By guest Wine Chix Carmen Micheli
Carmen is a freelance wine, food and music writer living in Temecula Valley Wine Country. An amazing home chef, mother of two and wine aficionado she writes about those in-the-know and on-the-go. With a pulse on the latest in dining, entertainment, events and more, Carmen delivers the latest news and happenings around the city, showcasing the best that Temecula Wine Country and the SoCal area has to offer.
The ladies of the Woman’s Wine Council (WWC), Temecula, CA, are always finding new ways to keep things interesting at their monthly wine reviews. The lineup for the recent July 2012 WWC meeting consisted of 2 eco-friendly, 100% recyclable “Green Box” wines courtesy of Don Sebastiani and Sons; The Big Green Box Chardonnay and The Little Green Box Pinot Grigio. Also, 4 very different and unique Pinot Noir wines from California and Chile: A Pepperwood Grove Pinot Noir, a 2010 Buena Vista Pinot Noir Viticultural Society Sonoma, a 2008 Vergari Pinot Noir Marian County, and a 2007 Vergari Pinot Noir Van der Kamp Sonoma Mountain.
Don Sebastiani and Sons have an affordable, earth-friendly way to enjoy some of their Pepperwood Grove Wines. Green Box Wines are packaged in an eco-friendly container sourced from sustainable forests. The Big Green Box Chardonnay ($19.95) is equivalent to (4) 750ml bottles. The Chardonnay carries beautiful notes of vanilla and orchard fruit on the nose with an exceptionally smooth and toasty finish. It pairs nicely with a wide range of foods from dried passion fruit to chicken salad stuffed tomatoes with avocado. The box is 100% recyclable and takes less energy to produce than 4 glass bottles reducing the carbon footprint.
The Little Green Box Pinot Grigio ($4.99) is perfect to pack in a cooler or picnic basket. The size, about ¾ a bottle of wine, makes it quick to chill and convenient to take along on any outing. The crisp, light fragrance of pears and honeysuckle blossoms accent this dry yet faintly sweet Pinot Grigio. This wine is exceptionally food-friendly. I enjoyed it with a chilled broccoli tortellini pasta salad, but simple sliced green apples dipped in honey and rolled in walnuts went just as well. I would never have guessed that these fabulous wines came out of a box and I love the whole idea of offering a “green” container option. Save money and get the same great high-quality wine now in an earth-friendly container. Find out more at: http://www.donandsons.com/ourwine/biggreenbox/index.php
The WWC 1st place Buena Vista Pinot Noir Vinicultural Society Sonoma 2010 ($16) has lovely deep flavors of blackberry and red plum. The long, silky finish is attributed to the rich tannins produced from the longer and cooler growing season of that year. The full body and earthiness of the wine pair nicely with mushroom flatbread finished with balsamic vinegar. However, I preferred the wine most just by itself. This very small production wine is part of the Vinicultural Society collection formed by winery founder, Count Agoston Haraszthy, in 1863. Learn more and purchase this wine at: http://www.buenavistawinery.com/wines
Pepperwood Grove Pinot Noir from Valle Central, Chile ($7) is just about everything you should expect of a Chilean Pinot Noir. The layers of toasted hazelnut and earthy mushroom on the nose followed by flavors of black cherry, and a hint of caramel and nutmeg are instantly comforting. Picture a log cabin in the woods, sitting in a rocking chair on the porch under the stars, where smells of burning wood from the fireplace linger in the fresh mountain air. This is the place the wine evokes. It would pair well with just about any traditional Italian dish or a nice grilled burger or steak. Check out the fun family history of Don Sebastiani and Sons and purchase their wines at: http://www.donandsons.com/history/
2008 Vergari Pinot Noir Marin County ($33) is medium-bodied and smooth with notes of spice and red cherry. After allowing the wine to decant, aromas and flavors of dried cranberries also came forth. I liked this wine best paired with goat cheese, fig jam, toasted pecans, and arugula topped mini-toasts.
2007 Vergari Pinot Noir Van der Kamp Sonoma Mountain ($39) is a pleasant ruby color in the glass and has prominent dark cherry and earthy aromas accented with thyme and red berries on the palate. This nicely balanced wine paired well with baked pita chips topped with roasted garlic hummus and also with honey/walnut topped water crackers. To learn more about owner/winemaker David Vergari or to purchase Vergari wines visit www.vergariwines.com. Readers can get a special discount on the Vergari wines by following these instructions: Go to the website, www.vergariwines.com
The Home Page will appear…click on “New Release Club” The New Release Club page appears…click on “Members Area” which will take you to the order page.
All of the wines listed can be purchased directly from the winery, or on the web. Grab a bottle (or box) and enjoy!