Wednesday, November 4, 2009
A Rustic Wine Tasting
It’s been an annual tradition for me since college graduation. Each year my good buddies and I gather at a rustic cabin in West Virginia’s Seneca State Forest for a weekend or more of hiking, cooking, music and general fun.
There have been one or two years where we’ve gone to other locations – like Hocking Hills in Ohio or a rental house at the Outer Banks. But the real heart of the group beats the strongest in the cabins deep in the forest next to the Greenbrier River. Our annual get together has ranged from a low of four people to more than 20.
Part of the charm – some would say madness – is that the cabin has no electricity, running water or modern conveniences. You pump the water from the well, cook with a wood stove and use gas powered lights. There is a nice gas powered refrigerator. To take the chill off the frosty mornings, you throw another log in the fireplace.
In short, it is just what the doctored ordered after a heavy travel schedule and an inbox bursting with a non-stop stream of e-mails. There is no cell phone service for miles and no internet.
To accompany our rustic meals the gang brought plenty of wine including the two I’m featuring in this post: Pacific Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles 2003 and Glenora Pinot Blanc 2007.
The Pacific Estates Cab is a delicious wine that my wife originally picked up at a wine tasting at Vino 100 in Maumee several months ago. It was so great that we bought two additional bottles to have on hand for special occasions.
Our two good friends, Russ and Eileen, had joined us on a wine tasting trip to the Finger Lakes last year. At their suggestion, we started our trip with a tasting at Glenora Wine Cellars and lunch at their outstanding restaurant Veraisons. It was spectacular. (Very soon I’ll be posting a winery visit report from this year’s visit.)
Knowing their taste for Glenora wine, we were sure to pack the Pinot Blanc.
Our meal on our arrival night was a delicious chicken dished prepared with an assortment of peppers. Green Dragon had prepared a spicy squash soup with lime and coconut.
The Pacific Estates Cab is soft and round with little of the tannins that Green Dragon tends to dislike. It has a rich flavor of blackberries and has a lingering finish and fragrant nose.
The Pinot Blanc is a very interesting wine. This is a white grape that is a genetic mutation of Pinot Noir. Apparently Pinot Noir is genetically unstable and a vine will occasionally produce all black fruit and one cane of white. It has elegance with a pleasant crispness that tasted almost spicy to me. It has notes of pear and citrus. It is barrel fermented which provides a mellow taste of oak on the palette.
After the great meal and superb wine, it was time for a walk to the river…