An Evening with Wonderment Wine

Wonderment Wines

Wonderment Wines

Fun Sayings on the Wonderment Corks

Fun Sayings on the Wonderment Corks

I was so happy to get an invite from my friend Samuel of Redoux to try one of his new wineries that he just added to his portfolio and meet the winemaker: Stephanie Cook of Wonderment Wines.

The event was at the Jaspers in Richardson in the CityLine center. What impressed me was that Jaspers is trying to offer small wineries on their wine list that you don’t find in a lot of restaurants. Wonderment definitely qualifies.

Jaspers in Richardson

Jaspers in Richardson

Stephanie is such a delight to talk to. Her passion is single vineyard wines. I think that is fantastic! You know exactly where the grapes come from and you know who takes care of the vineyard. A lot of these vineyards are family owned.

Winemaking is not new to Stephanie. Her Dad used to make wine from Muscadine in the family laundry room when they lived in South Carolina. Luckily she left the laundry room and had the opportunity to work at Spottswoode in Napa and Spy Valley in New Zealand. In 2011, Stephanie made her first Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.

I must say, that this is one of the few winery tastings that I had a hard time deciding which wine was my favorite.

Here was the line up:

2015 Las Trancas Vineyard, Sauvignon Blanc, Oak Noll District, Napa Valley.

Taste: Asian pear, light peach, nectarine and lemon curd. Finish is bright grapefruit and stones. This would be my “to go” on a hot Texas day.

2013 Dr. Stan’s Pinot Noir. Just a bit about Dr. Stan’s Vineyard…It is considered a “gentleman’s vineyard”. It’s less than 1 acre and is planted with 30 + year old Pinot Noir and located in the Carneros Sonoma County American Viticultural Area.

Taste: cherry, cranberry, almonds with a spicy, earthy finish. I want a case of this!

2013 Dutton-Campbell Vineyard Pinot Noir, Green Valley of Russian River Valley, Sonoma.

Taste: bramble, cranberry, dusty sour cherry with a finish of baking spices and strawberries. I love that this wine is from Green Valley. Green Valley is one of the smallest appellations in Sonoma.

2013 Bacigalupi Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel, Russian River Valley, Sonoma.

Taste: blueberry, blackberry, under brush with a bold finish of licorice and dark spices. A good text-book old vine Zin.

2012 Rockpile Zinfandel from the Pritchett Peaks Vineyard, Sonoma.

Taste: lush ripe black and blue fruit. The finish had a bit of eucalyptus and dark spices. It made me crave BBQ.

2013 Burton Ranch Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel, Lake County.

Taste: dark spices, rich dark fruits. Juicy mouth feel but very balanced and didn’t have that over the top alcohol burn that some Zinfandel wines get. Great!

2013 Bacigalupi Vineyard Petite Sirah, Russian River Valley, Sonoma.

Taste: stewed plums, tobacco, cocoa, blackberry. A bold wine with an elegant finish that was surprising. I don’t drink a lot of Petite Sirah because it fatigues my palate and I feel like I have bowl of overripe fruit weighing me down. This one was so delightful and kept its varietal integrity.

This was a fantastic evening and I’m so delighted that I made the acquaintance of a winemaker that has a focus on single vineyard wines.

Part of the mission statement of Wonderment Wines: “represent intelligent effort, value and balance which create a sense of “Wonder”….

Winemaker, Stephanie Cook of Wonderment Wines

Winemaker, Stephanie Cook of Wonderment Wines

Cheers to you, Stephanie!

Lori – Your Twisted Sommelier

P.S. all of the photos are courtesy of Asher Swan

 

 

 

 

 

Surviving Texsom 2016

In one word: Spit!

It is one of the best educational, friendship building, fun times you can have with a bunch of wine geeks in 3 days.

My 2 favorite seminars: “Rum Complexities”. I really took rum for granted & had no idea it could have so many nuances…plus we had to say “argh” like a pirate before class started. I love Sommeliers that have a sense of humor.

Many Glasses of Rum

Many Glasses of Rum

The other seminar was a retrospective of Robert Mondavi Fume’ Blanc aka Sauvignon Blanc. I was so surprised at the age-ability of Sauvignon Blanc. My favorite was the 2001. I enjoyed the history of the Mondavi family & vineyards.

Robert Mondavi Fume' Blanc - 2014,2013,2012,2008,2004,2001,1996

Robert Mondavi Fume’ Blanc – 2014, 2013, 2012, 2008, 2004, 2001, 1996

My favorite Hospitality Suite was Mutual Trading Company’s sake. It was such a welcomed change from all of the wine and It had been a long time since I had good sake.

Mutual Trading Company - Sake!

