During a tasting you will be taught the finer subtleties of what to recognize with each glass. How it was made, what the process was and even what type of dish it can be enjoyed with.
Santa Barbara is the closest wine region to us and we went yesterday to do a few tasting.
Taking San Marcos Pass to the San Ynez Valley is in my opinion the most gorgeous area in the United States (disclaimer- I have not been everywhere in the US!) The wineries there are amazing and the views are spectacular. If there was ever an untouched Eden this might be a representation of that.
Bridelewood was my favorite vineyard on this tour- for the record it was not Dr. J’s- He preferred Melville’s winery which I crossed off my list because the view was not as spectacular and they did not make Port wines, which I love.
Most tasting provide you with a wine glass to keep and give you a sampling of 5 to six wines.
The tasting at Bridlewood started with a 2007 Chardonnay from Monterey County, made only in stainless steal vats and not the common oak barrels. The taste was light and “was crafted to emphasize the pure ripe fruit typical of the region.” I am a red drinker and I like my whites to be crisp so this wine was delightful.
The next wine was a 2007 Viognier reserve which had a lovely guava taste- Dr. J felt it had more of a pineapple taste. It is described as having aromas of “white nectarines, honeysuckle, tangerines, citrus…a blend of tart guava, peach and grapefruit with a creamy texture.” This white was a good combination of flavor and texture not often found in whites.
Our first red was the 2007 Arabesque a Southern Rhone-style blend which was a combination of red fruits (cherry, pomegranate, strawberry, raspberry) and smoky tobacco and cigar flavors a result of the oak barrels it was made in. I felt that it had a spicy flavor and could taste a hint of cedar wood.
The Syrah Central Coast a 2006 was my favorite red. It would be perfect with a beef stew on a cold winter night in front of a raging wood fire. It is described as opening “with aromas of smoke, cedar, and chocolate leading to bright cherry fruit” and of being “full of soft, chewy tannins”. I don’t know if I like using the word chewy when describing wine but it is a full bodied wine which coats your tongue in pleasant flavors.
The last wine was a predominantly coffee flavored wine which “opens with blackberry jam, violets and plum.” This wine was think and had a strong alcohol taste.
We also tried a port wine and dessert wine which were not on the regular tasting and they were both amazing.
There are two fantastic cheese shops in Santa Barbara on State Street, Say Cheese and The Cheese Shop, both of which have knoledgeble staff and a wide selection of amazing cheese, smoked meats, olives, dried fruits and wine.
Bridlewood is located at 3555 Roblar Ave, Santa Ynez, CA 93460
And you can order all of their wines from their website at http://www.bridlewoodwinery.com/