Mini Tastings

Gold Medal Mini-Tasting Recap

Over 180 members and guests attended the July 6 Gold Medal Mini-Tasting at 10 host sites. This may have been the best attended mini-tasting we have held. The line-up of wines included two from our Wine Society members – Big Nose Sauvignon Blanc (Double Gold) and Dewitt Syrah – Gold medal winner. The blind tasting […]
Login required in order to make a purchase

Rhone Mini-Tasting Wrap Up With Winners Recipes

The April Mini-Tasting featured Rhone style wines and was held at five host sites throughout the county. Each of the five flights of wine featured a California wine and a French wine. There were four flights of reds, and the tasting started with a white flight. Seven of the ten wines placed in the first, second, or third place at one or more of the host sites.

The overall favorite was Secret Indulgence from Emancipation in St. Helena; second place was Chateau Puech-Haut La Closerie du Pic from Languedoc-Roussillon, France; third was Amapola Creek’s Cuvee Alis from Sonoma County; and fourth was Margerum’s M5 from Santa Barbara. The four favorite wines across the five host sites are:

Place Wine & Winery Year Price Description
1st Secret Indulgence Emancipation

St. Helena, CA

2015 $29.99 Blend: 49% Grenache, 29% Syrah, 11% Petite Sirah, 11% Mourvèdre

RP 92 Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate; A blend mainly of Grenache and Syrah with some Petite Sirah, Mourvèdre and Mission coming mostly from Paso Robles and Mendocino.

2nd Chateau Puech-Haut
La Closerie du PicLanguedoc-Roussillon, France
2014 $25.99 #48 wine in VinePair’s Top 50 of 2018

RP 94 Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate; Full-bodied, rounded and textured, with sweet tannin and a voluptuous, fruit-forward style.

3rd Amapola Creek
Cuvee Alis
Sonoma, CA
2013 $46.99 RP 92 Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
66% Grenache, 22% Mourvèdre and 12% Syrah; It is Provençal, deep, full-bodied, and a total lusty treat.
4th Margerum M5

Santa Barbara, CA

2016 $25.99 RP 90 Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

42% Grenache, 36% Syrah, 14% Mourvèdre, 4% Counoise and 4% Cinsault; Reminiscent of a good Côtes du Rhône, the 2016 M5 opens in the glass with aromas of smoky black cherry, blackberry, spice, cassis and dried flowers. On the palate, it’s juicy, medium to full-bodied and supple, with a sweet core of dark fruit, good length and a youthfully primary finish.

In addition, attendees brought a delicious dish to share and then voted on a Chef of the Evening. The results of the Chef of the Evening at each host site are:

  • Hosts Gisella & Gregory Brett: Tom Richey – Beef Stew
  • Hosts Virginia & Karl Kawai: Eric Kalnes – “Amazing” dish
  • Hosts Else & Don Phillips: Kim Meier – Italian Penne with Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives & Cheese
  • Hosts Ronna & Craig Rowe: Scott Lewis – Smoked Tri-Tip
  • Hosts Kim & Steven Rizzuto: Paula & Bob Becker – Cantaloupe Port Sorbet

NOTE: Three dishes tied on the initial ballot, including June & Vincent Porto’s Lasagna and Carolyn & Phil Wallace’s Coleslaw.

The detail scores by site will be posted on the OCWS website. Congratulations to all the winners! A big thank you to all of the hosts! Please send your recipes to George Cravens at George@ocws.org for possible publication on the OCWS website.

– George Cravens, Director


Winner Recipe –

CANTALOUPE & PORT SORBET

Paula Becker

From Ice Cream:  The Ultimate Cold Comfort

By Jeri Quinzio

Makes one quart

Ingredients:

1 large or 2 small cantaloupes, peeled, seeded and cut up to make 3 cups

Pinch of salt

¾ cup of sugar

¼ cup of port

3 T of orange juice

  1. Cut up the cantaloupe and measure.  To make a quart of sorbet, you’ll need 3 cups.
  2. In a blender or food processor, puree cantaloupe with the salt and sugar until the sugar is thoroughly blended throughout the mixture
  3. Add the port and the orange juice and blend.
  4. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator, preferably overnight.
  5. Churn in your ice cream maker, following manufacturer’s instructions.
  6. Store in a tightly covered container in your freezer.

Pinot Noir Mini-Tasting Wrap Up

Nearly 100 members and guests attended the March 2 Pinot Noir Mini-Tasting at six host sites. Five flights of wine came from various locations including Arroyo Grande Valley, Carneros, Central Coast, Sonoma, Sonoma Coast, Santa Maria Valley, and Willamette Valley (Oregon).

The overall favorite was from Patz & Hall in Carneros; second place was Aequorea’s Seafarer; third was Fort Ross’s Sea Slopes; and fourth was very close to third, from Capiax.

