Sunday, June 16, 2024

Cork Poppers Taste Whites and Rose

After too long a break, our Cork Poppers wine tasting group gathered for yet another sampling of wines. Those of you who have followed our tastings for a long while may recall that most in our group are fans of red. But Cheryl and Meredith (to a lesser extent), are all for the whites! So when Cheryl and Dick hosted, it came as no surprise that our theme was "White and Rose." And even for us red fans, it was a surprisingly tasty tasting!

As you might guess by now (if you've not followed us forever), our Corkies are just real-life people who like wine. Some know a little more than others technically but the main thing is we enjoy trying new things and more or less getting away from the shelf at the grocery store and most of the "name brand" wines and seeing what an array of wines are available at different price points. (And yes, we also have enjoyed wines you get at the grocery store that are available pretty much anywhere.) We don't take ourselves too seriously but we always depart having had a lot of fun and usually adding another potential wine or two to our personal favorites list.

This time our happy gang was down two members, as member Mike was having open heart surgery as we sipped, and of course Barb was with him. But Bob brought his daughter Heather, a delightful addition to the group. 

We tasted seven wines, starting with Chateau Ste. Michelle Sauvignon Blanc 2022, provided by Dick and Cheryl.

This comes from Washington's Columbia Valley and Dick described it as being very good with vegetables, seafood and by the pool."

"This is something I would drink," Cheryl said. And I had to agree with her. It was crisp and fresh and I could see myself enjoying it on a hot summer evening at the lake. Dick paid $9.99 for it on sale at our local Meijer store (retail would be several dollars more.)

Next, Roger offered Mich Mash (White wine, 2020) from Chateau Grand Traverse.

Described as "white wine" Roger said "It has all the same stuff in it!" Cheryl declared, "I love it!" Kate, on the other hand, grimaced with a look that prompted Anne to say "Look at your face!" Clearly not a winner with her!

I thought it was OK (I am not a fan of Michigan wines overall, but they do whites better than reds). 

Roger, who once brought seven wines from Minnesota to tasting, all of which were pretty wretched (sorry, Minnesota readers -- maybe he just didn't select well!) has never lived that moment down. But today someone reminded him, after seeing Kate's face, "And it's not even from Minnesota!" 

I think he paid about $18 for it -- and I would not. Online it is $10. And I don't think I'd do that, either. But I drank my share!

Our third wine was from Heather -- Avaline, a white organic wine created for (or by?) the actor Cameron Diaz. Apparently, Diaz couldn't find a good organic wine she enjoyed so came up with this one. It has no added sugar. Heather paid $14.99 for it.

"It's almost like fruit juice," Heather said, while Meredith said "It's OK." Cheryl, on the other hand, loved it. "Do you have anymore of this because I love it. Don't give Kate any more!" (Kate, however, said "I like this!")

Apparently, the wine was designed for pre-post-menopausal women (most women of an age fall into one of those categories) who can't drink wine with sugar. Apparently, Diaz, tired on not having a wine she could drink, invented one of her own.

The bottle says it "Pairs with fresh cut flowers, which of course brought one of our intrepid members to ask "Who drinks wine with fresh cut flowers?" (and to which Rick replied, "The horses do.") I don't know about the horses and wine but it's a fun image. 

Then Clayton had to add, "If the wine is by Cameron Diaz, it has good legs!" (And we were only on the third wine.)

Next was my offering, Oyster Bay's Sauvignon Blanc 2023 from New Zealand's Marloborough region.

This one seemed to go over pretty well. "I like this one," Clayton said. "I love it!" Cheryl pronounced. Bob, too, said he enjoyed it and wines from Oyster Bay.

Kate said it "tastes good!" and Bob agreed. I agree, too! I found it fresh and crisp, not too sweet (I do not like sweet wines!) and something I would gladly get again to sip or serve. I paid $11.99 for it at our local grocery.

Clayton was next, offering up Sheep Thrills Pinot Grigio from Italy.

 This was the only wine I tasted that I threw into the sink. (That said, it was my favorite label.) Cheryl didn't like it either. Kate noticed it had more of a mineral bite to it, which Clayton said was called "stone." 

"This was my least favorite, " Cheryl said. "Sorry, Clayton," I said, feeling a bit bad at chucking mine in the sink. "That's OK, he said, I'd rather have a cheap red."

