We were looking forward to another virtual wine tasting courtesy of snooth.com and the house was in kind of a turmoil. I get nervous, because I will be on the same stage more or less with many other wine bloggers that have attended blogging seminars and trade shows and sommelier training. I am an amateur, albeit with decades of self-taught wine learning, but I was looking forward to it. I mean there were several writers that I am acquainted with, through their writings, and from past virtual wine tastings I discovered that I knew others who are only interested in the numbers games on Instagram and follow you, just to un-follow you shortly after, in hopes that you won’t discover the deceit. It takes all types of individuals and since I do not make a living from the industry, I still look at wine as fun and enjoyable.
My Bride had invited a couple over for the dinner before the wine tasting would begin, even though I would not be the most social person, once the virtual taste began, because I would be tasting and typing as fast as I could; while I am a brilliant social drinker (in my humble opinion), I am not a brilliant typist (I self-taught myself during my eighth grade Christmas vacation, because I had found my mother’s old typing textbook from her day’s in high school). We started in the living room with some appetizers of sliced smoked salmon, cheese and crackers and a liver and mushroom pate. We then moved to the dining room for the dinner and we started out with my Bride’s fantastic Caesar Salad and onion rolls. For the entrée she had prepared a roasted pork tenderloin with sides of spaghetti squash and Parmesan roasted potatoes. She had stopped at a bakery to get some individual sized assorted pastries for dessert.
The wines were chosen to accentuate the theme of the evening. For the appetizer phase we had a bottle of wine that we had purchased after a prior virtual wine tasting that we done with snooth.com. We opened up a bottle of Weinreich Basisweiss Grauburgunder Trocken 2017. Grauburgunder is the local name for Pinot Gris, which make sense if you break down the German name into two parts. If you notice the first three wines all had the term trocken, which just means dry, as the wine has not been sweeten, which can be done. This wine was another Qualitatswein and it is from the Rheinhessen. The Rheinhessen starts where the Pfalz ends and between the two districts, it accounts for almost half of the vineyard acreage of Germany, mostly shipper’s blends as in Liebraumilch. The winery is located in the village of Bechteim and they have fifteen hectares of vines. I found the wine to have a soft straw color with a soft nose. The wine as it warmed up a bit, it opened up with some layers of interest, with some good acidity and a nice long finish. Then for the entrée portion of the meal, we opened up a bottle that we had recently received as a gift from one of my Bride’s cousins and it was from Lodi, and that was very fitting. We were having Thomas Allen Selections Cabernet Sauvignon Lodi 2016. Thomas Allen is owned and operated by third generation wine-grape growers, Thomas Michael Stokes and Allen Lombardi. The Stokes family planted the first forty-five acres of Zinfandel near Lodi in 1954. Allen Lombardi was a home winemaker in New Jersey and began sourcing from the Stokes in 2001 and thus it began. I could not find any notes on this wine, even on their website, but whatever they are doing, they are doing it right. I had opened up the wine when we had started the appetizers and when I poured the wine into the glasses, I could catch the nose even then. I detected black fruits first from the nose and then during the initial taste with a nice lingering finish of black cherries and a bit of spice. I normally do not look up the price of a gift bottle of wine, but this wine was so balanced and full-bodied that I think we could use this as a go-to wine, because it delivers and is very well-priced, actually it may be underpriced for the quality. I had to leave some of the conversation during dessert to get ready for the wines of Lodi coming next.