The three favorite wines across the six host sites plus the fourth place which was very nearly tied for third:

Place Winery Name Year Price Description
1st Patz & Hall; Hyde Vineyard
Carneros
2016 $55.99 WINE ADVOCATE 93+ —Medium ruby-purple colored, profoundly scented of black cherries, black raspberries, and red currants with touches of forest floor, black soil, stewed tea, and lavender.
2nd Aequorea Seafarer
Central Coast
2014 $34.95 The aromatics are intense – redolent of dried cranberry, red apple skin, white pepper, and Earl Grey tea. The palate is bright and vibrant, with a core of dark red fruit, uplifted spice, grated chocolate, roasted nuts, dried orange rind, and toasty oak.
3rd Fort Ross Sea Slopes
Sonoma Coast
2014 $29.95 ROBERT PARKER 90 POINTS—The 2014 Pinot Noir Sea Slopes gets its name from overlooking the Pacific Ocean at an elevation of 1,200 to 1,700 feet. This wine offers loads of Chinese black tea, pomegranate, floral notes, and a hint of raspberry in a medium-bodied, fresh, lively, Côte de Beaune style.
4th Capiax Chimera
Sonoma Coast
2016 $29.95 ANTONIO GALLONI 90 POINTS—Laced with essence of sweet red cherry, underbrush, dried herbs, orange zest, and exotic floral notes. Plump and juicy, yet also very much medium in body and gracious, with terrific freshness.

In addition, attendees brought a delicious dish to share and then voted on a Chef of the Evening. The results of the Chef of the Evening at each host site are:

  • Hosts Germaine & Rob Romano: Bill & Noel Forsch with their “Appetizer Feast”
  • Hosts Pat & Frank Solis: Eberhard Neutz with his “Lebirkaefe with caramelized onions”
  • Hosts Marcia & James Vaughan: Rich Skoczylas with his “Hazelnut Cake”
  • Hosts Barbara & David White: Paula Becker with her “Mediterranean Chicken”
  • Hosts Betty Jo & Jay Newell: Jean Rico with her “Chicken Tortilla Casserole”
  • Host Mike Del Medico: Lynda Edwards with her “Spinach Dip”

The detailed scores by site will be posted on the OCWS website. Congratulations to all the winners!

A big thank you to the hosts! Please send your recipes to George Cravens at George@ocws.org as a possible recipe to be published on the OCWS website.

– George Cravens, Director

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food-Worthy Reds Mini-Tasting Recap

Nearly 100 members and guests attended the Food-Worthy Reds Mini-Tasting on November 10 at six host sites. Five flights of wine included Pinot Noir, Grenache, Syrah, Meritage Red/Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel.

The overall favorite was also a Double-Gold winner at this year’s Commercial Wine Competition. Second place was a Carol Shelton Zinfandel blend. Third was a Napa Syrah. Fourth was very close to third, and also a Double Gold winner this year – Jeff Runquist Grenache.

The three favorite wines across the six host sites, plus the fourth place which was very nearly tied for third:

Place Winery Name Year Price Description
1st J. Lohr Cuvee Series

Meritage Red

2014 $50.00 Cuvee ST.E, Paso Robles AVA, 59% Cabernet Franc, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Malbec, 1% Petit Verdot

Double Gold (94 Pts) OC Competition

2nd Carol Shelton — Karma Reserve

Zinfandel

2014 $25.00 Sonoma County
70% Zinfandel, 14% Petite Sirah, 6% Alicante Bouschet, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Carignane, 2% Viognier91 points Wine Spectator
3rd Rocca Family Grigsby — Napa

Syrah

2013 $48.00 Rocca’s 2013 Syrah Grigsby Vineyards is a rich, deep, chewy wine that coats the palate and is very savory.

92 Points Robert Parker

4th Jeff Runquist Alta Mesa AVA

Grenache

2016 $28.00 The aroma of the 2016 wine is loaded with ripe red fruits; raspberry, strawberry, cherry and currant. On the palate, savory flavors of raspberry and cherry are delivered by a wine with a silky texture.

Double Gold (94 Pts) Wine Competition

In addition, attendees brought a delicious dish to share and then voted on a Chef of the Evening. The results of the Chef of the Evening at each host site are:

  • Hosts Germaine & Rob Romano:

Wendy Taylor  “Black Walnut Fancy Cake”

  • Hosts Virginia & Karl Kawai:

Jim Burke “Stracotto with Herbed Noodles & Horseradish Cream”

¨ Tied with:

Eric Kalnes “Mac and Cheese”

  • Hosts Judy Davison & Paula and Bob Becker:

Tamara Reddy “Pecan Squares”

  • Hosts Marcia & James Vaughan:

Rich Skoczylas “Luscious Fall Apple Delight”

  • Hosts Barbara & David White:

  John Mendoca “Curried Chicken”

  • Hosts Cathy & Greg Risling:

Michelle Flores “Brussel Sprouts”

Click on this link to see the “Wine Food Pairing” document provided on this events Mini-Tasting Wines 

Congratulations to all the winners! A big thank you to the hosts!