I didn't get a price on this one. But it really didn't matter!

Bob was last with Spier Chenin Blanc 2022 from South Africa.

I called this one "very good" and Roger said "I would buy this! He paid "$15 for it and I would, too.

Where are the Roses, you might ask? We had one -- House Wine Rose Bubbles, a sparkling wine. (I'm showing both sides of the bottle here.)


This reminded me of a festive Prosecco and I'm always up for a festive Prosecco! It has no artificial sweeteners and is gluten free.

"Good choice, Kate," Meredith said. I noted that it had a little bite to it but it wasn't too sweet. It felt very festive. We also noted the fun bottle. "Who would buy something like this on the shelf?" Kate asked. ("You did!" someone said.) At $15.99 (on sale, retail $18.79) it was a good buy.

At this point, we drank a toast to the recovery of our Corkie Mike, who was at that moment in open heart surgery. 

I would be remiss not to mention the food table, much of which you can see here. It included a marvelous Asian ramen-chicken salad, cole slaw, fruit salad, crostini, cheese straw buttons, Rick's baguettes, cheeses and meats and stuffed bell peppers. Unbelievably, the absent Barb dropped off pulled pork and buns for sandwiches.

For dessert, Heather made to-die-for chocolate chunk and caramel cookies. I wish I had a photo but they disappeared too quickly! I did Madeleines with lemon glaze. This was what was left.

Meet this week's tasters!

 Cheryl and Dick; Jeanie and Rick; Meredith and Roger, Mike and Kate, Anne and Clayton, Bob. Heather is not pictured here. (Photos of couples by Cheryl Rice except for Jeanie/Rick and Bob)

For some of our past Cork Popper posts, organized by category (white, red, German, Italian, French, etc.) check out the tab on the menu bar at the top of this page!

Sharing with:   Love My Creativity    /       Will Blog for Comments   /  Talking About It Tuesdays    /   Share Your Style    


Pam Richardson said...

I always enjoy the Cork Poppers posts, Jeanie. You all seem to be such a fun group, and enjoy each others company, wishing you a lovely week!

roentare said...

Wine tasting with a group of friends is an enjoyable experience! What a way to live!

Tom said...

...what jumped out at me is "Sheep Thrills" and the rainbow cloth in the basket. I'd love to eats, but would stick with water!

Anvilcloud said...

Your testing always seem like fun. Did you take notes? Otherwise how can you remember after all of those taste tests? :)

Carola Bartz said...

I have yet to drink a Sauvignong Blanc from the Marlborough Region that is NOT good. They all seem to be excellent. That label on the Cameron Diaz bottle really made me laugh - goodness! There are so many excellent organic wines out there. that one really does not have to advertise their own wine as "no added sugar" and "vegan friendly". One thing we noticed is that wines with labels that feature animals are usually not particularly good (of course there are exceptions) and your experience with the Sheep Thrills confirms that. No matter what wine, you had a good time with your friends and isn't that the most important part?

acorn hollow said...

What a fun group! I a Reisling drinker mostly. I like white crisp.

Joyful said...

I always enjoy reading about your Cork Popper's gatherings even though I don't drink anymore. I wish I could try some of them.

Pamela said...

These posts are always so fun! I would enjoy these get togethers!

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Red is my usual choice but we do drink white, especially with fish or seafood, and Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc is one of our favourites. It was my daughter who first introduced us to New Zealand whites and they seem universally good.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, Jeanie,
I enjoy your Cork Poppers post as much as your book reviews.
I like the label Sheep Thrills, very cute.
I will look for the Oyster Bay wine.
Take care, enjoy your day and have a great week!

DUTA said...

Red wine, as opposed to white wine, is known to have some heart benefits. That adds to its popularity.
The food accompanying the wine drinks, looks great!

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

Looks like you had a great time with friends.

Bill said...

Looks like you had a great timme. Love the name for the group. Have a wonderful week, Jeanie.

NanaDiana said...

What a fun read! I like a white wine but am not much of a drinker overall. It sounds like everyone is pretty much on the same page about most of the wines.

Have a wonderful week. xo Diana

R's Rue said...

Looks like fun.

