Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Our First Wine Wednesday!

That's right ladies, it's not called Hump Day anymore!  With our Cellar Classic Event at Max's Wine Dive this weekend and our Fete du Cuvee Fine Wine Auction in the Spring, we have decided to feature unique wines on WEDNESDAY!

To kick off our first "Wine Wednesday", our very own, Melissa Unsell, Vice Chair of Research and Development, is our guest blogger. 

Melissa gives us a sneak peak at the wines being served at Max's Cellar Classic Event this October 8th, from 12pm - 4pm.  I know social calendars fill up fast in October but you want to make room for this event benefiting the JLSA!

2009 Domaine de la Pepier Muscadet Sur Lies
(VIP Tasting)

This wine is from the Loire Valley of France, a somewhat underrated region, which bodies well for finding great-value wines. The Muscadet is fresh, light, and crisp. It's tangy, slightly salty taste gives credit to the terroir, including the Atlantic Ocean.

The wine is made by acclaimed winemaker, Marc Ollivier. Ollivier aims for more complexity by going the traditional route in the cellar--aging the wine sur lie(on the lees) until bottling. Keeping the wine in contact with the lees brings out richer texture and deepens flavors.

While sipping on this wine, enjoy aromoas of mineral and citrus. On the palate, enjoy fresh apple and lemon; Pair with oysters, mussels, flounder, and sole.

2007 Domaine Bosquest Gigondas
(VIP Tasting)
This wine is from the Rhone region of France. And, I hope you can keep a secret, because this is one of the best value-luxuries in France (shhh-don't tell). It's a great alternative to the expensive Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

This Gigondas is a blend of Grenache (60%), Syrah (20%), Mourvedre (10%), and Cinsaut (10%). It's velvety and instensely concentrated, with flavors of dark chocolate, plum, blueberry, smoke and spice.  Try it with braised red meats, lamb stew, and chicken dishes with herbs.

2007 Rosenblum "Heritage Clones" Petite Syrah
General Admission Tasting
This wine is from the Lodi region of California, specifically located on the foot of Mt. Diablo at the edge of the San Francisco Bay. This area has a rich history of quality grape production dating back more than 120 years. The vineyards are planted with two selection of Petite Syrah, both from 80 to 100 years old. This Contra Costa regions will soon be known as the Meccas for Petite Syrah.

This wine exhibits a bouquet and flavors of ripe blackberries, plums, chocolate, black pepper, violets and spice. It also has great color, which is jet black. This wine bodes well with hearty fare such as a mixed sausage ragu, barbecue smoked prime rib, leg of lamb on a bed of thyme, or a good old-fashioned pop roast.

Quick Wine Expert Fact: Petite Syrah is a different varietal than Syrah. Syrah is referred as such in the Northern Hemisphere, and is referred as Shiraz in the Southern Hemisphere. Syrah/Shiraz are the exact same varietal.

Cellar Classic, The Event: What to Expect; How to Prepare

There will be plenty of wines to taste on Saturday. I highly suggest that you walk in with a game plan. If attending the genral admission tasting, you have 50+ wines to taste in four hours (averaging 12.5 taste in every hours).  You may be able to manage that, but that doesn't factor in socializing and eating Chef James' creations.

I recommend printing the wine list - available onMax's website. Highlight the wines you have never tried before or are intrigued by (perhaps a region you are unfamiliar with). Bring the list with you as your Wine-Itinerary! Remember, you do not have to swallow the wine to taste it. Your palate may experience fatigue, so stick with your game plan, and if you have extra time you can revisit your favorites or try the rest!

For you VIP tasters, it is best to start inside, then work your way to the general admission wines due to the possible palate fatigue.

I invite you to contact me for my "must taste" recommendations and best of all, I invite you to approach me during the event if you have questions or want a demonstration on proper wine tasting techiniques!

Melissa Unsell

To learn more about Melissa and her wine adventure visit her blog Vinously Speaking Wine Blog at!
Remember, you can also still buy tickets to this event as well as grab your tickets to Ole!  Hope to see each of you there!

1 comment:

  1. Good work done with the post!
    Thank you so much for sharing.