– George Cravens, Chair

 

Gold Medal Mini-Tasting Wrap Up

Over 160 members and guests attended the Gold Medal Mini-Tasting on July 7 at nine host sites. The evening began with a Gold medal winning Viognier from Falkner Winery in Temecula and a Double-Gold Chenin Blanc from Dry Creek Vineyards (Clarksburg AVA).

The blind tasting followed with seven flights of two wines each. For additional information on more award winning wines, visit  winecompetion.com. The wines covered a wide range of styles with three white pairs, one Rosé pair, and three red pairs. Several sites reported ties in their top three, and eight of the fourteen wines finished in the top three at one or more sites. The three favorite wines of the nine host sites and three others that tied for fourth are listed below:

Place Winery Name Year Price Description
1st DeWitt Vineyards 2015 $28 Tempranillo, Amador County, Double Gold. Three first, one second, and three third place finishes
2nd Trentadue La Storia 2016 $28 Zinfandel, Alexander Valley, Double Gold. Two first, two second, and one third place finishes
3rd Carol Shelton – Black Magic 2017 $20
375 ml
Late-harvest Zinfandel, Sonoma, Double Gold. Two first, one second, and one third place finishes
4th-tie Sunce Winery 2016 $30 Mission, San Francisco AVA, Gold, One first and one third place finish
4th-tie Orange Coast Cellars 2017 $29.99 Albarino, Double Gold, One first and three third place finishes
4th-tie Blair Estates 2013 $40 Pinot Noir, Arroyo Seco AVA, Double Gold, three second place finishes

In addition, attendees brought a delicious dish to share and then voted on a Chef of the Evening. The results of the Chef of the Evening at each host site are:

  • Host Carol Frank & Sam Puzzo: Kevin Coy’s “Marinated Flank Steak”
  • Hosts Betty Jo & Jay Newell: Irene Scott’s “Flourless Chocolate Cake
    with homemade vanilla bean Ice Cream”
  • Host Linda Baumeister: Linda Ellenburg’s “Carrot Cake”
  • Hosts BJ & Tina Fornadley: Fred Heinecke’s “BBQ Tri-tip”
  • Hosts Nancy & Stephen Edwards: Allison Snyder’s “Cherry Cheesecake”
  • Hosts Marcia & James Vaughan: Marcia Vaughan’s “Peach & Blackberry Crisp”
  • Hosts Wendy & Stacey Taylor: Bill Forsch and Noel DeSota’s
    “Brisket and Burnt ends with 2 sauces”
  • Hosts Virginia & Karl Kawai: Dino Amico’s “Champagne Risotto”
  • Hosts Janae & Bob Unruh: (Tie) Nancy Harman’s “Chocolate Brandy Pudding Mousse shots” and Linda Crawford’s “Herb Roasted Salmon”

Congratulations to all the winners! A big “thank you” to all the Hosts!

Please send your recipes to George Cravens at George@ocws.org as a possible recipe in a future Newsletter article.

– George Cravens, Director

Pinot Noir Mini-Tasting Recap

Over 100 members and guests attended the February 24 Mini-Tasting at six host sites. The blind tasting consisted of five flights of two wines each with wines from the Sonoma Coast, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Rita Hills, Russian River, Carneros, Santa Lucia Highlands, and Willamette Valley (Oregon). The scores for the wines were very close, […]
Login required in order to make a purchase

Cabernet Sauvignon Mini-Tasting: Recap

A total of 108 members and guests attended the November Mini-Tasting held at six host sites. The blind tasting consisted of five flights of two wines each with wines from Napa, Alexander Valley, and Paso Robles. The top three favorite wines of the six host sites were:

Placement Winery Name Year PRICE DESCRIPTION
1st Francis Ford Coppola 2015 $17.00 King Kong, Sonoma, OCWS Gold 2017
2nd Lancaster 2014 $55.00 Alexander Valley, Estate, WS 94
3rd Frank Family 2014 $55.00 Napa Valley, WS 91

In addition, attendees brought a delicious dish to share and then voted on a Chef of the Evening. The results of the Chef of the Evening at each host site were:

  • Hosts Barbara and Dave White: Joyce Coker for Wild Mushroom Lasagna
  • Hosts Greg and Cathy Risling: Elaine Watrous for Zuppa Tuscana
  • Hosts Virginia and Karl Kawai: Jim Burk for Braised Beef in Wine Sauce & Shirley McManus for Potato Cheese Casserole
  • Hosts Tina and BJ Fornadley: Tina Fornadley for Beef Lasagna with Pesto
  • Hosts Marcia and James Vaughan: Barbara Schneider for Overnight Glazed Short Ribs
  • Hosts Bob and Janae Unruh: Lynelle Hustrulid for Better Than Sex Dessert

Congratulations to all the winners, and a big  thank you to all the Hosts!

