On Thursday, September 8th, Washington Wine and Spirits held its inaugural wine dinner focused on the history of California winemaking presented by Wallace L McKeel of Purveyor of Fine Wines. The dinner featured six outstanding wines from historically relevant wineries carefully paired with appetizing cuisine from Doe’s Eat Place. Mrs. McKeel has led a handful of these courses and was very eager to bring this event to Monroe!
The story began with how grapes first arrived to California during the Spanish missions. Many unforeseen events forced them to adapt on multiple occasions. California wine felt the effects of major events such as the Prohibition, the Great Depression, and World War II. Scientific inventions of the 1960s and 1970s as well as pop culture from the 1980s and 1990s were also major influences on the California wine trade. Mrs. McKeel led the guests through this engaging and rich story while providing a hands on experience through the wine and food pairing.
The dinner started with a small introduction and quickly moved into the main courses. The featured wines for the event included Heitz 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Kistler Vineyard 2013 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, Merry Edwards 2014 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc, Paul Hobbs 2012 Ross Station Estate Chardonnay, Seghesio 2011 Home Ranch Zinfandel, and Shafer 2013 Napa Valley Merlot.
The Heitz Cabernet Sauvignon was fortunate to have an almost perfect growing season and highlights rich and silky tannins. This wine is ready to enjoy now or treasure later. Kistler Vineyard Pinot Noir received a score of 94 points from renowned wine critic Robert Parker and expresses notes of wild berries, ripe plums, and subtle earth tones in a medium-bodied and rich style. Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc received a rating of 93 points from Wine Spectator and 90 points from Wine Enthusiast. This wine boasts flavors of tropical fruits, lemon, honeysuckle, and crisp, fresh acidity.
Paul Hobbs 2012 Chardonnay, the first vintage of this cuvee, definitely stands out from the crowd with its 96 points rating from Robert Parker. This Chardonnay is full-bodied with a long-lasting finish and has notes of lemon blossom, white peach, and oak hints. Seghesio Zinfandel, awarded 92 points from Wine Enthusiast and 90 points from Robert Parker, is a great example of this varietal by expressing notes of raspberry, cherry, spicy aromas, and noticeable tannins towards the end. Shafer Merlot also received great ratings with 92 points from Vinous. With a small percentage of the blend including Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec, this wine gives you a little extra on the palate. Highlighted flavors include dark berries, vanilla, black currant, and smoke with firm, rich tannins to finish.
Whether you have a new-found appreciation or a long-standing love for wine, this dinner guaranteed a great time for all levels of knowledge and enthusiasm. On behalf of Washington Wine and Spirits, we’d like to welcome you to the newest bottle shop in Monroe.
Thank you to everyone for your support for our inaugural wine dinner! We look forward to hosting many more in the near future.