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Archive for the ‘Old York Cellars’ Category

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A couple weeks ago, Tom and I were able to partake in and enjoy another Old York Cellar’s Virtual Vines, an online wine tasting. I really look forward to these events. It’s exciting to get wine in the mail. It’s also nice to be connected to an fun, online wine community that also enjoys NJ wines. As I’ve participated in these multiple times, I’ve gotten familiar with a group of “Tweeters” that I enjoy chatting with during Virtual Vines events. As we watch the online videos, mostly at the same time, we tweet questions to Old York Cellars, we ‘like’ and ‘favorite’ each others tweets, and we tweet our take on the wines. It’s a little bit tricky pairing food with wine, listening to the video, and tweeting at the same time. I mostly drank and tweeted. I had to watch the video again to catch the details of the wines, but it’s nice and convenient that the video is still available so that I can do that.

During this Virtual Vines, we watched Old York Cellar’s Sommelier, Laurin, and the Winemaker, Scott, talk about the recently released 2012 Oak Chardonnay and the 2013 Merlot. They tasted the wines and talked about their flavors as they ate Cabot cheeses that were paired for each wine. We tasted along at home.

2012 Oak Chardonnay – Their Oak Chardonnay is a blend of estate and supplemented grapes. Scott and Laurin explained how it goes through a process that’s called malolactic fermentation. Diacetyl is a byproduct of this fermentation. This is what gives the Chardonnay it’s buttery taste. Most people think it’s the oak, but it’s actually the acid. Laurin explained that movie theater butter flavor is actually diacetyl and that made me think, how would popcorn taste with this Chardonnay. I may have to find out.

This particular Chardonnay is lighter in oak than other Chardonnays because the oak is left in the wine for a shorter period of time. This wine was also different from other Chardonnays by how it seemed to be balanced in fruitiness and oakiness, where most seem to lean to one side or the other. Tom, my husband, prefers an oakier Chardonnay. I like those too, but I also appreciated this one. It had nice, unique qualities. I like fruity and sweet wines, so it gave me a little bit of that with the oaky flavor I also enjoy. I’ve also tasted steel barred Chardonnays. These are usually more fruit forward since they don’t have the oak quality from the barrel. This wine seemed like a mixture of those two types.

This wine is actually one of their most popular. GrapeExp_Cindy tweeted “Plenty of depth and so food friendly.” I agreed! This wine went well with the salmon we had for dinner. Laurin recommended monterey jack, gouda, brie, mild cheddar, or young asiago to go with their Oak Chardonnay.

OYC Tweet Oak Chardonnay

2013 Merlot –  Scott said the Merlot uses 2 different yeasts that are designed for Cabernets. One yeast provides complex characteristics, while the other gives cedar and ripe fruit flavors. The Merlot is fermented in a jacketed tank that enables Scott to control the temperature at about 70 to 75 degrees. (For comparison, the Chardonnay was fermented at about 55 to 65 degrees.) Scott mentioned that this creates heat in the Merlot when it goes into malolactic fermentation, which results in flavor from beginning to the end (on your palette.) They also provided an interesting tip. When you look at the edge of the wine in a glass as you swirl it, the color shows how young or aged the wine is. This Merlot had a garnet color, indicating it’s youthfulness. A brownish color on the edge would show that it’s aged.

According to Laurin and Scott’s description, this Merlot has a softness, a lot of tannin, dark cherry, cedar notes, tobacco, and a long finish. Laurin said, “This one, immediately, I mean it hits your palette and it’s like BOOM! It’s definitely a flavor explosion.” I certainly got a powerful, smoky quality from this Merlot. I tweeted that it would pair well with a cigar because of it’s smokiness. I really enjoyed this red, but I think to sip it, I have to be in the mood for it. It certainly presents itself as a relaxing wine, something to slowly enjoy while you’re also taking in a good book, a good show, or good company.

4-15-2015 OYC VV Merlot

Laurin and Scott said this Merlot goes well with the fat in cheese because the fat counteracts the acidity. They also gave tips for drinking wines with cheese. First, take a sip for a baseline. Then, bite the cheese. Next, sip again. The cheese softened the taste of these wines. There’s less acidity in the 2nd sip. Pair this Merlot with a hard cheese like sharp cheddar. It will soften the tannin. I actually happened to eat sharp cheddar while tasting this wine and they did go well together.

May 28th Old York Cellars will be having another Virtual Vines if you would like to join. They will be sampling their 2013 Pinot Noir and 2013 Chardonnay. Before then, on May 2 and 3rd, you can enjoy an in person event at their ‘Vine to Wine’ Spring festival.

