Monday, July 28, 2008
Hey now brother pour the wine...
Our trip North wasn't only to find disturbing Black Velvet paintings of the Pink Panther...
The plan was to do a small wine tour once we hit Ashtabula. We had visited a few vineyards last year, somewhat by surprise, and we unprepared for a day of drinkin'.
This time we had an idea of where we wanted to go and what we wanted to do. Kerrie, her sister Suzanne, and I were ready for an epic wine tasting adventure. NPH epic...
We started out at Ferrante's for a Winery tour and our first round of tastings. Perhaps I was being optimistic when I conjured up visions of touring a winery. I was thinking of oak casks and damp dark cellars. Nope, just some bimbo babbling on about the industry side of wine making. There was lots and lots of warehouse space and cold stainless steel, and not a single wooden barrel.
After the tour, which only lasted about 20 minutes anyway, we decided to get a sampler tray of wines and an appetizer dish of melted Mozzarella cheese, with tomatoes, artichokes and black olives.
Here's the tricky part... I'm no connoisseur. I know a litte bit about wine, but I have a pretty basic palette. I know what I like (Dry reds, slightly sweet and crisp whites) and what I don't like (syrupy sweet stuff, minus Port...). Over all, I'm just a regular Joe with a regular Job... I'm not a wine snob, so please take my ramblings with a grain of salt.
The wine tray we had consisted of 9 wines ranging from slightly sweet to dry. My favorite, which generally wins out when I look for wines to buy, was the Pino Grigio. I liked it for it's clean and crisp flavor. I envisioned several desserts I could knock out paired up with Ferrante's Pino.
After scraping out what little cheese was left from the plate, we decided to drive over to the South River Vineyard. South River is a winery which was placed in an old church. The church itself is beautiful, but the vineyards surrounding the building are amazing. If I didn't know better, I might have thought we weren't in Ohio.
However... The woman staffing the tasting bar wasn't too pleasant. She wasn't mean either, mind you, but I think she sized us up as "tasters" and just didn't care after that. Mental Note: I really should carry around a wad of $50's that could choke a donkey.
We tried 6 different wines before we decided to move on.
Now, here comes the surprise hit of the day: Laurello Vineyards. I can't say enough nice stuff about this place. As we entered, we were immediately greeted with smiles and the impressive opener: Are you having a good day? If not, you're about too... I instantly felt more at home and ready to do a full on tasting.
And we did. The woman working the counter was amazingly nice and talked us through everything we tried, THEN went and gave us a complimentary sample of the one wine we didn't try which wound up being my favorite of the whole day. Their Vidal Blanc was the one wine I absolutely loved and bought on the spot. After a cheese plate and 6 more wines, we knew it was time to slow down.
Kerrie and I left with one of the Vidal Blanc, as did Kerrie's sister. We finished our trek by heading back to Ferrante's to pick up one of their Rosato Blush wines and witness some drunk girl lying in the grass outside the vineyard. Classy.
All in all, it was great to get out and try a lot of different "good" wines. I'm very much looking forward to doing it again. Who's with me?