall unimpressed with the white wine speed tasting.  There weren’t any major duds, but none of the white wines blew me away either.  I felt like I spent the hour tasting a lot of average or slightly above average wines, all of which I might have picked up from the store and experimented with myself.  It was a little disappointing.

2009 Decibel Sauvignon Blanc

2009 Decibel Sauvignon Blanc

2009 Decibel Sauvignon Blanc (SRP $16, winery)
Wine from New Zealand
Tart, flavorful, and creamy…not what I’ve come to expect from a NZ Sauv Blanc, but absolutely gorgeous.  For the price, this is definitely a wine to be on the lookout for.
4 corks

Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs

Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs

Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs (SRP $20, winery, @GloriaFerrer)
Wine from California
Nice light salmon color and good bubbles.  Berries and limes with hint of white pepper and bright acidity.
4 corks

Shindig White

Shindig White

Shindig White (SRP $16, winery, @Vino50Wines)
Wine from New York
This Vidal Blanc-Riesling blend is “The ultimate sushi wine.”  It has a lime-like acid and stone fruits…really nice.
4 corks

2010 Veritas Sauvignon Blanc Reserve

2010 Veritas Sauvignon Blanc Reserve

2010 Veritas Sauvignon Blanc Reserve (SRP $25, winery, @VeritasWinery)
Hints of cucumbers and green peppers give crisp, clean feel. Citrusy…mostly grapefruits and limes.
4 corks

2008 Rodney Strong Reserve Chardonnay

2008 Rodney Strong Reserve Chardonnay

2008 Rodney Strong Reserve Chardonnay (SRP $40, winery, @RSVineyards)
Wine from California
Peaches, hazelnut, and cream on the nose. Peaches & cream mixed with wet stone and apricots in the mouth.  Smooth, but a little hot.  Nice, but I wouldn’t pay $40 for it.
4 corks

2009 King Estate Domain Pinot Gris

2009 King Estate Domain Pinot Gris

2009 King Estate Domain Pinot Gris (SRP $25, winery, @KingEstate)
Wine from Oregon
Certified organic
Subtle, good acid, nice balance.  Granny smith apples & Asian pears with a touch of peaches and cream.
3.5 corks

2010 Barren Ridge Vidal Blanc

2010 Barren Ridge Vidal Blanc

2010 Barren Ridge Vidal Blanc (SRP $15, winery, @BarrenRidge)
Wine from Virginia
Almost clear in color.  Super ripe yellow peaches on the nose, but nice peach and pear balance in the mouth.
3.5 corks

2010 Rappahannock Cellars Vigonier

2010 Rappahannock Cellars Vigonier

2010 Rappahannock Cellars Vigonier (SRP $23, winery, @RCellars)
Wine from Virginia
Ginger, stone fruits, pineapple…YUM!  Surprisingly high alcohol content (14.5%, but good balance)
3.5 corks

2010 Artesa Chardonnay

2010 Artesa Chardonnay

2010 Artesa Chardonnay (SRP$15, winery, @Clubartesa)
Wine from California
Spicy.  Baked pears and coconut.  This wine is very velvety and has a medium body.
3 corks

2008 Afton Mountain Vineyards Tête de Cuvée

2008 Afton Mountain Vineyards Tête de Cuvée

2008 Afton Mountain Vineyards Tête de Cuvée (SRP $30, winery, @AftonMountain)
Wine from Virginia
Carmel, crème brûlée, vanilla, citrus, and a little burbony thing going on.  Enjoyable, but a little pricey.
3 corks

2009 Viviana Superiore Cuvée

2009 Viviana Superiore Cuvée

2009 Viviana Superiore Cuvée (SRP $22, winery, @LlanoWine)
Wine from Texas
My first wine from Texas…ever!  The wine is sweeter on the nose than in the mouth.  Nose smells like sugar, ripe stone, and tropical fruits.  Mouth is a little more tart and balanced…pineapple and peaches.
3 corks

2009 Festival Rose Bordeaux blend

2009 Festival Rose Bordeaux blend

2009 Festival Rose Bordeaux blend (SRP $13, winery)
Wine from France
Smells funky…like wet forest and mushrooms.  Tastes bit bitter, like under ripe strawberries, oranges, mushrooms, and a bit of creaminess. Just eh.
2.5 Corks

Question of the Day: What’s the most unusual regional wine you’ve tasted?

“Flesh and Fire” Paired With A Pinot

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

Over the weekends, I tend to drink wine at restaurants more often than I drink wine in the condo.  However, between the rainy weather and Hubby recovering from living the rockstar-lifestyle of happy hours that go late into the night and an overnight trip to Atlantic City, neither of us was interested in venturing too far on Sunday.  Instead, it was the perfect opportunity for me to make progress on my latest book, Flesh and Fire: Book One of The Vineart War by Laura Anne Gilman—a fantasy novel about magic and wine—and enjoy my last bottle of Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir.

2006 Willamette Valley Vineyards Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir

The 2006 Willamette Valley Vineyards Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir (vineyard, snooth) was a light-to-medium ruby, but with a brightness to it that was stunning.  On the nose, there were big, ripe berry flavors, although they were a surprising mix of red and black fruits—strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry—followed by a touch of vanilla, cloves, and moss.  In the mouth, there were cherries, cocoa, earth, and a touch of black pepper and cinnamon.  The wine had a bright acidity and medium tannins.

Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely!  If you see this wine in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed. Of the several sample bottles of Pinot Noir that Willamette Valley Vineyards sent me, the 2006 Estate Vineyard was my favorite.  Not that I wouldn’t drink the other Pinots, as I definitely would, but this wine maintained the classic, wonderful characteristics of a Pinot Noir, while also offering a touch of uniqueness that made it stand out among the rest.  The wine was warm and ripe, without being overbearing or jammy.  It was food friendly, although I preferred to drink it on its own while reading my book, this way I could really sink into the flavors of both.

Overall: 4 Corks