– Bill Redding & George Cravens, Directors

Gold Medal Wines Mini-Tasting: Wrap Up

A total of 168 members and guests attended the July Gold Medal Mini-Tasting held at nine host sites. The evening began with a Gold medal winning wine from Gloria Ferrer, Blanc de Noir, Carneros.

A blind tasting followed with six flights of two wines each. The superb selection of wines chosen by Chris Cunningham had tough competition with many sites reporting “ties” for the top wines.

The three favorite wines of the nine host sites are listed below:

  • First Place: Ballantine, 2015 Zinfandel, Napa Valley at $30
  • Second Place: J. Lohr, 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Hilltop, Paso Robles at $35
  • Third Place: 2015 Eberle, Barbera, Kokopelli, Steinbeck, Partridge Vineyards, Paso Robles at $32

In addition, attendees brought a delicious dish to share and then voted on a Chef of the Evening. The results of the Chef of the Evening at each host site are:

  • Host Chris Cunningham: Mike and Deborah Webber, Chile Relleno
  • Hosts Pat and Frank Solis: Tom Richey, Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends
  • Host Jolen Zeroski: Sheila Tedesco, Chocolate Fruit Cup with Sherbert
  • Hosts BJ and Tina Fornadley: Judy Koeblitz, Chicken Devine
  • Hosts Marcia and James Vaughan: Simone Dygert, Boeuf Bourguignon
  • Hosts Stephen and Nancy Edwards: Nancy Harman, Chicken Tortilla Soup
  • Hosts Sam Puzzo and Carol Frank: Carol Frank, Smoked St. Louis Ribs
  • Hosts Stacey and Wendy Taylor: Bill Forsch and Noel DeSota, Nicoise Salad
  • Hosts Craig and Ronna Rowe: Kathy Krieger, Blackberry Crisp

Congratulations to all the winners and a big thank you to the Hosts! A special thank you goes to Chris Cunningham for his selection of the Gold Medal wines.

For additional information on more award winning wines, visit  winecompetition.com.

Please send your recipes to Bill Redding at Bill@ocws.org as a possible recipe in a future newsletter article.

– Bill Redding, Director

Syrah & Petite Sirah Mini-Tasting: The Results Are In

On April 22, OCWS members and guests attended the April Mini-Tasting at four host sites. The blind tasting consisted of five flights of two wines each with wines from Paso Robles, Santa Barbara, Santa Rita Hills, Dry Creek, Amador County, Australia’s Eden Valley and Barossa Valley. The tasting, in addition to Syrah, included two Petite Sirahs and two Shiraz from Australia. The top five favorite wines from the host sites were:

Placement Winery Name Year Price Description
1st Macchia 2015 $25.00 Petite Sirah, ‘Dubious’  OCWS Gold
2nd Halter Ranch 2014 $35.00 Syrah, Adelaida District
3rd Ridge 2014 $35.00 Petite Sirah, Lytton Estate, Dry Creek
4th EB Winery 2014 $31.00 Syrah, Santa Barbara, OCWS Silver
5th McPrice Myers 2013 $20.00 Syrah, ‘Right Hand Man’ Central Coast

In addition, attendees brought a delicious dish to share and then voted on a Chef of the Evening. The results of the Chef of the Evening at each host site were:

  • Hosts Pat and Frank Solis — Eric Kalnes — Tri Tip
  • Hosts Bob and Judy Koeblitz — Carolyn and Phil Wallace — Asparagus Wraps
  • Host Linda Bauermeister — Linda Bauermeister — Lasagna
  • Hosts Kern Vogel & Linda Martin — Bill Forsch & Noel DeSota — Billy’s Crying Tiger Rip with Cilantro Shrimp and Rice Noodles

Congratulations to all of the winners and a big “thank you” to the hosts! Please send your recipes to Bill Redding at Bill@ocws.org for posting on the OCWS website.

– Bill Redding, Director

Pinot Noir Mini-Tasting: The Results Are In

A total of 88 members and guests attended the February 4 Mini-Tasting at five host sites. The blind tasting consisted of five flights of two wines each with wines from Carneros, Santa Barbara, Paso Robles, Santa Rita Hills, Sonoma and Santa Lucia Highlands. The top three favorite wines of the five host sites were: First […]
Login required in order to make a purchase