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

I love your corker parties. If my life gets recycled, I'm going to to be a wine person next time around.

Valerie-Jael said...

Sounds like you all had a great time. I liked white and red wine, but these days I musn't drink any alcohol because of my medication, sad! Hugs, Valerie

My name is Erika. said...

I’m a red drinker also, but it’s still fun to read these corkpopper posts. It always looks like a great time, and seeing I usually buy wine by the labels I like, it fun to see some new labels. Have a great new week! Hugs Erika

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

Looks like a fun group Jeanie. Tasting wine and enjoying friendship and yummy food. My go to drink is St. Michelle. Happy week ahead.

Nancy said...

What a fun group! I would love to join you all. I’m a Chardonnay gal but I enjoy lots of dry wines.
Glad to you had so much fun. It was nice to see pictures of everyone.
Have a wonderful week!

Rita said...

I never knew they had such crazy, fun labels for wine! Well, makes sense since I don't drink wine--lol! But I love hearing about your group and it always sounds like you all have such a fun time with great food. Glad you were able to get together again. I do hope Mike's surgery went well and he recovers quickly. :)

Sharon in Las Cruces NM said...

love the Cork Poppers "motly crew" with super funny and real comments on the tasting choices. all the food choices make me hungry, so hungry!! so glad to see pictures of "everybody". thanks Jeanie for the smiles this morning.
in case anyone wonders. ....Las Cruces NM is "cookin'"....... high temps for way to long!!!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Well if there is a cork popper event to join, this would have been it for me since I am a sav blanc gal! I actually brought that Oyster Bay wine to the college gathering on Friday. And I'm not at all offended by the MN comment. I would not buy a wine from our region! I don't see how it could be good! Phil won a charity golf tournament last fall and part of his winnings were a couple of bottles of local wines and they were TERRIBLE!! Like completely undrinkable IMO.

I have started to try some organic wines and I have to say I like them. I bought one last weekend thinking we would bring it to a friend's house on Saturday but we ended up skipping that gathering because it was pouring rain. So I will try it next time we have company (I have a policy where I only drink when we go somewhere or have guests - otherwise the white wine goes down a bit too easily/frequently!).

I hope the heart surgery went ok! I can't believe Barb still contributed but maybe it was a good distraction to do some meal prep in the time leading up to the surgery which I totally understand...

gigi-hawaii said...

I don't like alcohol anymore, as it doesn't agree with me, but the food I would definitely enjoy as well as the fellowship.

Steve Reed said...

Sounds like a fun event! The only one of those I've had is Oyster Bay, and I also like it. Isn't a "pre-post-menopausal" woman merely a menopausal woman?

Too bad about the Sheep Thrills, because that is definitely the best label. I'd buy it just for that!

The French Hutch said...

Always such a happy time for the group, sorry to hear Mike had to miss this. Hope now he is well on the road to a quick recovery. This sounds like a fun evening. A nice selection of wine and the food sounds delicious. The caramel cookies I'm sure were a hit. Have a nice week. It's miserably hot here!

Divers and Sundry said...

What great fun it would be to participate in a group like this. I prefer dry reds, and whenever I've picked up a white wine I haven't liked it. It'd be great to try a few at a tasting to point me in the right direction.

This N That said...

Château Michelle has good wines. Always enjoy your corkpoppers get togethers... Looks like a fun group.. It looks as though nobody went away hungry. Enjoy your week.

anno said...

I LOVE this group!!!
Do you keep lists of all the wines/menus from each of these meetings? Tasting notes? Stories?

Maybe a new project for you (now that your family history is done)?

Rita C at Panoply said...

Love these Cork Popper posts, Jeanie! I've had the Chateau Ste Michelle and do like it. If I have wine, that's my choice, and I found it at Target, too. The Oyster Bay sounds good too. I have to laugh at the comments, and always wonder how those further down the line are treated - good and bad - after a few glasses are already consumed. What a great party time. The food is always awesome too. Cheers!

Lowcarb team member said...

It always sounds such fun!
I just so enjoy your Cork Poppers posts.
Lovely collection of photographs.

Eddie and I had a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc with our Fathers Day meal Sunday.

Enjoy your week.

All the best Jan

Linda P said...

