New Orleans Wine & Food Experience: Part 3 Saturday's Wine

Friday, we were a bit overwhelmed & just sort of bounced around the two ballrooms full of wine makers, importers, distributors & the chefs with the food...oh the food. Anywhere there was a white beacon, wielding sharp metal, there was also a queue of hungry epicureans waiting for a tasty morsel or two. Every time I turned around La would be stuffing a bite of something into my purple stained mouth.

Saturday we had a game plan. We studied the list of winemakers & crossed off what we tasted on Friday, so we could spend more time trying new wines. La was sticking to all whites & roses. I had so many reds that I missed the previous day, that I only tasted a few whites.

Day 2 Tasting Notes:

2004 KitFox Foxy Red Table Wine: I think most casual wine drinkers in this country have the wrong idea about table wine. Just the phrase invokes a big jug of non-vintage "Red Burgundy" from California...or...a bottle of Chianti wrapped in a basket. Usually cheap, acidic, swill. I have been guilty of this way of thinking, back when I was just the occasional wine drinker. This is not the case at all as proved by KitFox Foxy. Cab Sauvignon/Syrah blend full of blackberries, raspberries & blueberries. A touch of oak brings it all together with a touch of smooth tannins. Great velvety mouthfeel. A top Value at $12.

2004 Ménage à Trois Red Table Wine: (read above statement about table wine) Blend of Zinfandel, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Thick mixed berries. Jammy & fruit forward. Very round & voluptuous in the mouth. Great extended finish. Another great $12 value.

2004 Copola Zinfandel: Sweet, choco-bliss, subtle power, mixed berries & frim tannins. Nice long finish.

2004 MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noir Russian River Valley: deep back cherries on the nose & palate. Very earthy with some cola. Long spicy finish.

2004 MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast: Very floral nose, loaded with cherries. In the mouth it was silky with lots of cherry, blackberry & spice. Well balanced acidity & the tiniest scosh of tannins. Long spice filled finish.

2004 MacMurray Ranch Pinot Gris: Crisp, zesty, with lots of lemon & pear. Very nice.

2004 A to Z Pinot Noir: Blend from many vineyards throughout Oregon. Spicy, baked cherries, loaded with brown spice.

2004 Adelsheim Elizabeth's Reserve*: Intense, velveteen, rich fruit, with a touch of cedar. The finish sings.

2004 Elk Cove Mount Richmond Pinot Noir*: Bold, take charge pinot. Full of black cherry, raspberry, cola & brown spice. The lingering finish had a touch of clove.

2004 Redemption Zin: My zin pick of the weekend. From Dry Creek Valley. Medium-full bodied, full of blueberries, blackberries, raspberries & pepper.

2004 Mark West Pinot Noir: Made of grapes sourced from Corsica, France. Full Pinot made in the typical Central Coast style. Lots of cherry & raspberry balanced by lots of spice, cola & well integrated oak. Tart acidity & assertive tannins.

2001 Les Forots Côtes du Rhône: Loaded with old word charm. A touch of barnyard on the nose. Deep dark fruit, smokey, earth on the palate lead to a nice long finish.

*Part of the Oregon wine feature.

We tasted MUCH more, but these were the wines that compelled me to take notes. Forgive the cilche, but, there was so much to taste & so little time. We didn't really taste anything that turned us off except for a few over oaked chardonays & we stayed away from the Alize table no matter how enticing the neon blue concoction looked (I am being sarcastic, in case you didn't notice).

One of the great thing about the Grand Tastings was the sheer amount of wine, of course, but all the food being offered. You could literally walk around & grab whatever food looked good (all of it!) & then find whatever wine you thought would pair well with it & stop at many of the tables to enjoy.

If you are interested in who took home the hardware (Fleur De Lis Awards) check it out HERE.

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