If you’d like to watch the last Old York Cellars Virtual Vines, check it out here.

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I keep thinking about wines! Which wines to bring to all our upcoming holiday parties? I often buy seasonal wines, NJ wines that I know the host likes or something unique to introduce to everyone. Below are my suggestions of NJ wines to gift or bring to parties for different types of wine drinkers. You’ll certainly notice my favorite wineries listed because they have good selections and great wines. You can find some of these wines at local liquor stores. Or if the winery is near you, stop by and purchase it at their establishment. I also use www.wine-searcher.com to track down some wines. Just enter the wine into their search box. Call before you make the trip to make sure they have it in stock.

Dry Whites

Cape May Barrel Fermented Chardonnay – Tom and I both prefer oaky Chardonnays. The buttery, vanilla, and oak flavors sit well and provide a relaxing experience for us. This one contains those features and gives just a hint of lemon. Our favorite Chardonnays in NJ are made by Cape May and Working Dog Wineries.

Working Dog Winery Chardonnay – One of this variety, an older vintage, took 4th place among white wines in the “Judgement of Princeton” wine contest held by Princeton University, which paired French wines against NJ wines in a blind taste test.

Unionville Vineyards Pinot Grigio – This wine was one of the best Pinot Grigio’s I’ve had. It’s just right. It’s not as harsh as some others, yet it provides qualities true to this varietal.

Dry Reds

Old York Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec – Their Cabernet Sauvignon is well balanced. It presents a cherry like flavor and tobacco taste on the finish. The Malbec is slightly spicy with a fruity taste. It smells like blackberries with a smoky quality. Both of these wines are dynamic by offering fruit flavors at first and earthy flavors afterwards.

Brook Hollow Winery Cabernet Franc – This is another interesting wine. It reminded us of grilling. It’s suitable for meat dishes. This Cabernet Franc had a peppery spice and grapey taste. It seemed heavy in flavor.

Sweet Whites 

Cream Ridge Winery Eastern White – Cream Ridge Winery classified the Eastern White as being “back by popular demand.” So your friends and family just might enjoy this one, as long as they have a taste for sweet things. It’s made from Niagara grapes, which tend to be used in sweeter wines. It had a white grape juice quality.

Working Dog Winery Traminette – This is a pleasing white wine for someone who likes whites and sweet wines and something other than Riesling. It’s an interesting grape because it’s a hybrid that was developed at Cornell University. It comes from Gewurtztraminer grape. Traminette is one of Working Dog Winery’s most popular wines, so it would most likely be a party pleaser. It’s taste is reminiscent of honey and apricot.

Cape May Isaac Smith Apple – This wine would make an interesting story at a holiday party. The label is shaped like a coffin and this wine is called Isaac Smith Apple because Mr. Smith used to be a local coffin maker in the 1820’s and the vineyard property belonged to his estate. The wine itself is interesting. Those who enjoy apple flavors would really enjoy it. It tastes like you’re biting into a Granny Smith apple and the juice running into your mouth happens to have alcohol in it. It’s sweet like candy and the apple smell reminded me of the same flavored Jolly Rancher.

Sweet Reds – My Favorite Category

Valenzano Winery Shamong Red and Red Reserve – Made from concord grape, Valenzano describes Shamong Red as NJ’s best-selling native wine. They also say it’s a popular all-occasion wine. I would have to agree. I could drink this on any occasion and now that I’m talking about it, I want it. I often find this one in area liqour stores. Shamong Red Reserve is real similar to the Shamong Red. It may just have a slight difference, possibly being the Ives grape. The Reserve is a three-time “Best American Varietal” winner at the NJ Wine Competition held by Rutgers. Keep an eye out for these!

Four Sisters Winery Beaver Creek Red – Also made with concord grapes, this wine is one of their best sellers. It’s one of my favorites! It’s described as having a candy apple like flavor. Maybe the sweetness gives it a candy-like quality. I don’t really get apple from it, more like a sweet grape. It reminds me of concord grape jelly.

Working Dog Winery Ugly Duckling Red – I don’t really consider this red a sweet one, but it has sugar added. However, this wine is certainly a crowd pleaser. Everyone I introduced to this wine enjoyed it. Ugly Duckling Red presents a unique flavor combination. It presents the heavyiness and spice of Cabernet Franc or Chambourcin, but it goes down gently with a hint of sweetness because of the sugar added. It’s best served chilled. You probably won’t have any of this left by the end of the night, so buy 2 bottles – get one for yourself!

