This is a post based on at least a couple of firsts. This is my first time doing a wine tasting at a terminal. And it was my first time at this terminal, but more specifically Reading Terminal Market. In all my times visiting Philadelphia, I never set foot here. Was I even aware this place existed? Ah the things we overlook. I’m embarrassed to have written that fact.
When I was searching for a winery nearby to do a tasting I figured that the hear of a major city is not likely going to be the winery itself but a subsidiary of one, or a sister location. I’m not sure how to describe it but nestled in the back of the market was Blue Mountain Vineyards.
Pretty cool I know. And at the same time I made myself feel intimidated. I almost turned around and ran the other way when I saw the set-up. I was afraid to ask if they did tastings. Why was I frightened? They appreciate the interest and this is a business like any other.
I’m glad I walked in. Sophie was behind the counter and took care of me. She said I would be able to do 5 tastings for $5. That sounds reasonable to me and similar to what I’ve been accustomed to with Maryland winery tasting setups.
The Cabernet Franc was not available for tasting. That was the one I wanted to try the most. However, I’m happy with the 5 I chose and the results were a bit surprising.
First, the Pinot Noir was simple to drink like most Pinot’s should be. The French Oak is what does it for me. And oaky Pinot’s are not what I’m used to. But I could get used to this. The price of $25 was a bit out of my range for this wine. I don’t see me paying that much for this even though I thought it was very good. It mention being fruit forward which I did pick up on. Earthy and smoky are not terms I love but I understand the sentiment. This was just a great wine that I wish I would be able to buy. But not that price.
The Chambourcin and Cabernet Sauvignon I’ll put in the same breath. Because usually I would be loving both. The opposite happened here. Neither wine did much for me. And I love both grapes but it didn’t click here. Many of the same components that helped make the Pinot didn’t make the Chambourcin.
My hunch with the Cabernet Sauvignon is that a fresh bottle that was aired out a little longer would make this full bodied varietal a lot more flavorful. Wow I just sounded very knowledgeable there. But I think you know what I’m saying. Under the right mood and season this may work. It’s still hot out and this wine did not work in this setting. But I could see it be delightful somewhere down the line.
And now the whites. Actually no, I did sweets. Interesting call by me to avoid whites. I didn’t even realize this. This summer has been a time of me rekindling my interest in whites. I doubt this is a regressing.
The Late Harvest Vidal Blanc is in demi (half) size and as charming as it looks again didn’t wow me. This is within the context of understanding this is a dessert wine. I may not be the best judge of dessert wines in general yet I know my tastes. I would have bought this for the charming look alone but it wouldn’t be open anytime soon in my house.
The big winner was the Vignoles. I’m surprised that this, along with the Pinot were my favorites. I did taste pineapple at the beginning of my first few sips but then it just became a comfortable wine that could be had any day of the week with any kind of food. This is what I was looking for. And as a bonus it can be used to make sangria. It’s still summertime and many of us do love our sangria. This is the bottle I bought. At $13 this was reasonable, and worth it’s price. Well I hope so. It may not be open for a little while.
My favorite part was that for buying the wine, the $5 tasting fee was waived. See it sometimes pays to get a bottle or souvenir after a tasting. I just think its proper form.
Speaking of proper form, the next time is to visit the main winery itself before I make any further judgments. I expect to enjoy myself as many of us do when going to a vineyard.
I hope to visit this winery before the year is out, or hopefully sooner without sounding too dramatic. I expect to taste some more good ones, and under usual winery circumstances. Yet I did enjoy myself at the market. Lets do it all again sometime.
I forgot to mention my other first was having the tasting done out of those disposable cups. That was fun and funny even though I doubt that was their intention. It’s the little things that make me smile.