Mutual Trading Company – Sake!

Some of my favorite wines I discovered:

This was a very simplistic overview of Texsom, but so much goes on and so many people are involved that it is hard to detail everything. I’m just glad I got to experience it with these people: @Friscokid49 @ryan_sorrell @redouxwine @sheripattilo @MattMcGinnis

I will be back!

Spit Cup, Bag, Book & Info Cards

Spit Cup, Bag, Book & Info Cards

P.S. Lots of Wine & Information

 

 

 

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Sanglier Cellars

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I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Glenn Alexander, the farmer/winemaker of Sanglier Cellars a few times. I have never been disappointed with his wines. I respect his attitude of being a farmer first and a winemaker second. I find people with that kind of attitude know that quality wine starts with the grapes in the vineyard and are more attuned to the whole process of making wine. Plus, they are more interesting to talk to…that’s just my personal perspective.
What I find amazing is that Glenn and his wife, Melissa (who is a fantastic cook and owns 1500 cookbooks) were farmers in Texas and decided to move to Sonoma County to try farming grapes and getting into the wine business….
I’m so glad they did!

Here is the list of what I have tried lately:
2013 Rose Du Tusque, Sonoma County: This is a blend of Grenache and Mourvedre. It is has ripe red fruit with a little floral and spice. It is very food friendly and not just for summer drinking. It was one of the Rose’s that I served at Thanksgiving.

2010 Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast/Sonoma County: I have written about this wine before in the post “Chardonnay & BEEF“. This Chardonnay was a favorite in a blind tasting I did with my Twisted Peeps. It has balance between oak and fruit.

2011 Rouge Du Tusque, Sonoma County: It is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Cinsault and Mourvedre. This is lush berries with an earthy coffee, mineral finish. Really great with pizza or bar-b-que.

2011 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley/Sonoma County: This is an intense Pinot. It has baking spices and red fruits with elements of smokey mushroom and black tea. I fell in love with it at first sip. I bought 2 bottles so I could see how this wine would evolve.

Please go to their website:http://www.sangliercellars.com to see more of their wines and check out Melissa’s section called “Farm. Eat. Drink”.
If you live in the DFW area, you can buy Sanglier at Whole Foods, Cork Wine Bar and Pogo’s.
Cheers Y’all,
Lori – Your Twisted Sommelier

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I agree, Glenn…twisted is good!

Part 3: Texas State Fair Wine & Dine

Vintage Lane & Lost Oak Wines

Vintage Lane & Lost Oak Wines

Fairhaven Vineyards Wine

Fairhaven Vineyards Wine

Weinhof Winery

Weinhof Winery

This is the final post about my wine & dine experience at the Texas State Fair.

I had to try a Fletcher’s corny dog with wine. There is something about Fletcher’s…maybe it’s the batter, it’s earthy with a bit of sweetness that encompasses the salty meatiness of the dog.

*I did not put mustard or ketchup on my corny dog.

The Wines:

Vintage Lane (Subsidiary of Lost Oak Winery) Willow White – bright acidity and floral. It was good and refreshing with the dog.

Lost Oak Winery “Crimson Oak” – light tar, some spiciness. The wine added some spice to the dog. Not bad.

Weinhof Winery Gewürztraminer – sweet with an earthy undertone. It was a good match because it brought out the sweetness in the batter.

Fairhaven Vineyards Blanc du Bois – slightly sweet with a refreshing clean finish. Really good with the corny dog.

Fairhaven Vineyards Chambourcin – blueberry & cherry with good acidity. It added more earthiness to the dog. It was a good match with the meat of the dog but it did cover up the sweetness of the batter.

I did the same wines with Avocado Fries. The fries were spicy and crunchy with a rich earthy flavor.

Vintage Lane Willow White – The wine had enough body and floral sweetness to stand up to the spiciness of the fries.

Lost Oak “Crimson Oak” – The fries flattened the wine and made it bland. Not good.

Weinhof Gewürztraminer – good pairing because the wine was sweet and the food was spicy. Opposites are a good thing in this instance.

Fairhaven Blanc du Bois – The fries spiciness and the acidity in the wine was not the best pairing.

Fairhaven Chambourcin – This was a nice pairing because the wine had enough dark fruit element to counter the spice in the fries. I also want to say that this wine is not sweet. However, Fairhaven does offer a sweet (dolce) version that reminded me of a well-balanced Black Muscat.

This concludes my adventures in Texas State Fair food & wine offerings and I hope I can work off the pounds I gained….what I do for my Twisted Peeps LOL!

Avocado Fries & Fletcher's Corny Dog-the aftermath

Avocado Fries & Fletcher’s Corny Dog-the aftermath

Cheers Y’all!

