Temecula’s Wine Review Council gathered again to taste eight wines, five from New Zealand and three from Lodi. Each of the eight attendees prepared a dish to pair with a selected wine. The kitchen smelled heavenly and each dish was a work of art.
We began with Mt. Beautiful’s 2017 Sauvignon Blanc from Canterbury, New Zealand. The nose really grabbed my attention. The wine was bright and crisp and it paired perfectly with Linda M’s salmon/cream cheese spread. It retails at $15.99.
We then tasted Mt. Beautiful’s 2017 Rosé, a blend of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Pale in color and with a faint nose, it’s a pleasant wine, but I had a hard time finding a food it paired well with. I wound up finding a perfect match, Hilarie’s tomato ricotta tart. This wine sells for $15.99.
We moved on to the first wine from Lodi, the 2016 Heavyweight Chardonnay from Scotto Cellars. This was my pairing and I went with my go to cheese, Le Délice de Bourgogne. A touch on the sweet side, the triple crème balanced it out nicely. It was also a good match with the salmon spread which really made the wine sing. It sells for $12.99.
Mt. Beautiful’s 2016 Chardonnay was next in our glasses. This $21.99 wine is complex and well-balanced with a lingering finish. I thought it paired wonderfully with both the triple crème and the Quiche.
Linda S. brought a magnificent fresh salmon to pair with Scotto’s 2016 Heavyweight Lodi Pinot Noir. Very pretty to look at, it has a strawberry nose and is very fruit forward, on the verge of being sweet. It went well with the Thai shrimp, pork,
lettuce and noodle spring rolls Todd brought as well as the Quiche. $12.99
We then tried Mt. Beautiful’s 2016 Pinot Noir. It’s a much more varietally correct wine with a pretty color and intoxicating nose. I loved it with the Quiche and Robin’s steak sliders with mushroom ragout. It carries a price tag of $27.99.
We tasted Scotto’s 2015 Heavyweight Cabernet from Lodi. I had one word on my sheet to describe it – sweet. It’s not simply a fruit forward wine, it’s flat-out sweet. That’s not a characteristic I look for in a Cabernet. It goes for $12.99.
We ended our gathering with Mt. Beautiful’s 2016 Riesling. It has hints of petrol on the nose, not uncommon for a Riesling. It’s fruit forward, yet not cloying. I really enjoyed this wine and Sue’s fresh peach upside down cake with it was a match made in heaven! It sells for $21.99.
Tom Plant launched WINEormous in 2009 and is a member of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association. Based in Temecula, California, he offers intimate winery tours for no more than seven people. Tour details and pricing are available at www.temecula-tours.com. WINEormous is the recipient of the Luxury Travel Guide’s Wine Tour Operator of the Year award for Temecula 2015, 2016 and 2017. Call now to book your Temecula Winery Tour at (951) 907-9701. Ask about special discounts.