Sunday, November 7, 2010

AtoZ Oregon Pinot Noir `07 $19.99 (not TJ's) **

I was on a Pinot Noir roll and I heard about a local tasting - I piled my non participating accomplice into the Mini, bribed with the promise of  bakery goods from next door and we were on our way!  The upshot is,  I loved what I was tasting (Argyle Pinot Noir and Flowers Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir), but I balked at paying over  $42.00 for a bottle of Pinot, so we went to the "Pinot Wall" at Greenvale Grapes and my accomplice and I picked a wine by label and price. I finally decided on the AtoZ Pinot Noir because it is from Oregon, and I think that Oregon is beautiful (I haven't had enough of their wine to have any real opinion on their wine making).

Saturday's  supper was a simple sausage and cream sauce pasta with pumpkin ravioli and spaghetti squash.  For this menu, the pinot was a lightweight fighter in a heavyweight ring.  It didn't have the power to hold up to the rich meal, as a matter of fact, it tasted like a watered down blackberry/current wine. It was just too delicate and although it had a strong tannin finish, I didn't taste anything but weak berry flavors. I was not happy.  Running it through the vinturi did nothing to it.

Since the combined wisdom in choosing the wine was: Varietal, label, price and a romantic attachment to the provenance - I knew it was a risk.  Although, since I bought it at my first time at Greenvale Grapes (and NOT my last, they're next between my bank's ATM  and my favorite pastry shop Leonetti's) it was auspicious! They sold me a bottle of malbec as a buy one get one for .99cents. I can't wait to review my .99 cent Argentinian wine!

Sunday Lunch
The next day, when we were experimenting with leftovers for lunch, I decided it would only be fair to give this wine another shot. MEH was lamenting the current "mini" trend in Hors d'œuvres (mini cheeseburgers, mini grilled cheese and tomato soup in a shot glass etc...), and I had a flash of inspiration, why not bake some ham, cheese and wheat thins and play with flavor profiles while we wait for the leftovers to heat in the over?  Seemed like a fun win/win, and I would try the wine with a sweet/savory food rather than a rich creamy one.It worked, the Pinot is acceptable with small nibbles.  But is it worth $19.99 - No.  For that, it gets two stars.

I'm not on a Pinot Noir high anymore; although I am mulling the thought of drinking just one varietal for a week (after Christmas, when it is just me, the dog & the cat) and then my taste testing chops may be developed - or, maybe not.  For sure I'll be posting.  Maybe I'll do Pinot Noir, maybe I'll do Gewurztraminer... hmm, I'll have to mull this one over... mmmm mulled wine.... (That was my inner Homer Simpson coming through), it should be an adventure no matter what varietal I choose and you'll be the first one to hear about it (the dog is deaf).

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