I just love becoming a part of things that I had no idea minutes or even seconds before, that I would be participating in. With our busy and overloaded schedules, even our social events all seem too well coordinated and planned. And not that there’s anything right or wrong with that. But the charm of events coming together or coming to you instantaneously is what makes this life so magical. I or you should intend it, without having to forcefully wish for it. Because then, all the goodness finds you.
It did for me this past Saturday.at Quarry Wine & Spirits right outside the city limits of Baltimore, in Pikesville, with a count ’em, 18 wine tasting.
It brings me such joy just to write that. Yes I said 18. Aside from even the most comprehensive of tastings at a wine festival, I don’t think I’ve ever done double digits for a wine tasting. That might show my naivete but it sounds like a grand number to me. And what a treat this was.
No I will not go over every wine that was listed. I took notes and did lots of scribbling which makes no sense to me as I look over it now. But there will be pictures of that tasting sheet. This is one I’m going to hold on to and store in a safe place.
How I ended up here is just one of those laws of the universe. Quarry Lake is not a shopping district I find myself in often. But I was here on this day for a reason. As I’ve stated in certain instances before, I almost didn’t walk in.
I had been invited to a barbecue later in the day, and I would be bringing wine, but from most likely one of my usual wine shoppes downtown, without even thinking about this serendipitous experience that was about to take place.
I will shortly go over the wines. These are the three that I bought. These are also the three that me and a new friend I made seemed to concur were the best. Well at least on two of them we were in agreement on the same power and flavors these two in particular brought.
What’s also fun about this is you do make friends at these things. Sometimes it was just for that 20-30 minutes plus over the wine, or sometimes a deeper connection begins and you not only talk about the wine, but you start talking about other things. It’s as if you’ve known each other for years. And maybe in certain situations that might be the case. Maybe it’s a past life sort of thing, or maybe it’s just the moment to take in and appreciate for now. I think it’s a bit of everything and more.
This was also not one I planned on taking pictures of and blogging about. This was even more organic than I would realize.
Our party host was quite charismatic as well. And I wish I remembered his name. This is not the professional journalism I’ve come to expect from myself. But his voice and his selling almost made me by more. But I’m not one to overpay and get carried away when it comes to buying one. There’s a discipline. These wines have to be bought with the intent of being either drank soon, or saved for a special occasion. Buying wines and just letting them sit there till they go bad is something I’ve done far too often. There’s probably wines in my cellar that needs to be disposed of for this reason alone. Gross.
The 2015 Alto Vinho Verde Rose was only $6, from the retail price of $11. And this is the one that set the tone for the rest of the tasting. Yes this was the first one on this incredible list as we were going to were lightest to fullest, and sweetest to the boldest, as the list implies. That’s Tasting 101. I imagine for the price, and because it was the first impression, that many bought this one, if they didn’t purchase any other or had to buy just one. This is going to wonders when the weather gets nicer. It was nicer on this day but I’m gonna save this one and maybe expound on it another time. But the strawberry flavors are going to get a lot of people excited when Spring finally comes. It’s officially March so I say enjoy!
The 2013 Pinot Noir from Chamisal Vineyards is the first of two that got me to overreact and genuinely think this wine is one that could be a favorite. The label mentions how the grapes weren’t aged in Oak but in Stainless Steel to show how great the Pinot can taste on its own. Interesting stuff. It did seem to enhance the Pinot Noit by its self as well as the fruit flavors of cranberry, black cherry, and plum. I definitely got a mix of all three, or is it because I read the label and was told that this is what I would taste? Hmm.. But the fruitiness was easy to get, and this made for a closer to medium-bodied wine (but still light) then what I usually get from my Pinot’s. And this was a nice treat. This was also #9 on this list and I had a few samples leading up to it that were less than great, that may have made this wine even that much better. That’s for me to think about later when I open this up for guests or for myself. But my hunch is I will love it the same.
However, at $30.00 retail, that may be a bit too much for me. I like my bottles $20 and under and perferably $10-$15 whenever possible. At the sale price of $17, I wish I had purchased two. This was more than worth that amount. I’ve seen it listed in the $21-$25 range on many sites, so there’s a frame of reference for you.
Again I can’t wait to break this out when the weather gets closer to awesome. And it’s coming. This is what I was going to bring to the barbecue. Maybe it was going to be…
The 2010 Finca Sobreno Toro Tempranillo was the big winner. And as you can see, it’s the one I circled which makes me laugh in hindsight. This is the expert analysis I’m here to bring.
It’s funny because at just about any other tasting that previous Pinot would have won in a landslide. I love how it’s 2010. That means it’s already got more longevity than I know how to handle. Actually yes I do. I can drink it and share with fellow wine lovers.
This medium-bodied wine is loaded with all sort of flavors, I don’t know where to begin. It’s as if this wine was meant for me. It’s a mix of all the seasons. There’s scents of vanilla, chocolate, and clove. I only got those based on power of perception, maybe. And plenty more berries and chocolate after tasting. This was wine #14 on the list, so who know if there were so many ho hum wines (and lots of sips of water and small bites of crackers to reset the palate) in between the aforementioned Pinot and this. But the regular price of $32 is not for me. However, at $20 this is just on the cusp of my threshold. So why not.
Tastings to tend to make many a wine larger than life than they really are. It’s about the experience. It’s about the wines, potential pairings, and situations where these wines can truly shine. And this discussion was done in the most genuine and without the slightest hint of pretension and arrogance. Unless my rose (not Rose) colored glasses were a little tighter than usual, this was one of friendship, comradery, and just an awesome Saturday to celebrate the joy of wine drinking and get introduced to some new wines that will become staples of our lives.
Not to get too dopey but the weather turned to rain later on this day so the new memories will have to be put on hold. If the universe allows I will revisit these wines when paired with food and see how my pairing pals enjoy it versus how much I did.
I hope these wines create many new memories to cherish. But for now, I do cherish this once in a while experience. And can only hope the next time can be just as tremendous.