Grape of the Night: Your Weirdest Finds

On the last Grape of the Night guests were challenged to share their favorite, and weirdest, wine finds. Something that we had tasted and wanted to share the “discovery” of with others.

Well, that was the plan going in.

This is the freakish lineup we had:

07 Vermentino, Mahoney Vineyards, Carneros: A grape varietal new to the states, light, nice.  (Vic Herstein)

08 Pinot “Naturale” Salisbury Vineyards, San Luis Obispo: White Pinot Noir, crisp like a Sauvignon Blanc. (Robert and Beth Townsend)

08 Arizona Stronghold, Red, Jerome, AZ: 100% of the grapes used were farmed in Arizona, surprisingly good and well balanced. (My Poached Pair friends, Megan and Marcy Gonzalez)

05 Angeles Crest, (dang, what was the varietal?) from a guest that didn’t know the theme but the locally-made wine from Agua Dulce was new for many people, fruity. (The Beswicks)

08 Domaine Jean Royer, Chateauneuf du Pape: Just to show off a bent bottle and Pape/Papal embossing.  Absolutely perfect and ready to drink.  (Mine!)

09 Trapiche Malbec, Argentina: A blend not familiar to everyone, people bought that one to take home. (Doug Gould)

Wildwood Cellers Elderberry wine: What the sisters in Arsenic and Old Lace used to hide their poison in, quite enjoyable. (John Dickey and Denise Lowe)

Foxcreek Sparkling Shiraz, “the Vixen”, Non Vintage: Just to see what a red wine would look like with fizz, not enough substance. (Colom Keating got talked into this one by me, Guy LeLarge and his wife Gina.)

Chaucer’s Olallieberry: Definitely a berry wine no one had before, all appreciated. (John Dickey and Denise Lowe)

Chaucer’s Mead: Wine made from honey, great chilled, nice dessert wine I wanted cheese for. (John Dickey and Denise Lowe)

And, after a three-hour drive from Manhattan Beach, and many miles on an ocean voyage from the British Virgin Isles, the never-seen-before-or-again, Clem’s Sea Grape Wine: The salt water didn’t dry out the fruit, but the infusion of cinnamon, apple, nutmeg and peppermint made it the Grape of the Night winner.  (Gary and Terry Warburton, of Chateau Pacific Winery.)

I don’t like to rate my friends wines.  But I can tell you that I really dug all of the ones we tried.  What helped the most was the drinking…it made us open to not only listen and learn, but also to LIKE.

Save the dates – and if our leader Rusty Sly is not committed at work he will be there too:

October 4: Bring your favorite wine for holiday pairing.
November 8: Sparkling, Prosecco and Champagne.
December 6: “Re-Gifting” Share your favorite wine you received as a gift, or your worse if you dare!

All classes are held at 7pm, Monday nights at Valencia Wine Company.  You can bring in a bottle but our deal is that you need to buy one, which you can take home or consume there.  E-mail me for more info:

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