Tomasello Winery’s Rainier Red – I mention multiple Tomasello wines because they’re good, but they also have a couple tasting rooms in different areas and their wines are sold in many liquor stores. The availability of these wines increase the chance that you may be able to buy them. Rainier Red is classified as a red table wine, which indicates it’d be a good for a group of people with different tastes. This wine is slightly sweet and it’s made from a concord grape.

Dessert Wines

Tomasello Cranberry or Blueberry Moscato – These wines are definitely for people who like SWEET or guests who are ready for dessert. The cranberry is tart, which you would expect from cranberries. They also have blueberry and raspberry. The blueberry is milder than their other fruit Moscatos.

Old York Cellars Blackberry – Their blackberry wine is naturally sweet, like a blackberry. This would be excellent with cheesecake and chocolate. It’s not tart like other dessert wines. Even people who don’t like sweet wines may like this one.

Seasonal Wines

Cream Ridge Winter Spice – Winter Spice can be served warm or chilled. When it’s heated the flavors really come alive and it becomes more fragrant. This wine isn’t available all year, so get it while you can. It’s on the sweeter side. It’s a blush wine spiced with nutmeg, clove, and allspice. Just describing it, I want some now! I also like how the name suggests I can drink it all winter and not just for the holidays!

Tomasello Spiced Apple or Mulled Spice Wine – These both are good wines and slightly different. Obviously, the apple wine has more apple flavor with added spices. Mulled Spice is a basic red with mulling spices added. It’s sweet without going overboard. One time my Aunt had this in a crock pot at a holiday party. The aroma filled the room. It’s best served warm as the heat releases the flavors.

Four Sisters Winery Holiday Seasoned – Their Holiday Seasoned is the Beaver Creek Red, but with cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg added, a great combination of flavors. Again, this wine served warm ignites the flavors and aroma.

Ports

Four Sisters Winery Poppa Joe – Tom had described this as being a “good after dinner treat.” Finish off your meal with this one. This was among their top 3 wines. It was like the concord, but with more alcohol.

Cape May Winery Isaac Smith Port – This is another interesting wine to talk about. It’s part of Cape May’s Isaac Smith line that’s named after the coffin maker. The flavor of this Port is also interesting. It’s mostly Chambourcin with some Syrah. The taste is like blackcherry. It’s a little strong for me, but it’s a nice after dinner drink for those who might follow up their meal with liquor.

Plagido’s Winery Empire Port – Tom also really liked this Port. It’s aged in oak. The Empire Port is a red blend with a kick.

Tomasello and Valenzano wines can be found in some liquor stores throughout the state. There’s also a few Tomasello retail stores/tasting rooms. They’re located in Lambertville, Freehold, Smithville, and Chester. The other wines may have to be purchased from the vineyards.

If you try any of these wines, let me know what you, your friends, and your family think. Happy Holidays!

 

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Have you tried wine tasting at home? If not, you should! With Virtual Vines, Old York Cellars has connected me to an online network of NJ wine afficionados, an expert wine maker, friendly and knowledgeable sommeliers, and progressive concepts through online wine tasting. Just recently, Tom and I tune in to Old York Cellars Virtual Vines through a Livestream link. We received our wines in the mail beforehand, which is some of the best mail you can get! I rushed from work in NY to home in NJ, hoping there was no traffic, to make it home in time to tune in. Tom kindly and supportively prepared for the at home wine tasting. Bottles were opened and pictures were taken before I arrived! Tom even had time to take his #wineselfie. I picked up Chinese on the way home from my bus stop. Our laptop was set up and I grabbed my tablet, so I can watch and tweet with other attendees (I don’t yet own a smartphone – I’m holding out.) It’s great to be able to connect with other NJ wine drinkers and see what their thoughts are on the wines and how they paired it.

During this tasting session, Old York cellars also had an event at their winery. We got to hear Scott Gares, the winemaker, talk about the wines with Laurin Dorman, the Old York Cellars Sommelier, while a crowd at the winery tasted wines paired with seasonal dishes cooked on premise. The Chef from 55 Main even joined the stream to chat a bit. The virtual attendees got to try Old York Cellars Riesling and Malbec. This Virtual Vines was intended to highlight wines that paired well with turkey. I’m a little late on sharing this information with you. Tom and I headed out to West Virginia to visit family for Thanksgiving and before the trip I didn’t have much time to type this up. Sorry for the delay. Although Thanksgiving is now behind us, these wines may pair well with what you’re eating for Christmas, especially if you’re serving up turkey.

