Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Little Side Tasting

Happy Friday! I am currently out in Anaheim, CA at the annual Expo West Natural and Organic trade show. Earlier tonight I had the opportunity to attend a wine tasting of several organic and biodynamic as well as vegan producers. It's a tough job, but someone has to taste all these wines and since I'm out here already, I figured it was worth the "sacrifice" to taste what is out there.

There were wines from all over the place, though it seems as though Mendocino in California has a large concentration of organic and even vegan producers.

As it turned out, my favortes from the evening were from all over the place and better yet, every one should be $20 or less at shelf:

Symphony Dornfelder, Germany - This is the second really good red wine I've had from this part of the world in the past several weeks. Maybe Austrian and German reds are coming into their own? Either way, this wine was light, full of cherry notes with sme nice minerality and acid.

Perlage Altana Rosata del Veneto Frizzante, Italy - Sparkling rose out of Northern Italy made from Cabernet Sauvignn. Delightful and fun, but with some darker berry and currant notes and a ice, long finish. It's rare to find a rose made from Cabernet Sauvignon, let alone a sparkling wine because these grapes are often preserved for more "serious" wine. This wine was seriously good enough for me. If I find it at shelf, I'll be picking one up.

Girasole Hybrid Red, Mendocino, CA - 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Syrah and 10% Merlot. Interesting blend and the most balanced red I drank tonight. Though Cabernet Sauvignon is the primary grapes, I got a mouthful of cherry, strawberry and even some floral notes. This is a lot more mellow than most CA Cabernet Sauvignon, but it has enough structure to hold up to weightier meals.

Frey Petite Sirah, Mendocino, CA - I wish more producers made Petite Sirah because when it's good, it is so good. This particular Petite Sirah has notes of violet, berry and a hint of earthiness. It's lovely and versatile and I can't wait to share the bottle I now have with sme friends.

Casa Barranca Syrah, Ojai, CA - bright red berries give way to gamey, earthy secondary notes. Reminded me of something I'd taste from the Rhone. My type of Syrah. Yum.

I know that many think that wine, by nature, is Organic, but it's much more complex. Producing a good wine without using any pesticides or unnatural filtering techniques takes a great deal of talent and finesse. I tasted over 40 wines tonight and there were many that I would gladly purchase. In fact, it was hard to cut my list of favorites down to 5.

I hope all of you get the chance to try at least one of these wines. I'll be seeking them out again.

Until the next sniff, sip or quaff,

Cheers,

Alli M

10 comments:

elliej said...

Your recommendations are always so valuable. You've never steered us wrong. WaY to go, AlliLiz!

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