Starting with our first wine the non-vintage Toso Brut from Argentina. Rose said it was smooth and light, not too bubbly. 100% Chardonnay, produced in Mendoza, Argentina, Kathy thought at $13, it was a great value. Nearly everyone felt the same. It scored better than four out of a possible five stars. GSCP (Girl Scout cookie pairing) – Savannah Smiles and Lemonades fared well.
Next was the 2015 Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut Rosé. A blend of Pinot Noir, Pinotage and Pinot Meunier, this South African sparkling had a pinkish color and nice bubbles according to Kathy, but also a bitter edge. I thought it was an easy drinker but a bit over-priced at $25. Scott thought it was very good with lots of bubbles. It scored about three and a half stars. GSCP – Trefoils.
We tasted the 2016 7 Moons Red Blend from California’s Central Coast. Scott called it easy-drinking. Wanda loved the label and black cork. I enjoyed the cherry nose and thought it was nothing special, but it was $10. Laura called it a good blend of seven grapes, which are Syrah, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Grenache and. It scored about three and a half stars. GSCP – S’mores and Tagalongs
I’ve been a fan of Texas wines since I met Paul and Merrill Bonarrigo, owners of Messina Hof Winery in Bryan, Texas. Dave Phinney, of The Prisoner fame, launched his Locations Wines series a while ago. He visits different regions with the intention of breaking the rules. You wouldn’t expect Texas to produce a big, bold wine like this one, but Phinney did it. A blend of Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Carignan and a few Bordeaux varieties thrown in for good measure, Laura called it enjoyable. Linda and Rose thought it was smooth. I liked its long finish and the fact it was food friendly. Ken called it very drinkable. It scored four stars and sells for $25. – GSCP – Samoas and Trios
Tom Plant launched WINEormous, a food, wine and travel blog in 2009 and is a long-time 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. He is a three-time recipient of the best tour award from the Luxury Travel Guide in Birmingham, England. Tour details and pricing are available at www.temecula-tours.com. Call now to book your Temecula Winery Tour at (951) 907-9701! Ask about special discounts.