Sunday, March 20, 2011

Myriad of Discoveries at Pasadena Tasting

Four hours, 200 wineries. Needless to say, there was enough juice at a recent Family Winemakers of California tasting to keep Vino Chick's head spinning like Linda Blair in an Exorcist-inspired frenzy.
The neat thing about this tasting, held at the Pasadena Convention Center, was that it allowed me to try wines from up-and-coming producers I had never encountered. Joined by fellow wine lovers Chris Kern ( and Cindy Juneau, we explored the offerings of Urban Legend Cellars, an East Bay Winery turning out hearty reds and elegant whites like their crisp, apple orchard-inspired Riesling.
Speaking of whites, one of those that really jumped out of the glass was the Thomas Fogarty Gewurztraminer..simply put, this honeyed, gorgeously spicy liquid will be my future bathtub wine of choice...whew!!
In my humble estimation, Chilean producer Alex Guarachi poured the most noteworthy Cab of the day, an '08 from his line of Guarachi Family Wines. Iconic Napa winemaker Paul Hobbs is responsible for this otherworldly bottling, full of ripe blueberries, pine and plush leather reading chair:

One Rhone blend from Paso Robles ended up on my 'head-turning' list. Flying Nymph is, quite simply, a fun wine. Creator Ted Plemons, owner of Cass Vineyards & Winery, is no less playful in his enthusiasm for "The Box."

All in all, a highly productive day...discovering new oenological treats for the palate is hard work, believe me...
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