Monday, August 10, 2009
Wine Tasting with Elde!
Our good friend Elde came for a visit this past weekend. Unfortunately, his girlfriend Angie couldn't make it. But we managed to have fun by going wine tasting in north San Luis Obispo county, then grillin' and chillin'!
We started off at a place none of us had been to previously, Wild Horse Winery in Templeton.
According to my meticulous tasting notes (this is a practice I just started), we all fell in love with the 2008 Malvasia Bianca, a young white wine with a bold fruity nose and luscious fruit flavor.
The next pick is a varietal called Blaufrankisch, a unique 2007 red that is rich in flavor and color.
Another all-in fave is the 2006 Unbridled Syrah, a reserve red that has all the best characteristics of that varietal.
Finally, we all selected the 2007 Pinot Noir.
Nancy, our tasting room pourer, was kind enough to snap the photo above of Elde, me and Ron in front of the Wild Horse vineyard.
Then we traversed north county to Tablas Creek, out on Adelaida Road in Paso Robles. Ron and I had been to this winery nearly three years ago with friends and winemaking partners Maryella and Kevin. But it had been so long, I didn't recognize any of the wines, and the tasting room has been transformed.
We didn't take any photos because our pourer, Cindy, was lots of fun. Oh, and the wines were spectacular! Here are our top picks from Tablas Creek:
The 2008 Cotes de Tables Blanc is a refreshingly simple but elegant white wine. Two additional whites caught our palates by pleasant surprise: the 2007 Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc, and the 2007 Roussanne, which we purchased and thoroughly enjoyed back at home!
As for reds, the 2006 Esprit de Beaucastel and the 2002 Las Tablas Estates Glenrose Vineyard both rocked our taste buds!
We had originally planned to head back out to the 46 West and bring Elde to Zin Alley, but we were SO CLOSE to Halter Ranch, we altered our route. Both Ron and I felt that Elde would LOVE Halter Ranch, and we were right!
It's difficult to find something unpalatable at Halter Ranch, their wines are so nice. But I'll list our picks so you can compare notes:
The 2008 Sauvignon Blanc, simple and perfect; the 2006 Ranch Red -- a must buy! -- as well as the 2006 GSM. I especially enjoy the 2005 Merlot as it is lightly blended with Malbec, a personal fave, and Petit Verdot.
The 2004 Ancestor is peaking right now, and the guys really dug the 2005 El Pecado Port, a Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah blend. Ron's pick was the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon... he IS a Cab man!
Back at home, I slathered a slab of Sockeye Salmon with a coarse grain mustard and white wine rub and Ron lit the grill.
I prepped some green, yellow and red peppers along with some of our garden zucchini, then made a humungous Greek salad with all of our light-hearted ingredients.
And the night before, I had made a thick, herb-packed marinara to sauce up those grilled veggies. It went well with a roasted potato, carrot and garlic mash-up, too!
And the bottles of wine we purchased ; )