Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sort This Out Tasting Room, Solvang CA

This is my second time at this lovely little tasting room located in Solvang, CA.  The theme is 1950's pin-up and Las Vegas, with black and red splashes everywhere along with dice and cards.  The pourers were very friendly both times I came here, even when they're the only ones there and have 5 different parties to attend to. The labels are fun and creative, which makes this an enticing stop when you're walking through the little Danish town of Solvang.  Visit their website here

For a tasting of 6 wines, it cost $10 each.  However, if you go to the visitor's center or have Foursquare, oftentimes you can find a 2 for 1.

Viva Las Vegas White Blend (2010), $17: "Made from grapes grown throughout California's diverse wine country. A crisp and refreshing anytime white wine with flavors of citrus, pineapple, and guava.  An eclectic blend of Pinot Grigio, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc.  Sip a bottle poolside or even over a light picnic lunch."
  • Color - light, slightly golden, very clear.
  • Viscosity - no legs.
  • Aroma - slightly citrusy and mildly sweet.
  • Taste - crisp yet sweet, slightly fruity.
  • Overall - I am not a big fan of white wines, so I'm not the best person to ask how one white wine compares to another.  My main determinant for a 'good' white wine is if I could see myself drinking a couple glasses, and I probably could with this one.

"Stacked Deck" Rollers Reserve Pinot Noir (2010), $42: "A Gamble stacks a deck to gain an advantage.  Our advantage is the perfect weather of the Central Coast for the Pinot Noir grape.  Rich pomegranate, hibiscus tea and cherry jolly rancher all come to the table with this nicely balanced gem."
  • Color - Medium burgundy and garnet, smoky.
  • Viscosity - slight legs.
  • Aroma - sweeter than a normal Pinot.
  • Taste - I do taste the 
  • Overall - I am not a big fan of white wines, so I'm not the best person to ask how one white wine compares to another.  My main determinant for a 'good' white wine is if I could see myself drinking a couple glasses, and I probably could with this one.  Both my friend and I agreed that this was one of our favorites on the list; we gave it a 3.5/5.

Oh My Gosh! Grenache (2010), $35: "Candied raspberry, cherry and strawberry flavors give this hearty wine some playful characteristics along with a rich spicy undertone  The well integrated tannins make for a nice pairing with pork, lamb and mexican cuisine.  Inspired by the artists and models of the forties and fifties whose work, featured on gentleman's magazine, often poke fun at the sometimes ill-fated women flirting with disaster."
  • Color - Rosy and pink in small quantities, very pretty.
  • Viscosity - Low viscosity.
  • Aroma - Low sweetness, pleasant.
  • Taste - Raspberry and cherry with a slightly smoky finish.
  • Overall - Although I normally love Grenache, this one in particular did not really blow us away. It was alright, and we didn't hate it, but it wasn't as smooth or tasty as we had hoped.  We gave it 2.5/5.

VinoNostra - "This Wine of Ours" Red Wine (2009), $45: "A tribute to the Prohibition-era winemakers who kept wine flowing, and the 'Tough Guys' who distributed it. VioNostra's 'blend' is as secretive as the location of your neighbourhood Speakeasy and we aint tellin'.  A unique wine that you're going to love.  Choose from 2 different labels - Mobsters or Bootleggers."
  • Color - Deep burgundy.
  • Viscosity - Medium legs.
  • Aroma - Sweet and musty, and as described by the pourer, 'like blueberry pancakes.'
  • Taste - Deeper and more complex than the rest.  I tasted cherry, blackberry, blueberry, with a pleasant musty finish.
  • Overall - This was our favorite wine out all of them.  It had a perfect balance of fruity flavors along with the deep and complex beauty of a really good red wine.  We gave this 4/5.

"The Joker" Old Vine Zinfandel Port (2010), $40: "Hints of black pepper and spice maintain a smooth balance with the overwhelming red fruit flavors that jump out of the glass.  Think cigars, after dinner, dessert or just about any vice your heart desires.  The unique, fun bottle features silk-screened artwork of vintage Joker playing cards."
  • Color - Very deep burgundy with brown tinges.
  • Viscosity - Big legs.
  • Aroma - Candied and sweet, yet not overpowering. Slightly spicy.
  • Taste - Incredibly sweet and deep, yet tasty.  Very fruity as well, and I don't think I could drink more than a small glass. 
  • Overall - Although I love sweets, I'm not a big fan of Ports or dessert wines.  They're fun to taste and try out, but I can't really see myself buying or enjoying a full bottle.  With that said, this was not the worst Port I have ever tasted... we gave it a 2/5.
Hot Spice Mulled Wine, $25: "Served warm, this is a traditional european treat.  We use our red wine, simmer in mulling spices, add our own twist to it and the addiction begins! Great for holiday parties, gifts, cold nights, cold days, warm nights, - you get the picture."
  • Color - Brownish and dark.
  • Viscosity - Light.
  • Aroma - Sweet and spicy, like Christmas.
  • Taste - This tastes like the perfect cider with lots of spices.  It was sweet, but not too sweet; I could have multiple glasses. 
  • Overall - We loved this mulled wine.  It is absolutely delicious and reminds me of the holidays.  We loved this so much that we ended up choosing this as our take home bottle.

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