The November Mini-Tasting was held at six sites (members’ homes) across the county, with roughly 100 people enjoying 10 wines selected to pair with holiday dishes and comfort food. The attendees each contributed a dish and each site voted for their favorite who was awarded a bottle of wine as “Chef of the Evening.”
The wines were served in five blind flights of two wines each and the attendees judged each wine and voted for their favorites. There were several proprietary red blends in the wine lineup along with Pinot Noir, Syrah, Petite Sirah and Zinfandel.
The overall winner was an Estate Syrah from Halter Ranch in Paso Robles, followed by David Phinney’s “Eight Years in the Desert” and two Petite Sirahs. All 10 wines were purchased at Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa.
The three favorite wines across the six host sites:
|Wine & Winery
|This is a rich and roasty style of Syrah, starting with aromas of cocoa nibs, carob and espresso beans as well as blackberry paste and baking spice. Cocoa and coffee flavors give a nutty tone to the palate, which is warmed up by chai spices.
Eight Years in the Desert
California Red Wine
St. Helena, Ca.
|The nose is rife with notes of ripe blueberry, black plum, wild raspberry, espresso bean, sweet oak and a hint of crème de menthe and cedar. Bright acidity throughout the palate, the wine closes with round, ripe tannins, fresh pluot and dark chocolate.
Blend: Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah.
Los Olivos, Ca.
Santa Barbara County
|Deep powerful wine with inky dark fruit, lavender, chocolate, and black pepper. This friendly, heady Petite has a ton to offer.
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 Chris & Hank Bruce:
Ronna Rowe – Artichoke Dip
Host Lora Cross:
Germaine Romano – Salmon on a bed of Tropical Rice
Hosts Denise Casad & Dan Weddell:
Adrienne Davis – Creamed Corn
- Hosts Beverly Genis & Bob Topham:
Barbara Greenfield – “Super” Salad
- Hosts Virginia & Karl Kawai:
Eric Kalnes – Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Fig reduction
Hosts Don & Elee Phillips:
Kathleen Alva & Paul Wooldridge – Ribs
Congratulations to all the winners! A big thank you to the hosts!
—George Cravens, OCWS Director