Girls n Grapes: A Summer Wine Picnic

Time is just flying by these summer months!  And as I would love for the August summer clock to tick a bit slower, I still found myself these past few weeks counting down the days to our Girls August Tasting NiteBlogs past recap our past events, yet none can seem to truly encapsulate the amount of passion, energy and enthusiasm that is felt and shared each time our group convenes.  Each time, I leave with a sense of fulfillment – smiling from ear to ear all the way home – recapping the combination of wine remarks, conversations and stories.  Yet, my favorite part is always the next day when I look back over the scribbled mess of wine notes I’d taken just the nite before.  The notes remind of the stories that came from each sip – listening to each girl’s account of what that ‘smell’ reminded them of in years past.  And with each account, a new story and a new memory shared between friends.

Our grandmother’s gardens, that strawberry candy we had as kids or the smell of a fresh fall September morning. 

All in all, a lovely reminiscent evening of story telling, sharing and laughter over a fabulous selection of great summer wines.  And one, I can barely wait for, as we set our date for the following month. 

And so, with a whopping 14 wines under our belts from the nite before, I transcribe  and share this lovely and unique list of summer wines for you to enjoy!

  1. Rosa del Rosa Nebbiolo Rosé- IT- $17:  Dark Pink, sweet cherry & watermelon jolly ranchers in the nose.  Brite, herbal and weirdly abrasive.  Half said we liked it, other half said ‘nope’. 
  2. Can Feixes Penedés Blanco- SP- $16:  Gun flint barrel and petrol in the nose, notes of sea salt and brine.  A bit flabby on the palate, but strangely alluring…because it was so unique!  We agreed to LIKE.  Perfect Pairing Idea:  Serve with a potato pancake, sour cream, chives and applesauce.    Retail:  Solo Vino
  3. Valle Reale Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Rosé- IT – $20:  Dark cherry in color. Nice, strawberry, supple, juicy candy peel.  Reminds us of those shiny wrapped strawberry candies as kids – the ones with the chewy centers to them.  Really lovely wine.  We all LOVE!Valle Reale    Retail:  Solo Vino
  4. Chateau Font Mars Picpoul de Pinet- FR – $15:  Fresh, crisp green apple.  Clean, floral, lemon curd melangé – soft and pineapply on the palate.  Delicious!  Retail:  France 44
  5. Burgans Albarino – Rias Baixas, SP – $14:  Briny, creamy, white flowers and hints of kiwi fruit.  Nice.    Retail:  France 44
  6. Vietti Roero Arneis- IT – $30:  Fresh oyster shell, lemon and lime scents w sweeping aromas of MN Honeycrisp apple.  A crisp September morning.  Palate is honied with drips of lite caramel.  Absolutely IN LOVE with this wine.                 Retail:  Haskell’s, Minnetonka
  7. Chateau Brondelle Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon- Graves, FR – $15:  Smells exhausty, yet alluring with notes of green grass, cat pee and grapefruit.  We swear it is NZ Savi, it is so distinctively New World in the nose.  Really grapefruity as it opened up.  But were surprised once revealed!  We agree to be okay with it.    Retail:  Pairings Wine Market
  8. Domaine A. Et P. De Villaine Aligoté- Bouzeron, FR – $20:  Wow!  Honey crystallized with bits of warm ginger, oily and sort of wet wool.  Had almost a creamy Creme Fraiche smell about it – nice.  I think it’s reminiscent of Chenin from the Loire – but was spoofed by this Burgundian beauty.  We like it.Bouzeron    Retail:  Solo Vino

9.  Aveleda Fonte Albarino- Vinho Verde, SP – $10:  Oily, crisp but hints of bar chalk.  Gr apple with a slite lime peel zest – sweet tart chalk – sort of candied.  Very easy drinking and a steal for the $$$!Albarino    Retail:  France 44

10.  Nikolaihof ‘aged’ Gruner Veltliner- Wachau, Austria:  You can smell the age.  ‘Smells Victorian, almost Baroque’ says Lindsay!  Like those little mini Cherobs flying around… What kind of tasting notes are these anyways?!  Yeasty and oily like your grandmother’s wallpaper – yet, we really like it!!

11.  Cade Sauvignon Blanc- Napa- $30:  Soapy, chalky and minerally on the nose.  Really abrasive on the palate and severely disjointed.  First wine of the nite we did not like and would not recommend.  Seriously, a bad way to spend your dollar and cents.Cade Sauvignon Blanc    Retail:  Pairings Wine Market

  1. 12.  Trimbach Riesling – Alsace, FR- $20:  Petrol, dry, crispy with hints of earth and spice.  Clean too.  We really like it.  A nice, clean cut DRY Riesling.  We might LOVE this one.  Oh and P.S., I love Hubert Trimbach!     Retail:  Byerlys
  2. 13.  Innocent Bystander Moscato- Victoria, Auz- $14:  Yippeee!!!  A gorgeous pink bubbly.  Looks orangey, yet we are in the dark by now and have had a few, so it’s unclear what color it really is!  Notes of orange creamsicle, orangey zest, really LOVELY!  Smells like Lindsay’s grandmother’s rose garden.  Gosh, Lindz is on a roll here tonite.  This is really good, we’re pretty sure.  And, a great Buck-for-Buck Wine!Innocent Bystander    Retail:  Pairings Wine Market

14.  Quadrio Nebbiolo- IT- $20:  Earthly and mushroomy, smells like dried flower petals.  Also a bit sulfur-y.  Sulfur drops out and the palate is dry, and begs for risotto.  We are very happy to have this one red in our tasting!  We enjoy it immensely.    Retail:  Solo Vino

So there you have it.  A gorgeous array of fresh summer wines, intertwined and perfect paired to an amazing group of wine lovin’ ladies!

2 thoughts on ““Girls n Grapes: A Summer Wine Picnic”

  • Kim B

    Hi… I am wondering if you know of any wine clubs in the Twin Cities? I am learning about wine on my own but it would be more fun with others. Thanks!

  • Leslee

    Hi Kim B!
    Thanks for reading the Crush Pad. While there are a few ‘wine clubs’ in the area, I feel a better route to learning more about wine is by ‘tasting’ through a variety of different events/classes/retail tastings across the cities. Clubs can sometimes become biased or pricepoint snooty -classes like mine at Cooks of Crocus Hill, or even some of the great retail tastings are truthfully, so much more fun! Folks of ALL wine drinking levels are there to enjoy and learn but also to meet other folks like yourself! Retail locations like Solo Vino & Pairings offer great (FREE) in store tastings weekly – often times, featuring Winemakers or Winery Ambassadors. This, a great way to learn the fun facts behind certain regions, grapes and the wineries themselves. Plus, they are really great places to go & taste at your leisure. Thanks for your comment, Kim and Good Luck. ~Leslee

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  • Leslee, I had the privilege to attend your ‘Wine around the Globe’ class last night at Dolce Vita. All I can say is, WOW!
    My wife and I had an amazing time. The passion you bring is very contagious!
    I look forward to attending more of your events in the near future.
    Troy S.
    Chaska, MN