When I attended a wine and food pairing event with the Mayor of Wines a few weeks ago, my favorite wine of the evening was a delicious white wine blend from Pine Ridge, California, so of course, I had to take home a bottle! Last night I enjoyed this lovely blend of 17% Viognier and 83% Chenin Blanc with a dinner of salmon, bok choy, and rice noodles.
The luscious nose of the 2017 Pine Ridge white blend was bold and beautiful, showcasing aromas of star fruit, apricot, minerals, and honeydew. The palate was rife with flavors of pear, apricot, cantaloupe, and freshly mown grass. The finish lingered for around 22 seconds and the wine offered 12.5 % alcohol by volume. This beautifully balanced white blend displayed a crisp acidity that wasn’t overpowering and paired extremely well with the slightly spicy Dijon salmon that I made with it. All in all, at around $13, I highly recommend enjoying the Pine Ridge Viognier/Chenin Blanc blend with dinner or even by itself!
Last week, I attended a VOCA wine and food pairing event at the Redstone Grill with the Mayor of Wine, Steve Bailey. Steve is a Certified Sommelier and is WSET 3 certified.
The lineup started with a delightful sparkling Brut CAVA from Campo Viejo, Spain. Next was the Canoe Ridge Pinot Gris from Washington State. After that came the Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc/Viognier Blend from Napa Valley, California, my favorite of the evening. The reds then started off with the Provisioner Red Blend from Arizona, the Wente Southern Hill Cabernet from Livermore, California and finally the Arizona Stronghold “Mangus” Red Blend, a combination of Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet. I learned that “Mangus” was the Brother in Law of Cochise, a famous leader and Chief of the Chiricahua Apache tribe. Cochise County is where many of our Arizona wines hail from. AZ Stronghold uses a variety of Native American names for their wines. Tazi, a Stronghold white favorite, is named after Cochise’s older son.
The food pairing done buffet style, started with a delicious dilled, creamed salmon, then onto assorted cheeses and crackers, a cucumber and ham canopy, shrimp with cocktail sauce and beef skewers. There were delicious eclairs and mini cheesecakes for dessert. Most of the food pairings went well as they appeared with the above wines, however the skewers being on the saltier side, did struggle with the Mangus blend and not bring out its best flavors.
If you ever have the opportunity to attend one of these wine pairing evenings with the Mayor, I’d definitely recommend it!
This week’s wine of the week in my CSW class was Vouvray or Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley in France. Vouvray comes in a variety of styles from very dry to very sweet and also sparkling. I chose the Vignobles Lacheteau 2015 Vouvray. This wine was an AOP, the highest category of quality of wine in a French region. The alcohol content was 11.5% and priced under $10.
The color is a clear pale straw.
The aroma was clean with no off odors. It showcased tropical fruit, floral notes and honey.
The palate had light to medium sweetness, with medium acidity and a light to medium body. It offered notes of minerality, tropical fruit, pineapple and honey.
It had a nice long finish at around 35 seconds
Pairing and Comments
Though this wine was a little sweeter than I normally like, when paired with a creamy, salty beef it cut down on the sweetness and was enjoyable. The wine saw no oak and was aged in stainless steel. For under $10 at Trader Joe's, definitely a good buy.
Sue Schurgin is the manager of Sedona Wine and Beer Tours. She is studying for her CSW and sommelier certifications.
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