I went wine tasting in the hill country with some friends last weekend. It’s been a while since I’ve done this, and I’ve only gone wine tasting a couple times before. I can see why people enjoy it, though. Most of my wine experience has been trial and error when picking up wine to pair with dinners, and it’s generally more difficult to tell just how much I like a wine this way, having no recent comparisons to help. Plus, if no one at dinner likes the wine, we’re faced with the decision of wasting the wine and the money spent on it, or drinking something we don’t really enjoy. By comparison, wine tasting seems very appealing.
Favorite wine: Main Street Christmas
We started off in Fredericksburg at the Fredericksburg Winery. Here, you can taste 6 of their wines for free, and there are a few particular wines that you can taste for a small fee. Free is always good, especially if you have other stops for the day, so we tried the free tasting. I wondered why the last wine was ladled from a crockpot until I realized that it was a spiced wine, Main Street Christmas. It was delicious! It made me think of spiced cider, but with wine. It occurred to me that a bottle of this would make a great host gift for a holiday party, but since I have no holiday parties coming up, I decided I’d look up a recipe sometime and see how homemade spiced wine compares.
Grape Creek Vineyard
Favorite wine: Cabernet Blanc
After having lunch in Fredericksburg, we went to Grape Creek Vineyard. I’ve been to Grape Creek before, so I decided to sit this tasting out. I still remember that my favorite wine from last time was the Cabernet Blanc, a somewhat sweet rose. Most of the time when wine descriptions list the flavors you’re supposed to taste in the wine, I can’t actually taste anything similar to the description. However, the description for this wine is accurate when it mentions a hint of strawberries. Delicious! Unfortunately, wines from this vineyard aren’t sold in stores, so I picked up a bottle of the Cabernet Blanc to take home because I love it so much.
Torre de Pietra
Favorite wines: Black Spanish, Tango Port
Next we went next door to Torre de Pietra. This time we tasted wines at an outdoor bar. It was a beautiful day for this, and there was even live music. You get five wine tastings for $5, or two reserve wine tastings for $5. We opted for the five for $5 deal, but the person helping us was nice and slipped a couple extra tastings in (a good sales tactic, I’d say, since some of us ended up buying those wines). My favorite was probably the Black Spanish or the Tango Port. Something about the flavors, especially the aftertaste, in the Black Spanish was very different from any wine I’ve had before. As for the port, I never considered myself someone who would enjoy port, but I couldn’t stop sipping this one. It had a smooth, strong flavor, but it wasn’t overpowering.
Favorite wines: Claret, Barbera
Becker Vineyards was our last stop of the day. Here we tried six wines for $5, and they had plenty to choose from. Some wines are sold in stores, while others are sold only at the vineyard. I’ve always seen wines by this vineyard at the grocery store, but before this weekend I’d never actually tried them because I usually ended up picking up something else because it was on sale. I loved almost all of the wines I tried (Barbera, Claret, Malbec, Grenache, and Reserve Cabernet-Syrah), so I can say I won’t pass these by the next time I’m at the grocery store.