Your gathering for wine tasting always looks a fun event. It was good to see photos of your friends, Rick relaxing and I'm sure the food provided was delicious. Best wishes to the friends who could not join you on that occasion.

Veronica Lee said...

What a delightful gathering!
Your Cork Poppers posts are always such a joy to read.
Wine tasting with a group of friends is so fun!

Happy Tuesday, Jeanie! said...

I always enjoy reading about your Cork Poppers parties Jeanie, they sound like so much fun! Beautiful spread of food too!

Marilyn Miller said...

Your wine tastings remind me of my tea tastings. Wonderful friends, enjoying something you love doing together. After drinking that many wines, do you feel the effects of sipping so many? I know with tea I sometimes feel a bit "tea drunk" when sipping a lot of teas at a tasting. Hoping your friend having surgery is doing well with recovery now.

Velva Knapp said...

Jeanie, I really enjoyed reading about your Cork Poppers gathering. So much fun!!! What I love most is your friends coming together laughing, enjoying good food, and having a good time exploring and discovering wine together.

Thanks for sharing the journey with us.

Barwitzki said...

Great - wonderful wines!!!
Wine tasting and good food, one of the most beautiful things there is... and there are quite a few like that :-)))
In summer I especially like white wine - dry - and a good rose can also be used.
For heavy meat dishes and in winter I love good heavy red wines... thanks for your photos. It was a pleasure to be there.
Tomorrow evening I'm going to a "summer barbecue" cooking class, we'll also make some nice dips and I'm also looking forward to the drinks!!! Many greetings come to you from Viola

Mae Travels said...

I was just looking over my photos of the Marlboro vineyards taken from a long-ago train trip there. Such beautiful country with mountains behind the slopes where the grapes grow. We are quite fond of those wines. Your anti-suggestions are interesting too. Why to Hollywood stars always think that people will take them for food/wine experts?
I hope your friend is revering from surgery.
best, mae at

Jim and Barb's Adventures said...

What a good time! I would love to be part of your cork poppers group!

Joanne said...

That sounds like such a fun night with friends!

ashok said...

Cheers Jeanie 🍻

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Jeanie, your wine tasing get togethers always look like a fun time was had by all and with great food too. We have been trying sauvignon blanc wines from Australia, currently we like Kim Crawford.

Sherry's Pickings said...

Oh yes Oyster Bay Sauv Blanc is very popular here in australia too! After all the Kiwis are our near neighbours :) What a terrific excuse- I mean reason - to get together with friends - heheheh

Iris Flavia said...

I also love to try new things - Ingo sadly can not, health-wise.
I do it anyways, with friends, and always feel bad because he misses out.
The covers look great! I once bought a wine just because of that!
Money-wise... we don´t go to the pub no more, we don´t like cinema... I sometimes spend money on not needed stuff things that bring me joy.
And! On the Indian Pacific I had wine and it was yummy!
To horses - oh, all I see is a police-horse once in a while...
The poor sheep-wine!
You are such a FUN group :-)
Thank you, this post made me happy.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

You inspire me to try to create a Cork Poppers: Texas Edition one of these days. So much fun!

I wonder if you have ever had a night of just natural wines.

Lisbeth said...

Thank you for the funny summary of your wine tasting. Sauvignon Blanc are mostly good, especially from Marlborough. When we had our wine tastings + courses, we learned that we could distinguish SB easily, since it tasted like cat pee. This is true mostly with wines from the old world, like France, and not so much from the new world. Tastes good anyway.
Chenin Blanc is also a favourite of mine, as well as Pinot Grigio. But there are of course different qualities to all wines. It seems to have been a jolly good evening. After all, isn't it always with wine and friends?

Danielle L Zecher said...

Your Cork Poppers group looks so fun! The food looks great, too. I hope Mike's surgery went well and he has a speedy recovery.

Jennifer Wise said...

Looks like a fun gathering. The food table does look delicious! Thanks for sharing this post with us at the Will Blog for Comments #41 linkup. We hope to see you again next time at #42, too. Happy weekend!

Jenny Woolf said...

None of this is familiar either.... I'd have remembered those yummy looking madeleines! It's so nice to get together for a social purpose like this, a really great idea. . Did anyone think up the idea one day as a bright idea, or are home wine tastings something that people do in the US?

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