Monday, November 20, 2006

Tasting of VIE Wines

A Wine and Food Tasting
Copyright by John Olney, 11/15/06

"On Sunday, November 12, 2006, I was invited to share dinner with a best friend, his wife and some other guests in Sonoma. I asked if I might hold a wine tasting before the meal for a sample wine I received from Brian Kane (founder and winemaker) of VIE Winery (web site: The hosts, John Naab (Operations Manager and Property Manager – Napa and American Canyon, R. Hess) and his wife Adrienne Love (technical clothing designer for Banana Republic – Embarcadero San Francisco) are both fine wine and food consumers and thought it would be a great idea. Also attending the tasting and dinner evening were Bill Dardon, ( a high end residential/commercial property realtor in Wine Country) and his wife, Margare (a sous-chef in the prepared food section of the Sonoma Market - Sonoma), and Dermit Whelan, (a retired Chef of 30 years and now performing Project Management for a framing company), and his wife Ithyl (She is employed at Kaiser Permanente in San Rafael). All are gourmet and fine wine enthusiasts.

VIE Winery provided me with a sample of their Howell Mountain 2004 Beatty Ranch Zinfandel of which they only produced 100 cases. The meal that we would be enjoying with this wine tasting event consisted of the following:
Caesar Salad w/anchovies
3 meat/portabella meatloaf (ground beef, pork & turkey)
Blue Cheese mash potatoes
Grilled Garlic Asparagus
Homemade French Baggett’s & Rye Bread w/cilantro garlic butter
Marrionberry pie w/Hagen Das French Vanilla ice cream
Sumatra mountain coffee
VIE Zinfandel about 15 minutes before the other guests arrived but John, Adrienne Love and myself could not help but venture a taste and swirl as soon as we opened the bottle. It was immediately obvious that this was going to be a great wine to share both before the dinner and with it. About 15 minutes later, we decided to try a second taste being careful not to consume too much lest the other guests not get any. It had opened quite nicely with a rich chocolate-caramel nose and flavor coming forth. John commented on the multiple berry flavors he was detecting.

Just about this time the other guests arrived. After all the introductions were done and pleasantries passed back and forth, everybody had a proper VIE ZIN tasting amount in their glass and were busily swishing, swirling and balancing the wine on their tongues letting their palates send them the evaluation. It was unanimous -- everybody thought the wine was absolutely excellent and could hardly wait to combine it with the food, the cooking odors of which had all licking their lips for dinner.

Although there were seven of us in attendance, the bottle served us well through the main course as three in the party were very light drinkers but would share a half glass of wine with the rest in the party. The VIE Zin withstood the salad dressing and cut into the meat loaf beautifully. We concluded the bottle with a rounding decision that more of this wine should be shared among us again and soon.

The next day, as I thought about our wine tasting and great meal, I went to my computer and I found that VIE had very disappointing news for me -- the VIE Beatty Ranch 2004 Howell Mountain Zinfandel had already sold out! What am I going to tell all those who looked forwarded to me bringing some more? I’m in trouble!

But I have a surprise for them! I have another sample from VIE. It is their 2004 Last Leg Cuvee - a blend of Zinfandel from Broken Leg vineyard (Anderson Valley), Syrah from Las Madres vineyard (Carneros) and Petit Syrah from Teldeschi vineyard (Dry Creek Valley). What will make this event truly worthy is that VIE reports the 2004 Last Leg harvest is the final for Zinfandel."


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