I was lucky again to have the opportunity to select the wines for John Harrison’s photo open house. John is a very talented photographer, and his photos capture the beauty of Yosemite… I usually tell people Yosemite is more beautiful in person when showing my own photos, but John’s photos actually make you feel like you are there! See for yourself on his website - http://www.jharrisonphoto.com/
Many of John’s clients are wine fans, and like to be able to find the wines they have tried at the open house so I chose wines that are all available at Bevmo. The favorite of the bunch was the 2010 Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir. This pinot is a blend of coastal fruit from Monterey, Sonoma, and Santa Barbara. Juicy cherries and baking spices are some of the nice characteristics in this pinot, and at $20 it is an excellent value.
The 2009 Terra d’Oro Zinfandel from Amador County was another favorite. The fruit in this zinfandel is ripe and round, not very jammy but big on the berries. The raspberry notes in this wine helped it to pair amazingly with dark chocolate (Truffle Gateau Double Decadent Dark Chocolate – www.trufflegateau.com).
New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is a great summer white wine. My favorite region is Marlborough and the Sauv Blanc from that area has exploded in popularity. The 2011′s I poured (Nobilo and Starborough) both have the signature Marlborough characteristics – fresh cut grass and citrus on the nose with a slightly sweet mouthfeel and grapefruit on the finish.
Surprisingly, very few people asked for chardonnay. The biggest reason I noted was that chardonnay is too oaky and buttery. I personally prefer a chardonnay that has touched some oak but not so much new oak that you can no longer taste the fruit. Schug makes an excellent Carneros Chardonnay, it does touch oak barrels but you can still taste apple and pear. The oak just helps to add the vanilla and spicy notes. This is not a buttery style of chardonnay, and I recommend it to anyone who isn’t a fan of the “butter bombs”.
All of the wines that were poured were under $20, and highly recommended for BBQ season!