This is a sponsored post written by me in conjunction with a virtual wine tasting event hosted by
Snooth for Villa Maria Winery. Wine samples were provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links.
When I received an email from a contact at Snooth about taking part in a virtual wine tasting, featuring wines from New Zealand, I was intrigued. First, because I was completely unfamiliar with the winery - Villa Maria - itself and, second, because I can't think of many other wines that I've tried from New Zealand. I always love learning more about a new-to-me area. Besides, I love an excuse to have a wine pairing dinner.
We had a few technological difficulties logging into the virtual tasting from cell phones - and it would have helped if I remembered my password for the website - so I completely missed the online part of the tasting, but I did read the comments and posts after the fact. And, at least, I had my wines. Lori of Dracaena Wines was in New Jersey while her wines were delivered to California; she cursed her bicoastal life!
In any case, the tasting consisted of six Villa Maria's wines...
- Bubbly Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand SRP $15.00
- Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough SRP $14.00
- Private Bin Rosé, Hawkes Bay SRP $15.00
- Private Bin Pinot Noir, Marlborough SRP $18.00
- Taylors Pass Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough SRP $26.00
- Taylors Pass Pinot Noir, Marlborough SRP $42.00
Picture four boys, three gals, and two guys on the back patio. The kids are trying to pick tomatoes for the crostini. The guys are busily grilling sausages. And the girls are trying to pay attention to the virtual tasting while chatting about school, work, and life in general. Add to that a dog and a cat and you can imagine the chaotic hilarity that ensued. We didn't taste anything in order.
And everything was almost completely derailed when my husband opened up the Taylors Pass Pinot Noir and exclaimed, "Wow!" All heads turned to the table, "Which one is 'wow!'?" No, no, no, I bellowed. We have to taste them all. Greg from Tales of the Cork was more eloquent that just 'wow.' He chimed in with: "Pomegranate, dark fruit, spice--great to be paired with duck and pan seared salmon--my favorite. Yes, walnut and cranberry salad with stuffed mushrooms on the side." Now I need another bottle because that sounds amazing.
So, I started off with the Taylors Pass Sauvignon Blanc. It got a wow...without the exclamation mark. One said, "Whoa," but I don't know if that had an exclamation mark or not! When we started naming off what we detected. we got grapefruit, passionfruit, guava, and pistachio that opens up to kiwi. We decided it was definitely a complex which wine that was beautifully aromatic. Lauren of The Swirling Dervish commented an agreeable contrast with the tropical fruit and herbs and queried, "Do I have to share this one???" Nope, Lauren, it's all yours because we have our own bottles.
After the kids finished picking tomatoes, we poured more of the Taylors Pass Sauvignon Blanc and declared it a great fit for the Italian bite.
As the sun started to set, I didn't take very many other photos of the festivities. But the Private Bin Rosé poured to mixed reviews. The gals enjoyed it; the guys that it was too floral. We tasted the Private Bin Pinot Noir with grilled sausages; we poured the Taylors Pass Pinot Noir with shredded beef tacos and fresh salsa. Mike from Life at Table said, "This is the type of Rosé that you open with dinner, and before you know it you are slurring your words. In other words, DANGEROUS." Ha. So true. Jen of Vino Travels shared, "I love color with my Rosé and was a perfect day to open this on this warm day in Boston."
But the pairing that stole the show for us was actually my son's Unexpected Beignet Delight that we ate with the Bubbly Sauvignon Blanc. Really you can't go wrong with this...
The delicate bubbles of this wine were enlivened with vibrant citrus notes and a slightly floral aroma. Life at Table Mike called it 'frisky.' Winemaker Kathrin Jankowiec agreed, echoing 'frisky and sassy.' Love those descriptors! So apt. And while I went with a dessert pairing, Martin of ENOFYLZ Wine Blog said, "The sparkling Sauvignon Blanc has me craving...a goat cheese quiche with herbs!" I can totally see that, too.
What a fun evening full of delicious wines. A handwritten note on one of the tech sheet packets I had on the table read: "I approve of these wines. - MG" Me, too!
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*Disclosure: I received sample wines for recipe development, pairing, and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizer and sponsors of this event.