Sunday, August 23, 2015

Cork Poppers Sample "Fishy" Wines!

My big rule on wine goes contrary to the typical food rules. I think if you like it, drink it -- and don't worry whether it's white and you are eating a rich roast or red and you are dining on a lighter fish.


That said, some tend to pair better with foods than others so at our most recent Cork Poppers gig (on the Grand River, no less) we decided to try those that would pair well with fish. (Not that one would recommend eating fish caught in the Grand River.)

As you might expect, many of the six wines we tasted were whites but we also sampled a delicious Pinot Noir and a very good Shiraz.

We started out with a Starmount Sauvignon Blanc 2013 from the Napa Valley. We all agreed that this would have been much better had it been served colder, but it still had a fresh, tasty flavor. Mike, who brought the wine, called it "about twice as much as it was worth." He paid $17 for it.

We went onto Dick's Vina San Pedro 1865 Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2014. The transparent pale yellow wine supposedly had the aroma of citrus fruit, japapeno and bell peppers. Barb noted that it had more character than the first, while Rick said "You can taste the peppers." (I couldn't but it was peppery feeling and spicy.) Cost for this wine was $16.

Wine geek talk: Dick says the style of fermentation is called reductive, a more anaerobic technique without oxygen. The style of fermentation protects the grapes so the primary fruit aromas and flavors are preserved. This style of winemaking generally produces wines that are typically fresh, more fruit driven and paler and color. The technique uses more sulfur dioxide and inert gases as well as fermenting the wine at cooler temperatures.

Tasting was interrupted periodically as Rick shared his bike ride adventures. It was all fresh in his mind, having just returned that morning!

Rick's "Wine by Joe Dobbes 2013" was next. This Pinot Noir is from Oregon. Anne noted it had "nice legs," (the little drips down the inside of the glass). I'm not a big fan of Pinot Noir but I was pleased with this one.

It had a little more guts to it than most, which I think generally taste like amped up rose wines. Rick couldn't remember how much it cost -- we bought it out of town back in March -- but estimated it was in the $15 zone.

It was time to go back to whites with Pat's Giesen Sauvignon Blanc 2014 from the New Zealand Marlborough region. It was very fruity but not too sweet and my notes said "This is very good." Around this time, Barb (who happened to be sitting next to our white-lover Cheryl on the sofa, asked "Where's Cheryl?" I know this makes us sound like tremendous lushes and we only have small sips because we are dividing a bottle of wine eleven ways -- but we all laughed!) Pat paid $10 for the wine but it is generally priced at $12.

Roger's "The Archivist" Chardonnay 2013 certainly won the label award of the day! This California wine from the Monterey Bay region had apple overtones (so they said; to me it tasted like chardonnay.) Roger did a nice little presentation with this and at that time I noted our discussion: "Everything is in the presentation. You can serve schlock if you present it well." (I'm not sure that's totally true but presentation goes an awfully long way!) I didn't get a price on this.

We ended with Anne and Clayton's Copolla Rosso and Bianco Shiraz 2013. "Tell us about your wine," we asked Clayton. "I think it's really good," he replied. So did we -- and at $12, a worthy bargain and my favorite of the day.

When Roger and Meredith host Cork Poppers we always hope it will be good weather because we look forward to a ride down part of the Grand River, which runs through much of the state. It was a glorious day and soon we were on the pontoon boat.

Captain Roger (I always thought his boat should be named the Jolly Roger) pointed out some of the homes that are along the river and we noticed lots of other boats enjoying the perfect day!

Our highlight of the ride (or mine, at least) was this beautiful white bird which may be a white heron or may be an egret. The one thing we were certain of was that it was beautiful!

So were the views!

Not everyone was into the views. Rick was pretty zonked out from the ride and trip home. So he took advantage of the pontoon boat's floor to take a quick nap.

Back at the ranch, Meredith was putting the finishing touches on dinner. All that was needed once we returned was to grill the salmon. We lost Rick for a few minutes while the salmon was being prepped, too!


Meanwhile some of us enjoyed sitting by the pool and looking at Meredith's flowers!

Chow time! Set a gorgeous table. Add bacon-wrapped jerk shrimp, salmon, spinach casserole, a four-star salad and a beautiful berry dessert and you have the recipe for the end of a perfect evening!


Finally it was time to head home -- filled to the brim and happy to have spent a wonderful day with good friends. Because really, it's all about the friends.

NOTE: You can find other Cork Popper wine tasting posts by category (French, Reds, Whites, etc.) on the link at the navigation bar at the top of this page.)


psychelyn said...

I saw these wines and suddenly I feel like sipping a bit. It's pretty cold here today, I think the weather's changing for fall.

Rick seem to be really tired from his journey. It is so nice of you to have a good company of friends to taste wines together. I agree the views along the boatride was really beautiful and the food is awesome!

joyce said...

Fishy wine and wine with legs......I think you may have had too much wine, lol!

Lisbeth said...

I agree totally that the wine you think taste best is the wine to drink. Howewer, it is a fact that certain wines go better with certain food than others. Seems like you had a great day with grat wines and some excursion to go woth it. Lovely photoas!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I can see why Rick opted to take some naps during the day! I can't imagine how tired he was from his adventure!

As usual, this looks like such a fun night! Sauvignon blanc has become my favorite wine so I would have especially enjoyed tasting those (as well as the others!). I'm glad that the weather cooperated so you could take a ride on the pontoon - it looks like it was a perfect night!!

