Monday, November 18, 2013

Winery Visits #1-October Trip to Sonoma! Viszlay Vineyards in the Russian River Valley!

October was a very busy month for me. I was in California more than I was in Texas, which isn't that bad considering that CA is where all the great wineries are located-just my opinion! (Just so happens that my oldest daughter, her hubby, and my two oldest granddaughters are located there too!) 

We boarded a flight from DFW to LA where business was taken care of by the hubby, while I ventured to The Grove to spend time shopping and dining. 

That same evening we boarded another flight to San Francisco and headed to Healdsburg Hotel on the Plaza, my favorite place to stay! Thursday morning we hit the road running with our driver, Nicholas! I had a very intense list of wineries to visit in one day. We began with
Viszlay Vineyards for a private tasting.

This is a small Russian River boutique winery nestled among 10 acres with 12 varietals planted. Their wines are amazing and John and his daughter Abby are so sweet. Here's what we tasted.

This sparkling Prosecco ($36) was wonderful and is made in a drier style than other Italian versions you might have had before. The winemaker said it tastes much like the 2008 version that won Best of Class in the North of the Gate Wine Competition in 2010.  

We also tasted two different  2010 Chardonnays- one being a reserve and the only way you could tell the difference before tasting was the foil around the neck of the bottle. Notice the last bottle in the row has a white foil. That is the reserve Chardonnay, which is sold out now.
The one next to it in a gold foil was just as wonderful. It sells for $36 a bottle. Both Chardonnays have a nice acidity with a smooth finish and a citrusy aroma. 

We tasted  a 2007 Petite Sirah ($42) that was classically dark and delicious with big fruit-forward aromas, but not overly oaky. So good!

Our next two wines to taste were the 2008 and 2009 Five Vines ($42 each). These wines are a Meritage of five Bordeaux varietals grown in their Estate vineyard. Each one leads with a Merlot, followed by a Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc. Each of these were aged in neutral oak barrels. These are a must to purchase!

We had a great time visiting with John and Abby. Another couple from the Dallas metroplex showed up with their driver and joined us for the tasting. They were early for their tasting, but we told them the more the merrier!

On our way to the car, we took pictures and Abby gave me a cluster of Prosecco grapes to enjoy during the day. I ate them before we left! I love grapes!!!!!

Enjoy Viszlay Vineyards wines!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Schweiger Vineyards #subzerowolf #dallas #schweigerwine

What an amazing evening at Sub-Zero & Wolf Appliance Showroom in Dallas last night! Being a volunteer for the American Heart Association wine auction committee has given me some very interesting and fun events to attend leading up to the Cotes du Coeur this coming March 2014.  

This is one beautiful showroom that no one should miss seeing. Located on Lemmon Avenue, the tri-level showroom has breathtaking vignettes featuring their appliances with outstanding kitchen designs by international cabinet makers. This showroom also features a state-of-the-art cooking demonstration kitchen where our 4-course dinner was prepared last evening by Executive Chef Garth Blackburn. 

Schweiger Vineyards is the Tete du Cuvee Honoree this year for the Cotes du Coeur. Diana Schweiger was present to engaged the attendees in their wines paired with Chef Blackburn's dinner. 

We began with a 100% 2012 Sauvignon Blanc ($28) before the cooking demo which allowed guests to roam the building and view the awesome appliances in the vignettes. This is a wonderful, very crisp and refreshing wine best served at 52 to 58 degrees! This was served with some delicious passed hors d'oeuvres as the first course of the night.

 The guests begin to descend the staircase to the lower level cooking demo area. Once seated, Diana introduce herself and began to talk about their vineyards, how they got started and where it it today as a family business. I had been to the vineyards in 2012 and must say it is gorgeous, offering views of the parent's home in the distance from the porch of the tasting room. That's where we met Andrew, the winemaker and Diana's brother.

Chef Blackburn served butternut squash soup with our next wine, which was a 100% 2010 Chardonnay ($30). This wine was amazing, with no malolactic fermentation, and Andy Schweiger says is "more reminiscent of a classic Mersault than a typical California Chardonnay".

Our next course was a 6 oz. Heartland Brand tenderloin filet, broccolini bundles, and gold and white potato stacks. This was served with a lovely 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon ($58). Oh my goodness, this wine was like drinking velvet with essences of dark berries, plum, dark chocolate, and toasty oak. I don't know its current availability, but Diana thought we were served the 2008. What a pleasant surprise to us all when we found out it was a 2007! Yum!

The last course served was raspberry and blueberry white chocolate bread pudding with sweetened whipped cream. A solera aged, Cabernet Sauvignon based Port ($50) was served with this dessert. I'm not a Port drinker because I am usually so full at this point, I can't even eat a dessert, but I forced myself (haha)! The Port was excellent!
Hats off to Diana Schweiger from Schweiger Vineyards and Sub-Zero along with Chef Garth Blackburn for an amazing night of wine and food in a gorgeous setting!