Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Drinking Wine on a Sunday Afternoon

I earlier mentioned our wine tasting on Sunday. This time we focused on the Rhone wines, which include wines from the Loire Valley and the city of Avignon. The region is in Southern France, but north of Provence.
We tasted six wines: One white (only three percent of French wines are white), one Rose (only six percent of French wines are Rose) and four reds. (I learn from our teacher!)

Pretty much everyone voted Perrin Cotes du Rhone Reserve 2005 (above, center) as our favorite. It was certainly the best value – the bottle was only $10 and we collectively enjoyed it much more than some of the more expensive options.

Dick, our wine guide, told us 2005 was an excellent year for this particular wine. Barb said it offered a “complex buzz.” (This was only our third sampling, so none of us were too buzzed at the time!) It’s a Syrah-driven wine and was divine.

We were less pleased with the Domaine De Fontenille 2005 Cotes du Luderon, which received reviews that included “It smells like green manure, Ick.” Clayton said it smelled like morning in a funeral home (meaning like lilies, but then determined it was more like a “stinky dead amaryllis.”

It's the one in the center, below, and we did agree it had the prettiest label... I'm sure you've discovered this by buying wines with fun, funky labels... you can't tell a wine by the label!

I was also fond of the Domaine du Val es Rois Valreas 2004, Cotes Du Rhone Villages. It was very dry and would be terrific with red pasta sauces or beef dishes. It was very dark and was a surprising $15 per bottle.

We started with a fresh St. Joseph 2004 white wine. It was quite crisp and fresh tasting and would be good with light pastas, fish or seafood.

We also liked the dry Perrin Cotes Du Rhone Reserve Rose 2006. I’m not traditionally a big Rose fan, but this was a lovely color (although when I smelled it, my description was like fresh, clean laundry. But not like Bounce.) It would be very good with grilled pork with peaches.

Each time I do this, I discover new favorites and learn a good deal about the wine from our knowledgable wine guide, Dick. This time Cheryl offered a bit of the artistic history of the region as well.

The only disappointing part of the day was having to leave before dinner. (Barb's chicken was smelling awfully good!) And her table was lovely.
We did, however, get to take home the pretty flowers, which lived in the drink cup holders of the car while we were at "Avenue Q."

A sunny, breezy April afternoon, around 70 degrees or maybe more, sitting on the porch. Not a bad way to spend the day!


beth said...

wine is a funny thing !!!

I pride myself on buying $10.00 and under wine and I only buy wine with the coolest labels...

so my favorite place for that ?.....World Market !

Thanks for sharing your fun !!!

Latharia said...

You are such a connoisseur! It sounds like a wonderful time with friends! :D

Beth said...

I hope you keep posting about your wine lessons because it really helps me too. I Love learning about them as I Love wine! Thanks!

Karen Owen said...

We have something else in common. I love wine too. My husband and I enjoy wine tastings and wine dinners. Thanks for the info - I wrote down your favorites and will try them.

Anonymous said...

sounds like a totally fun day to me although i am a complete wine ignoramous. i know worse than nothing. but i do like the metaphors you girlz use for your descriptions; stinky amaryllis, fresh laundry, manure. i can't say that these descriptions make me want to taste them but it does make me want to read about them in your posts :)

Shelley said...

Me and wine...The box of blush is my favorite. LOL

Rosa said...

It looks like so much fun. I wish I could drink wine. Allergies won't allow it. :-(

Sugar Bear said...

Sounds wonderful! I can use a glass or two this weekend.

Linda Jo said...

Loved reading about your wine tasting! The last two springs I've visited Texas wineries with a group of women! So much fun!!!

paris parfait said...

Wine tastings are always fun! xo

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