Last night was a busy night in the Twittersphere. My friend, Thea (@winebratsf), had posted on her Facebook a few days ago that she was participating in a Whole Foods Market wine tasting. Even though the tasting began at 5:00 p.m. PST, I decided to try and attend. Since I’d already signed up on Eventbrite for the #nouveauday and was planning on getting some of that as well, I knew it was going to be an epic night.
The two wines I purchased of the five were the Earthstone Sonoma County Merlot and the H&G Chalk Hill Cabernet Sauvignon. There were food pairing recommendations for each of the wines, and specific cheeses were suggested for the individual wines as well. I got the cheese for the merlot and the cabernet sauvignon, and also grabbed a young goat cheese to pair with the boujolais nouveau.
Even though I jumped on Twitter around 5:15-5:20, many of the tweets and the “moderators” at Whole Foods were already on the red wines.
The merlot was paired with a Cypress Grove Truffle Tremor cheese, which was an amazing pairing. The merlot, although normally a lighter bodied wine than a cab, was fuller in body and depth of flavor than the cab. This is a great wine, and many people were tweeting that they were interested in the merlot for their Thanksgiving dinners. The tasting notes Whole Foods supplied suggested, “Soft plum and blueberry beauty with notes of dried herbs, macerated fruit and white pepper.” I was attempting to taste and tweet simultaneously and did not make any notes. I have some of this wine left, along with the cheese, and I will be taking notes next time. Definitely a keeper.
The H&G Chalk Hill Cabernet Sauvignon was not a typical cabernet sauvignon. The Whole Foods in Lafayette didn’t have the exact cheese for pairing but I got another that, according to the cheesemonger, was comparable. Whole Foods’ tasting notes state, “Elegant with delicate mix of red and black fruit, tannins and gently acidity.” I am not sure if perhaps the merlot overpowered the cabernet and thus should have been tasted following the cabernet, or if the Truffle Tremor cheese, which was quite strong, overwhelmed the tastebuds. In any event, I still have a great deal of the cabernet left and will be drinking it alone in the future. I may pair it with the meal suggested in Whole Foods’ notes, a cranberry and apple stuff roast pork.
After the Whole Foods Twitter tasting, I took a break, made dinner and relaxed for a while. Then, #nouveauday. By the time I got the kitchen cleaned up after dinner and my son down to sleep, it was already at least 9:00 p.m. on the West Coast. Either Twitter was slow or many people already drank their wines, so the conversation on Twitter was less than I expected.
This was the first time I remember that I had participated in the November 17 harvest celebration, and I was under the impression this wine would be very light. I opened up the beajolais and, as per the notes I found online, the nose was rendolent of barely-ripe banana — insane! It was light and easy to drink, as much of the press had promised. It was not as effervescent as I thought and hoped it would be.
I had purchased two bottles of beaujolais nouveau, one at Whole Foods with a bright pink and white label. I also went to BevMo in San Ramon and purchased a “higher end” (Villages) which was the one with the banana nose. This bottle had the New York artist’s label with writing in “graffiti” font. The wine purchased at Whole Foods was opened, and I had about a glass. This wine didn’t have the depth of the other, and the nose was bright pear. I’m not sure I’ll participate in next year’s boujolais nouveau day, but I am looking forward to more events such as Languadoc Day, Cabernet Day, etc.
All in all, the evening was a success! It had been years since I’d done a live wine-tweeting event, and I’m glad I participated.