Thursday, February 19, 2009

February Wine Tasting ~ Muscat

The wine of the month on the BakeSpace Wine Club is Muscat in all it's forms.

First, I'm pleased to say that I started out in this Wine Club, knowing nothing about wine, other than I didn't like it. That was in November. Now three months later, I'm learning that there are wines that I actually enjoy. Also, I'm just learning more in general about wine.

I still stress out with food pairing. I mostly just go with the guidelines I find online or on the bottles.

Since Muscats seem to be mostly dessert wines. I thought Valentine's Day was the perfect day for my February Wine Tasting Party.

The tasters this month are of course, Jon & me (Marguerite aka Spryte)
Yikes! That is NOT a flattering picture of me!

Returning tasters and original members of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the BakeSpace Wine Tasting Club.... Ericka and Drew. Ericka also took the notes this time.... thanks Ericka!!

Also returning tasters... Whitney & Jeff... (isn't she pretty in pink with her hearty scarf for Valentine's Day??)

And our newest taster... Daniel =)

Since Muscats seem to mostly be dessert wines, I decided to go mostly dessert. At first I thought I was totally cool with that, then I realized, that it was hard for me. I don't think I've ever served 'just dessert'. I had also planned to serve cheese & fruit, but still felt like something was missing. At the last minute I added Open Faced Roast Beef Bites and Heart Shaped Mini Pizzas. I also made Oreo Truffles, Donna's Toasted Pecan Baby Cakes and Linzer Cookies. I dipped strawberries in the melted chocolate leftover from the truffles. I had Smoked Gouda and crackers. Cornichons. Sliced Pink Lady Apples, Blackberries and Red Grapes. I had planned to do a Baked Brie with Spiced Brandied Blueberry Jam and Walnuts in Puff Pastry, but I ran out of time. Even without the brie, it ended up being a pretty nice spread.

We started the evening with a sparking Muscat that I picked.

Name: Harlem Vintage
Jaillance Clairette de Die
Price: $14.99
Year: I couldn't find a year anywhere on the bottle.
Photo of bottle:

Short intro from the wine maker about the wine: A sparkling and sunny wine from the Drôme, Cuvée Impériale Tradition goes just as well at aperitif time as with the rich dishes of Périgord cuisine or chocolate desserts. Slightly sweet and lively on the palate, it has been described as “like drinking a mousse of peach blossom.” An HV favorite!

There was nothing on the bottle.

~Marguerite - It's smells like cat pee... yes... that's what I said... I think a lot of white wines smell that way to me.... I made the mistake of saying that at a sampling at the wine store once!!

After a bit more smelling... I decided it smelled mildewy.

Tastes fresh & appley. Light champagne color. I really like it! Really! Ericka said that made it sound like I didn't really like it... but I did! Really!! hehehe

~Jon - champagny

~Ericka - that is kind of appley

~Drew - Yeasty... a breakfast drink

~Daniel - Sweet, mildly acidic


And on to the next wine... a sexy little bottle that Whitney picked out.

Name: Eos Estate Late Harvest Muscato Tears of Dew
Price: $19.99
Year: 2007
Photo of bottle:

Short intro from the wine maker about the wine:
Apricots permeate the senses with richness with subtle characters of peaches and lilies.

MOUTH: The fruit from the nose radiates throughout the palate with added flowers reminiscent of a spring meadow filled with color.

FINISH: The light acidity cleans the palate from the sweetness while retaining the airy fragrances.

There was nothing written on the bottle.

~Marguerite - thick... sticky (yuck... I hate sticky things!) reminds me of mead... very honey tasting. I won't drink this again. WAY too sweet for me.

~Jon - Honey... high test, vapory, very strong... flowery

~Ericka - Smells like some kind of cleaning fluid

~Drew - pear, kinda syrupy, yeah... like mead

~Whitney - really nice amberish color, very smooth

~Jeff - like cough syrup, like schnapps almost

~Daniel - sweet, nauseatingly sweet


And Mustcat number 3! Also picked out by me. A little more spendy than I usually buy. But this is what happens when you ask for advice from the wine guy at the store. I told him I wanted to try an Orange Muscat and he 'had one in the back' It was from the same winery. Before he gave it to me, he asked my menu and suggested I go with the Black instead. Who am I to argue? (and they were both the same spendy price!)

Name: Quady Elysium Black Muscat
Price: $21.99
Year: 2005
Photo of bottle:

Short intro from the wine maker about the wine:
This rose-like aroma led Quady to name the wine Elysium, Greek for heaven. Elysium is used to either accompany or replace dessert. It pairs well with blue cheeses, desserts containing red fruits (such as summer pudding), vanilla, dark chocolate and ice cream desserts. Particularly delicious is pouring the wine onto vanilla ice cream to make an Elysium Sundae.

Marguerite - this one is thick too... tastes like liqueur... berry liqueur... would really make a nice sangria

~Jon - very sweet, same vapory as Eos, mixed berries

~Ericka - smells like Welch's grape juice

~Drew - strong, almost fortified, would make an excellent sangria (everyone pretty much agreed with this)

~Whitney - great pop, nice little after dinner wine, raisiny

~Jeff - old Italian men drink this

~Daniel - sweet, but nothing balancing it


Next up! Ericka's selection!

