In Love With Paul D

Last week was a big week for me—full of late nights at the office, soup and heated leftovers for dinner, and alarm clocks that buzzed too early in the morning.  There was added stress to the week because the project I was working on was one of the biggest that my immediate supervisor will work on this year, and it was the first time that I was running a project like this one.  If things didn’t work properly, I would be responsible for making both my immediate supervisor and myself look bad.  So, I spent the last few weeks preparing, making sure that I worked out all of the nitty gritty details, could answer obscure questions about the project, and was prepared for the unexpected.  My coworkers assured me that the controlled chaos before a big project like this was normal, and they all were amazing in how they helped me when I needed it.  All in all, I think The Big Boss was happy with the results, and by Thursday night, the last day of this stage of the project, I was exhausted.  All I wanted to do was to come home, get in my day’s run, eat dinner, and relax with Hubby and a glass of wine that I was sure would hit the spot—a 2008 Paul D Grüner Veltliner.

2008 Paul D Grüner Veltliner

The 2008 Paul D Grüner Veltliner (winery, snooth) was 100% Grüner Veltliner.  The wine was a medium gold color with some visible bubbles.  On the nose, there were peaches, Lifesaver candies, limes, oranges, and a hint of pineapple.  In the mouth, there were limes, mandarin oranges (not the syrup, just the oranges), and Lifesaver candies.  The wine had a light body, bright acidity, and a touch of spritziness that adds to the freshness.

Is this worth a glass after work? It’s worth more than one!  What are you waiting for? At $10, this wine was a steal.  It not only was perfect to pair with a light meal, but also deliciously enjoyable on its own.  I first tasted this wine when preparing for the “World Tour of Wine” tasting I put together for work, and I fell in love with it immediately.  Since then, I brought it a party, where my friend and her husband couldn’t get enough of the wine, saying several times how easy it was to drink because it was fresh, fruity, and didn’t taste like drinking an alcoholic drink.  I have also opened a few bottles at home for my own enjoyment, and the bottle I opened on Thursday night was a nice compliment to the lemon pepper chicken with steamed carrots and green beans that Hubby made for dinner.  If you see this wine, you should definitely grab it.  You won’t be disappointed.

Overall: 4.5 Corks

Work “World Tour of Wine” Tasting

For those of you who are Facebook fans, you already know that, at the end of May, I was working on a wine tasting for work.  After having put together a Spanish wine tasting for coworkers during our April slow period, one of my colleagues talked to The Big Boss about my wine experience and about our staff bonding event.  He was thrilled, and, as a wine lover himself, thought it would be fun to have a wine tasting for the staff in both of his DC offices.  The tasting was held the Tuesday before Memorial Day.

Half of the people attending the wine tasting were at my Spanish wine event, so I decided that instead of doing a second Spanish-focused tasting, this one would be a “World Tour of Wine.”  As the fun part of a tasting is being able ­to try new wines and broaden wine horizons, I wanted to focus on wines that moved away from the typical Cabernet Sauvignons, Merlots, and Chardonnays by presenting varietals that are easy to find in wine stores, but that many inexperienced wine drinkers might shy away from buying.  Additionally, since I was expecting 30+ people at the event, I wanted to make sure that I covered a range of wine styles.

With all of that in mind, I decided to begin the tasting with a traditional French Champagne—Montaudon Extra-Dry (snooth).  The palate cleansing & revitalizing sparkler was followed by two white wines—a 2008 Paul D Grüner Veltliner (winery, snooth) from Austria and a 2009 Spy Valley (winery, snooth) from New Zealand.  Following the lighter white wines were a South African Pinotage—2008 Painted Wolf (winery, snooth)—and a California Zinfandel blend—2008 Orin Swift’s “The Prisoner” (winery, snooth).  The tasting finished with a Spanish Sherry—Nectar by González Byass (winery, snooth).

Everyone enjoyed the Champagne, which was no surprise to me or to them.  However, the other wine that received the most questions and the most refill requests was Orin Swift Cellers’ The Prisoner, followed closely by Paul D’s Grüner Veltliner.  The wine that received the most mixed reviews was González Byass’ Nectar, although everyone was happy to have tried it as almost everyone mentioned that it was not a wine they would have tasted on their own.

The Big Boss was very happy with event, particularly as he found a new wine that to enjoy.  My coworkers tasted some wines that they loved, as well as some wines that they didn’t like, but there was a lot of conversation about those wines, as the likes and dislikes varied greatly.  All in all, it seemed like everyone had a good time and that the tasting was a huge success.

***As a note, while the wines above are the ones I planned to offer and prepared tasting notes for, the wine store was actually sold out of the Spy Valley on the day of the tasting.  Therefore, I used a 2009 Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc (winery, snooth) as a fallback.  I will do a separate review for the Oyster Bay, but wanted to keep the Spy Valley as part of this tasting, as I thought it was a slightly better wine.