Saturday, July 21, 2012

Wine Tasting with the Traveling Vineyard

When my good friend Joanna suggested coming over for a wine tasting party I said, "wine? Why not!" Joanna is a talented and funny woman and I had no doubt this summer evening soiree would be full of creative touches. What I had absolutely no idea of was how much fun we would end up having at a Traveling Vineyard wine tasting party.

For me learning about wine is like learning another language. You struggle to master the basics and once you do there is a brief moment of euphoria where you think, "hey! I just said a sentence in this new language!" And then you realize you have years of study ahead of you to learn how to have a conversation. So the more I learn about grape varietals, terroir, and tasting terminology the more I realize I am at the level of Intro Wine Language 101 and have a vast, unexplored territory of knowledge yet to acquire. Our Traveling Vineyard consultant, Kelleyrobin, was perfect because while she educated us on the wines we were tasting she made it fun and entertaining and didn't "speak" above our heads.

While we went through the five wines with Kelleyrobin we also paired them with different foods Joanna had prepared to see how the wine changed and improved when paired with different flavors:

Caballeria de Luna (Moscato, Viura and Verdejo) ~ paired with fruit kebabs. The citrus notes in the wine complimented the fruit perfectly. To me this wine embodied the spirit of a relaxed summer evening on the patio.

Bright Eyed Bird (Pinot Grigio) ~ I was amazed at how the flavors of this wine changed when sipped with a bite of brie.

Desvia (Rioja) ~ Joanna prepared a spinach and berry salad with pecans and gorgonzola. Although a fuller bodied red this wine matched well to the strong flavors of the salad and the fresh berries in the salad complimented the berry notes in the wine.

A lovely candlelit evening
zin-FAN-del (California) ~ although the name is a little hokey the wine exuded the peppery-fruity notes that Thom really loves. Joanna prepared a creamy chicken & pasta dish to go with this wine. I'm sure if he wasn't being polite being in a room (mostly) full of ladies Thom would have sat back with the bottle on the patio and said, "you guys go on ahead. I'm good right here."

Tanglerose (sweet, dessert style rosé) ~ This was our dessert wine and pair it with desserts we did! All of Joanna's guests brought some kind of dessert and so we had cookies, blueberry crumble pie, apple cream pie and ice cream cake.

As the education portion of the evening drew to a close we congregated around the firepit for conversation and one last treat: S'mores!

If you're local to Greater Boston I definitely suggest booking a tasting with Kelleyrobin*. If you live outside the Boston area the Traveling Vineyard has consultants in 27 other states. Thom and I plan on hosting an autumn party where we'll try some of the heavier reds in the Traveling Vineyard repertoire. I really like that Kelleyrobin will tailor the tastings to suit the host's tastes and preferences and I'm really looking forward to coming up with a pairing menu for the wines!

*To book a tasting please visit Kelleyrobin's website. I received no compensation or product for this review nor was I asked to provide a review. All opinions stated are my own. We just really had a good time!


  1. What a great way to spend time with friends. I love it!

  2. Sounds like a lot of fun. I do find that some wine buffs are very pretentious though. Different people will experience the same wine quite differently because of their particular taste buds!
    Have a good week.

    1. That is one of the great things about wine (and food) - at the end of the day it comes down to: do you like it? And that is always personal choice.

  3. I never can remember a word of the wine babble after a tasting party but they sure are fun! :)

  4. Sounds like an awesome experience!


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