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

As always thanks for all the Cork Poppers recommendations Jeanie!
I would love to try the Copolla Rosso and Bianco Shiraz - I'll search online to see if it is available here - I'll let you know Jeanie!
I've tried other varieties of Giesen wine - sadly I can't drink Sav, I'm a chardy girl!

After Rick's marathon ride he looks a little beat - I'm not surprised after a 1000k's!
A wonderful venue this time, I would have enjoyed the boat ride along the river.
I can't help you with the Egret/White Heron identification. I've only seen grey Egrets,
having said that I would be interested in the outcome!

Shane x

Arti said...

That's a beautiful Egret (I think). I've never seen one, only GBHerons. And they are not as ethereal as this one. You must be full of relief and celebrating with Rick back home safe and sound and victorious. A Cork Popper Party sounds especially appropriate! BTW, I've just watched on PBS the Previews on Fall Programs. The Masterpiece Classic "Indian Summer" looks very good. Have you seen the Previews? Also, just re-watched the last part of "Page Eight" with Bill Nighy and Rachel Weisz, and that's very moving too, esp. the last part when they sing the song 'I vow to thee my country' juxtaposing with sequences of Johnny Worricker having to flee his country. Really impressed with all these British productions.

shoreacres said...

Your friend is a great white egret. The great white heron lives in Florida, and is rather rare. Also, there is a white phase for some great blue herons, but the color of the legs is a giveaway. If the legs are much lighter, it might be a white phased heron, but yours appears to have black legs. That, the color of the eye rings, and the general appearance make it almost certain this is a great white egret.

They're quite common here, along with the Great Blues and the snowy egret, which is smaller.

Anonymous said...

Well, I don't drink alcohol anymore because it doesn't agree with me, but I did serve a chilled chardonnay last night as a prelude to my dinner party. David said it tasted so good, he would buy it again for my next party. Lol.

~*~Patty S said...

Your cork popper gatherings are always so special.
Adding that lovely boat ride looks extra nice with all the lovely nature to enjoy and friends too.
Dinner sounds great.
Your white bird does remind me of the white egrets we see when we visit the lotuses and the Outer Banks of NC. Heron or egret as you said one beautiful bird (and photo!).

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

It looks as if EVERYONE is having a great time. No matter what the wine, friends make it go down even better. I LOVE to cook with white wine! And thank you sweet Jeanie for going to Nowhere....our Dutchess is so special, and yet I threw something together very quickly this morning before I ran out to my first day back to school!

CHEERS to a wonderful autumn!

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Dear Jeanie,
What a great time everyone had! I love the reflection on the water, and the Egret is stunning..
Thank you so much for taking time to visit Jasper...
Wishing you a beautiful week..

Joanne Huffman said...

It's always nice to read about your cork topper adventures.

Anonymous said...

I know you were glad Rick was back from his long ride! Poor guy, he needed a nap! Now I know nothing about wine, I don't even drink it! Glad you all had such a nice time. Thanks for popping in to see me and hope your week is off to a great start.
be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Tracy said...

I like your wine attitude, Jeanie--if you like it, drink! I used to prefer white wines mostly, but through the years have gotten a really good appreciation for red--even Pinot Noir. ;o) NICE wines sampled... WONDERFUL menu too... mmm... TJ's been into beer more recently and I've been following along with him on the adventure, and especially enjoying a lot of new IPA (pale ales)...good with fish too, they are! LOL... Rick looks tuckered out after his long trip... looks like he's cat-napping a bit between stories and tastes. ;o) BEAUTIFUL egret-spotting... *sigh*... Happy Week, Jeanie ((HUGS))

Marilyn Miller said...

Gorgeous egret! And I always love your wine-popper events eventhough I don't drink wine. It is so fun to pair wine with difference foods, I am sure. I have been known to do that with tea. Rick must have been really exhausted from the bike trip. How nice that he felt at home and could just relax and enjoy friends.

Tammie Lee said...

another wonderful wine tasting
sounds like so much fun
thanks for sharing your results
lovely photos too

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

I feel as if I have just crashed a delightful party, complete with great friends, laughter, wine, stories, and not to forget the delicious food. So glad that Rick had a safe adventure!


Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Bless you dearest about FAITHFUL, are always there, and in NOWHERE as well. Thank you. HAVE A SUPER DAY!

OldLady Of The Hills said...

I so enjoy your Cork Popper Posts----everything about them is fun and beautiful and so very informative. I chose a Red wine for my Birthday Dinner and Celebration that you mentioned in one of your Posts. It was very well received, I must say.
How wonderful that you were able to go out on a Boat as part of your special evening....And the food sounded so yummy, too!

Thanks for the visit and your beautiful comments---Annie G. is a wonderful dear dear person....And so very talented, too.....I know you would really like her and she you.....! Do you get HBO? She is on this show called GETTING ON.....She is WONDERFUL, as always.....One of the things I miss most about not being out in the world is working with people like Annie.....She is such a dedicated actress and fun, too! As a writer, it is a real gift to have someone as talented and serious about 'the work', the way she is.....

OldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh....I wanted to say and forgot----the Boat ride Views were so very Beautiful.....You live in a very lovely area, my dear.

The Artful Diva said...

You are lucky to have so many good friends.

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