Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Adorada Wines Aim To Create Fragrant, Sensory Experience

Most wines are crafted to appeal to the taste buds. Adorada is a treat for all the senses with stunning visuals and aromatics.

Is It Perfume Or Wine?

When presented with a bottle of Adorada wine, you can be forgiven if you mistake it for a gargantuan bottle of perfume. The label proclaims “Eau de California” and is printed in a style that mirrors high end perfume.

The bottle is also stylish, sealed with an angled coating of black wax. The beautiful color of the contents look remarkably like what you see on the counters in high end cosmetic departments.

We have to stop you right there. We don’t want you dabbing this wine behind your ears. That would be a terrible waste.

Adorada is the creation of winemaker Margaret Leonardi. The wines are meticulously crafted using distinctive aromatic grape varieties. We sampled two Adorada wines during a recent  Wine Studio education session.

How To Open A Wax-Sealed Wine Bottle

An initial hurdle was opening the wax-sealed bottle. I’ve had some less than successful attempts with other such bottles – resulting in long, frustrating opening times and crumbly wax in the wine. You can teach an old horse new tricks. I learned that you should hold the top of the bottle in hot water (only as far as the cork so you don’t heat the wine) for about a half minute. Then insert your corkscrew into the cork right through the wax seal. Twist and then pull up as usual – the cork comes up right through the wax.

The Adorada Experience

Our first bottle was the 2016 Pinot Gris. The grapes are 100% Californian, but the actual varieties are less certain. At least 75% must be Pinot Gris, but Adorada has blended a “selection of aromatic white grape varieties from premier vineyards” throughout the state. My guess is that there is at least some Viognier, a Rhone grape know for its aromatics.

We paired the Pinot Gris with Duo of Maryland Style Crab Cakes and Sautéed Lemon Garlic Shrimp with spinach polenta and buttered carrots. The awe-inspiring dish was prepared by the Green Dragon.
Both bottles have a gem-like color and have a touch of sweetness. Like the Oregon Pinot Gris that we favor, the Adorada had the pop of sweetness balanced with natural acidity. The flavor is a mélange of lemon and orange blossom.

A night later, it was time to open our second aromatic jewel: The 2016 Rosé. The color is a dazzling orange-rose-salmon. The aroma is an intoxicating blend of floral and fresh red berries. We drank in this wine with our eyes and noses before we tasted a drop.

The rosé was paired with Herb-Marinated Chicken Breast with Apricot Tri-Color Pepper Relish, fresh beet rounds and Mediterranean quinoa medley. The Green Dragon was on a culinary roll!

In our Wine Studio session with the winemaker, I tried getting the specific grapes used in the rosé, but no dice. I was told the information is proprietary. However, there are a lot of proprietary wine blends out there – but many of them still list the grapes (just not the percentages).

Since Adorada is located in Mendocino County, my guess is that this is a rosé of Zinfandel or Pinot Noir. Whatever the composition, this is a drinking experience that pleases the eye, nose and palate. The rosé is medium bodied, which is fuller than many blush wines. The aromatics “primed” our palates – loving it before the first sip. Juicy honey and strawberry flavors made this one of the best rosé wines we’ve had in months.

Adorada means “adored” in Spanish, and the wines are worthy of that name. This wines are a sensory experience and the price point is an affordable $20 each.

Not only are these wines suitable for special dinners and events at home, they would make excellent gifts. The packaging is so beautiful, that a positive impression is made even before the cork is popped. We sense the smell of success!

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