Lori – Your Twisted Sommelier

Part 2: Texas State Fair Wine & Dine

Texas Twisted Taco

Texas Twisted Taco

Dry Comal Creek French Colombard

Dry Comal Creek French Colombard

Bar Z Wines - Sangiovese & "Enigmatic"

Bar Z Wines – Sangiovese & “Enigmatic”

Fry Dog & Sriracha Balls

Fry Dog & Sriracha Balls

Llano Estacado Wines - Sweet Red & Signature White

Llano Estacado Wines – Sweet Red & Signature White

This is my 2nd round of doing a wine pairing with the food that is available at the Texas State Fair.

1st PAIRING:

Food: Twisted Taco – Chicken fried steak, fried okra, roasted corn, spicy slaw in a flour tortilla. I think this is my new fave dish at the fair.

Wine: Bar Z Winery – Sangiovese – Bright cherry, earth, good acidity. Fantastic with the taco. Wish I had gotten a glass and just chowed down with the taco.

Wine: Bar Z Winery -“Enigmatic” Tempranillo blend – dirt, leather, tobacco leaves. The wine was almost too much for the taco and added a leather element that was a bit off. The wine on it’s own was good.

Wine: Dry Comal Creek – French Colombard -butter, light toast & bright citrus finish. Good with the taco and was refreshing too.

2nd PAIRING:

Food: Sriracha Balls – damn hot ball of fire with corn & chicken! I liked it, but after awhile my mouth went numb.

Wine: Llano Sweet Red – it’s basically like a red sangria (red wine with fruit). It actually stood up to the fire and quenched my thirst.

Wine: Llano Signature White – stone fruit with a zesty citrus finish. This pairing was not good because the acidity in the wine intensified the heat of the food.

3rd PAIRING:

Food: Fried Dog – a hot dog coated in fries, then fried and cheese poured on top. It was good, but eat it fast because it’s bad cold.

Wine: Llano Sweet Red – It was ok with the dog. Nothing special.

Wine: Llano Signature White – Not good with the dog. The wine gave the dish a weird tangy element. The wine on it’s own was good. I would consider it a patio/pool sipping wine.

2 other wines I tried were:

Bar Z Winery – Cabernet Sauvignon – smoke, earth, a little black fruit. Very good.

Dry Comal Creek Sparkling Demi Sweet – This is a sweet wine that I would consider for dessert.

That was about all I could do for the day.

I’m hoping to make it back and attempt a 3rd visit to the fair.

Wish me luck!

Lori – Your Twisted Sommelier

 

3 Merlots & a Bertolli

Merlot: Columbia Crest, 14 Hands, Bogle

Merlot: Columbia Crest, 14 Hands, Bogle

I was gifted a bottle of Merlot in the $10 price range & asked if I wouldn’t mind reviewing it…of course not!

So this is for you, Dominick…Thank you!

I decided to compare it with 2 other Merlots in the same price range and see how they stood on their own and up to food.

#1) 2011 Columbia Crest Grand Estates, Columbia Valley, Washington.

Smell: dried cherries, green herbs, vanilla.

Taste: cedar, dark chocolate, vanilla with a hot, dry tannic finish that lasted awhile on the palate. This wine was made to go with food.

#2) 2012 14Hands Vineyards, Columbia Valley, Washington.

Smell: very faint cedar, vanilla, cranberries.

Taste: assorted dried red/black fruit & smoke with a round mouth feel and soft tannins and short finish. Very drinkable on its own.

#3) 2011 Bogle Vineyards, California.

Smell: dirt, dark chocolate, dried cherries.

Taste: cherry, eucalyptus, with some earthiness in the soft, short finish. I was ambivalent about this.

I paired the wines with Bertolli’s Chicken Marsala & Roasted Redskin Potatoes. I love Bertolli! It’s so convenient to cut open a bag, pour the ingredients in a pan and heat it on the stove top. You are done in 15 minutes. Very good “sporkable” food.

Bertolli: Chicken Marsala & Roasted Redskin Potatoes

The Columbia Crest went well with the dish. The wine actually made the Marsala sauce a little sweeter (what’s not to like about that). I think that was from the vanilla aspect I kept tasting from the wine.

The 14Hands really did nothing to the food. I was a bit disappointed.

Bogle was a good pairing because it give the food a more earthy, robust flavor.

Overall, I would take Columbia Crest &  Bogle to a pizza party and everyone would like them.

The 14Hands, I would just enjoy on its own. It’s definitely for relaxing. I would even consider this a good Summer red wine.

Cheers Y’all!

Lori – Your Twisted Sommelier