Name: Elmo Pio Provincia di Pavia Muscato
Price: $7.99
Year: no year on this bottle either
Photo of bottle:

Short intro from the wine maker about the wine:
Elmo Pio Muscado is a light and delicious white wine that explodes with flavors reminiscent fresh peaches and strawberries. There is a touch for fizzante which adds to this remarkably enjoyable wine from Italy's famous Pavia region.
This wine is best served with friends and fun.

Marguerite - the color is very clear almost like water.. really light flavor, fruity

~Jon - like the first wine, champagny with no after taste, finer bubbles

~Ericka - less dry than the first one, more up front, good for making white sangria

~Drew - this is good, but I don't love it

~Whitney - hmmm... not note from Whitney, but I think she agreed it would make a nice sangria.

~Jeff - no after taste

~Daniel - drier and less acidic than the first


And last but not least... from Whitney's favorite winery...
Name: V. Sattui Winery Muscat
Price: $18.75
Year: 2006
Photo of bottle:

Short intro from the wine maker about the wine:
With very pronounced scents of peaches and apricots, and a haunting, sweet-melon muskiness that gives the grape its name, our Muscat is lower in alcohol than most table wines and has enough lively acid to balance the high level of residual grape sugar.


~Marguerite - pale yellow.. smells yellow

~Jon - tastes something in the after taste that he might call objectionable

~Ericka - smells like Chardonnay... really different from the others... more flavor, but not more sweet, like the mead-like one.

~Drew - no notes from Drew

~Whitney - oaky

~Jeff - yellow is not a smell

~Daniel - this is a favorite


Our picks in order of favorite to least favorite. These were hard to compare since some were very different. But here ya go!

~Marguerite - Harlem Vintage Jaillance, Elmo Pio Muscato, Quadry Elysium, V. Sattui, Eos

~Jon - Elmo Pio Muscato, Harlem Vintage Jaillance, Eos, and tied for last V. Sattui & Quadry Elysium

~Ericka - Elmo Pio Muscato, V. Sattui, Harlem Vintage Jaillance, Eos, Quadry Elysium

~Drew - Harlem Vintage Jaillance, V. Sattui, Quadry Elysium, Eos, Elmo Pio Muscato

~Whitney - Eos, Quadry Elysium, V Sattui, Elmo Pio Muscato, Harlem Vintage Jaillance

~Jeff - Elmo Pio Muscato, Quadry Elysium, V Sattui, Eos (didn't try Harlem Vintage Jaillance)

~Daniel - V Sattui, Harlem Vintage Jaillance, Elmo Pio Muscato (would rather be sober than drink Eos or Quadry Elysium)

A few more pics from the evening... all food this time...






Have you check out the BakeSpace Wine Club yet??


Joelen said...

Looks like a great spread and thank you for sharing your wine notes!

Katie said...

What an incredibly FUN way to learn about wines! I'm so loving that!!! And I pph your heart shaped pizzas. SUPER CUTE!!!

Spryte said...

Thanks Joelen!

Katie... ya know, it IS wicked fun! I think that's why I don't really mind the months that I really don't like the wine!

rebekah said...

that does look like such fun. i'd suck at it as i tend to pick my wine based on if an animal is on the label. heh. :) i'm so classy :P

Spryte said...

rebekah... the first month I picked both wines because I liked the llama on the label!! hehehehe

Donna-FFW said...

I want to live by you so I can drink the wines!!

Bob said...

I'm still jealous. I want to get in on the wine parties wicked bad. :)

Spryte said...

Donna & Bob it would be great if you could come!

Peter M said...

Hey, hey...nice to put a face attached to those toes I see on posts! lol

Great tasting...and I encourage to try Moscatos from the Greek island of Samos...divine.

Cheesewench said...

More people should do what you do: buy a bottles, open them up and see what happens. I look forward to hearing more of your test runs.

Mom on the Run said...

Great get together! I would love to learn more about wine. Thanks for your notes!

Mo Diva said...

My roommate is getting pretty wine saavy. we might have to create a wine club and have monthly get togethers.
Sorry - im such an idea thief.

coldhitz said...

Spryte ,

I never drank wine until I moved to California . Now , I can't imagine life without it . I still love Heiniken , but the vine is fine! OWWWWW ! Take it easy and keep up the beautiful work .

Donna-FFW said...

Something for you at my blogs newest post, the soup and banana post. Please come pick it up.XXOO

C.G. the Foodie said...

Fabulous reviews! I love making cooking using the muscat wine in the dough. Will have to check some of these out. And your food looks amazing!

Spryte said...

Peter - I looked for one and didn't find any... but I'll keep looking. =)

Cheesewench - it's so much fun!

Mom on the Run - Join the BakeSpace Wine Club! I've learned a lot!

Mo Diva - Wine Clubs ROCK! Have fun!!

thanks Larry!

Donna!! You're such a sweetie!!

Thanks CG! I've never used wine for desserts... some of these are certainly sweet enough!!

Sandie said...

What a fun party & spread. Loved reading all your reviews---real responses that normal people would give (and find humorous & useful) instead of all that fine wine snobbery. Bravo!

Maria said...

Looks like a fun time!

Dragon said...

What a great post! Thank you for sharing.

Lo said...

Oh, wow. Looks like a fantastic spread! ... totally getting a kick out of you for starting a wine club when you don't like wine! That's fantastic.

Spryte said...

Thanks!! It's a lot of fun and I really am learning about wine!

cellars wine club promotion code said...

That's one of the best things about signing up for a wine club, the exclusivity and the wine tasting itself. with this you get to learn a lot about anything that has to do with production of wine.