Sunday, November 25, 2012

Holiday Wine Tasting

OK, so what do people actually think of the wines that I recommended in the 'Wine for Holiday Gatherings and Gifts' post? To find out, we invited twenty of our friends and neighbors to help us taste the featured wines along with food pairings that they contributed - based on the recommendations in the post, of course.
It was a colossal undertaking to organize all the food and wine pairing collateral, so we hired a consultant to create rating forms, 'tasting tents' and name tags for the wine glasses.
Decanting The Reds

Wine & Food Pairings

1.) NV Roederer Estate, Sparkling Brut, Anderson Valley paired with Shrimp Coconut Beignets

2.) 2009 Schug, Rouge de Noirs, Pinot Noir, Carneros paired with a Apple, Brie & and Honey Bruschetta

3.) 2011 Tablas Creek Vineyard, Rosé, Tablas Creek Estate Vineyard paired with Gambos al Ajillo and Spanish Tortilla

4.) 2009 Flowers Vineyard Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast paired with Butternut Squash, Apple & Onion Galette

5.) 2011 Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River Valley paired with Blue Crab & Leek Frittata

6.) 2011 Four Brix, Smitten, Camp 4 Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley paired with Endive with Bleu Cheese, Candied Walnuts & Cranberries

7.) 2009 Inception Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills paired with Quinoa, Barley, Corn, Red Bell Peppers, Green Beans

8.) 2009 Inception, Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills paired with Beef Short Rib Sliders with Red Cabbage on Hawaiian Rolls

9.) 2009 San Vicente Cellars, San Stefano’s Blend, Santa Barbara County (Syrah) paired with Smoked Turkey Breast & Smoked Gouda Cheese Rolls

10.) 2009 Justin Vineyards Isosceles, Paso Robles paired with Meat & Vegetarian Lasagna

11.) 2009 Herzog Wine Cellars Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley paired with Chocolate Coconut Macadamia Nut Clusters

Wine Ratings and Food Pairing Ratings

Our guests made some fantastic dishes for this tasting event!  Generally, the wine and food pairings ranked around a 4 out of 5.  People seemed to like the Justin Isoceles wine the best; and the food winners were the Shrimp Coconut Beignets and the Apple, Brie & and Honey Bruschetta.  Whatever the ratings, everything was very good!

As a bonus, friends brought a few more bottles that we enjoyed along with the food pairings - another Rosé and a Cabernet Sauvignon.  The 2011 Doyenne Rosé was from Yakima Valley, De Lille Cellars, and was a blend of 63% Grenache and 37% Mourvèdre.  The Cabernet Sauvignon was a Double Magnum bottle of Howell Mountain 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Howell Mountain appellation of Napa Valley. It served well as the after-tasting wine and somehow it completely disappeared before everyone left!

I hope you have an opportunity to try these wines during the holidays. For more holiday wine information check out Taste N Trip on facebook at

LIKE Taste N Trip ( and Calabasas Style ( on Facebook

FOLLOW @TasteNTrip on Twitter (

Articles and photography in Calabasas Style magazine: