Category Archives: Whites

White wine reviews

àMaurice Cellars

Winning the award for most spirited Tasting Room Associates is àMaurice Cellars.

As you can see, we are suffering horribly here.

àMaurice Cellars

Are their wines good? Yes, yes they are.  What’s more important?  Your authors could relax and take in the view, contemplating synergy and their friendly staff enjoyed leaving the shady tasting room to deliver a sip of our next tasting.

So, the kids were a lot of fun, definitely the highlight of our visit here.  (HINT: got a tasting room?  Keep your Associates chipper!)  In the “small town” vein, the gent with the golden hair says he was a server at a group dinner we enjoyed Thursday evening.  Just goes to show what it takes to make a life in this world.

Since we have to back up our reputation for not pulling punches on this blog, for my winery picnic money, I would absolutely choose Walla Walla Vintners as a place to sit and enjoy, which is only walking distance away.  Sorry, that place was frickin’ Winery Disneyland(tm) when we were there.

Meanwhile, there’s really no way around it. Those of us of a certain age can’t hear the name “Maurice” without this earworm.  It’s worse for Joyce and I because we bought a Ford Explorer from good friends who they’d named “Maurice”.

Somehow, when it came down to it, I wasn’t able to determine the “Maurice” angle here.  Pretty sure it doesn’t have anything to do with Space Cowboys.

Walla Walla Vintners

Wow, talk about a perfect afternoon.  What is there even to say about the wines at Walla Walla Vintners that wouldn’t be overshadowed by the sheer beauty of a perfectly crisp October afternoon sandwiched between the visual joy of mountains, vineyard, winery…

Walla Walla Vintners

Makes you just want to roll it up in a warm burrito and snuggle with it all.

Winery dog, OF COURSE.

On the right you can see two kids coloring in the sun.

Ok, I left out the photos of the smiling winery crew cheerfully punching down and forking casks back and forth because it makes my palms itchy since working a harvest season last year.  After that, it’s hard to sit down when others are doing work.

One thing you may notice about experiencing the Walla Walla region, is they are fond of breadsticks as tasting room palate cleansers, which is great as they are delish and fun.  WWV shared with us their secret: Safeway Select is the best.   Slightly salty and a touch of butter, I’d have to agree.  They got the yum.

 

Mark Ryan Winery

When in Walla Walla, do as the visitors to Walla Walla do – drop in on the Mark Ryan Winery tasting room.

Will you enjoy the wines here? I think so. What I think is most interesting is the message the visual design of space sends. It’s decorated with prints of Grunge and 90’s era Indie Rock posters of Seattle bands.  Why do I think that’s interesting?

This stuff was supposed to be transgressive!  We were bitter Gen-X’rs, punk rock souls railing against a world we didn’t fit into and didn’t seem to want us.  I assure you, we were not drinking fine wine.

And so, our past identities are recycled and fed back to us as a luxury consumer product.

Keep hitting the “random comic” button on Cat and Girl and eventually you’ll find something that explains exactly what I mean.

Hey! We ran into Mike and Liz!  Cool!

Drink up, big boy.

Mark Ryan Winery

 

Basel Cellars – Walla Walla, WA

After visiting the Figgins vineyard, our rag-tag caravan hoofed it into Basel Cellars.

As you can see, they have a stunning building.  They also had a fabulous spread of snacks out, that we fell upon like a plague of locusts.  In fact, the food was so good I don’t remember a dang thing about the wine.

They’ve got a lot of room, bring a few dozen friends!

They also have a sense of humor, as you can see below, as found above the john:

Vang Đàlạt Classic White Wine

Vang Đàlạt Classic White Wine

At last I found a locally-produced wine, made right here by the good people in Vietnam!  What?  Wine made in the tropical climate of Vietnam?  Here’s what wikipedia has to say:

The area was first cultivated for viticulture during the French colonial rule of the region in the late 19th century. The region’s tropical climate was ill-suited for the type of Vitis vinifera that the French colonists were used to and the wine industry turned its attention to fruit wineproduction. The late 20th century saw renewed focus on the development of Vitis vinifera with the assistance of flying winemakers from regions like Australia. In 1995, a joint venture with Australian winemakers started an aggressive planting scheme to reintroduce international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnayto land that was until recently littered with landmines left over from the Vietnam War.[1]

As I didn’t have a wine key of any kind along, I bought that barely-functional overly decorative souvenir de-corkifier, because I needed one and I’m a sucker for silly things to begin with.

So, what’s the wine like, Steve? Ok, I’m really a terrible wine taster as I can’t stop eating spicy food.  In fact, I sometimes eat food so spicy that people next to me start sweating.  So it’s no surprise that subtle flavors may escape me.  I think I can detect a little bit of pear and apple, it’s really a perfectly fine uncomplicated light white wine.  Not fabulous, but nothing wrong with it.

Google Translate of the wine description from their web site reads as follows:

With the complete fermentation technology from the bunch of Cardinal grape varieties to ripen to create notes of notes of grapefruit and lemon. Sour taste in harmony with the light aroma of balance. Dalat White Wine – Classic is the perfect choice for enjoying dishes made from seafood, poultry or salad.

These guys are a bit more judgemental, though they were drinking the red (which I haven’t seen yet) and it had to travel in a suitcase to NYC.

What A Sommelier Thinks Of Vang Dalat, The Mighty Table Wine Of Vietnam

Later that night I was relaxing in something like a Vietnamese sports bar, a simple place with cheap food, copious amounts of cheap beer, big TV screens and good people watching.  In another collision with our Western society, the Strongbow Cider brand ambassador girls came by.

Troon Carlton Wine Bar

What’s a Troon? Beats the heck out of me. I was figuring it’s some kind of Yeti, but we forgot to ask while we were at Troon’s Carlton Wine Bar.


Here’s a silly photo, just to show that they have a sense of humor.

Toon
Hey, check this out!  They’ve got a lovely back patio and encourage you to bring a picnic and enjoy the afternoon.


We had a nice time there, I bet you will too.  A little more on Carlton for you: http://www.visitcarlton.com/

Seafood Sundays at Teutonic Wines

Teutonic Wines has been hosting Seafood Sunday – a different seafood, a different seafood dish every sunday through this summer.  A great way to get people like us to drop in!  We don’t usually take food photos, but we’ll make an exception this time around.  Seafood Sunday continues through the end of September.

Joyce demonstrates the BBQ combo

BBQ!

Here’s Joyce showing off the Ahi tuna

tuna!

Here’s Steve with the crab mac ‘n’ cheese

crab mac 'n' cheese!

Yes, we are lunching at a picnic table in the bed of a pickup truck with our feet cooling in a kiddie pool!

pickup

…and if it’s not Seafood Sunday, you can still order a frito pie!

frito pie

Shafer Vineyard Cellars

Well the photo on their web site is so much better than our attempts you’ll just have to go look at it here: http://www.shafervineyards.com/

Just west of Forest Grove Shafer Vineyards is worth the trip just for the view itself. Something we noticed right away is they’ve been doing the do since 1978 and you can see it in the size of the vines they’ve got growing out of the ground there.

…and they are friendly. Here’s myself and Ryan, our man behind the bottles:

Shafer puts an unusual twist on the winery tasting room experience by also having an extensive collection of Christmas decorations available for sale … nearly every possible item the mind can conceive is available as a Christmas tree ornament, including St. Louis. You might as, “why, god, why?” And I would have to agree with you. However, there it is. Once you’ve figured out how to stay away from the Christmas stuff, you’ll find they have some very nice picnic tables just begging you to stay awhile and enjoy yourself, and I think you should!

The big winner in today’s wine lineup is clear, and it’s a white! (Frequent readers will know we’re more tickled by phat reds generally) Their 2014 Müller-Thurgau has an unusual and very pleasant flavor. Well, we like it at least, and maybe you will too.

wine