Riesling – This is a dry riesling, with apply, clean, crisp features. It’s is an appropriate option for a Fall, Thanksgiving wine. Since it’s dry, this riesling is not sweet or tart. It reminded me more of a Chardonnay. Lauren described it as having stonefruit flavors. I haven’t had a stonefruit before, but those words seem to capture the taste of the wine. I actually wasn’t crazy about this one at first. However, when we returned from our Thanksgiving trip, I had some of the riesling left in the fridge. It seemed more appealing to my taste buds after letting it sit.

Malbec – The Malbec is gone. Good wines don’t last long in my possession. This was a beautiful, complex wine that presented multiple qualities. At first, on the nose, I could smell blackberries and then, I got a smokiness, which made an interesting combination. The taste fit the scent. The Malbec was slightly spicy with a fruity taste. I also thought the wine had a thick texture to it, like plushness.

@Foodwinechickie said, “2013 Malbec by @OldYorkCellars – juicy fruit, medium body, velvety texture #virtualvines.” I’d have to agree.

I’d also like to recommend that you consider Old York Cellars for Christmas gifts. Their reds are some of the best and pair excellently with chocolates. This Malbec with chocolate would be a great gift for an adventurous wine drinker. They offer a combination of wine and chocolate gift options. If you are buying a gift for someone who likes sweets or fruit flavors, definitely consider getting their Blackberry wine. Also, they make customizable labels and their What Exit Wines make great gifts for Jersey lovers.

Some of Old York Cellars gift options include wine glasses, wine opener, t-shirts, chocolate tin, wine soap, chocolate and wine gift set, and varieties of gift boxes. Find items for purchase here, call them at 908-284-9463, or email narendra@oldyorkcellars.com for orders.

If you’d like to attend the next Old York Cellars Virtual Vines, check their back at their website for their upcoming  January event.

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Just recently, Tom and I took part in another Old York Cellars Virtual Vines wine tasting. To attend a Virtual Vines wine tasting, you just have to sign up ahead of time to receive your wines in advance. Then, on the day of, login to Livestream to attend the live tasting session. For this Virtual Vines, we logged in at our kitchen table, where we set up our laptop and tasted the wines. I have to add that I was running late on my way home because of traffic and Tom prepared everything. I’m so lucky to have such a good husband! Appetizers were made, wines were opened, glasses poored, he took pictures, and logged into the Livestream. He also coined the term “wine selfie” – all before I came home. Check out the slideshow to see Tom’s “wine selfie.”

For this particular home wine tasting, we tried their What Exit line of wines. We sampled What Exit White, What Exit Red, and What Exit Blush. I tweeted as much as I could about our tasting experience, because each tweet generated $1 towards the Hometown Heroes organization. Hometown Heroes helps people in crisis. They also honor real heroes in the community like Old York Cellars, who is helping those in need through their fundraising efforts. Hometown Heroes, as well as the What Exit Wines line, began after Superstorm Sandy hit. Proceeds from the sales of What Exit Wines benefit recovery efforts.

What Exit White – We started with the What Exit White. It wasn’t long before it was gone! I tweeted, “We may have already finished the @WhatExitWines White. It’s that good.” This white is 90% Chenin Blanc and 10% Seyval Blanc. This was a light, crisp, and easy drinking white wine. We got hints of honey with a finish of apricot.

What Exit Blush – What Exit Blush is similar to What Exit White in that they both have 90% Chenin Blanc. Except that the remaining 10% in the Blush is Cabernet Sauvignon. The What Exit Blush is a dryer blush, not sweet or fruity like others.

What Exit Red – Old York Cellars makes some of my favorite red wines. As I said in other articles, my taste tends to lean sweet or to white wines. I am usually surprised by how much I enjoy Old York Cellars reds. What Exit Red is another one. This wine is made of 80% Merlot, 10% Barbera, and 10% Landot Noir. I loved the bouquet. I smelled fragrances of fruit and oak. This red was warm and bold. It seemed to provide heat, but it didn’t make me hot. It’s mild for reds, which may be why I like it. I got a black cherry flavor from this one.

I loved the labels on these bottles. If you love all things Jersey, you would like them too. The What Exits wines are good, but it’s also worth buying just to have this awesome label! The labels are customizable too. You can include your exit, town, or a personal message. What Exit Wines would make great, unique, and special gifts.

If you’d like to see Old York Cellars for yourself and welcome the Fall harvest, check out their upcoming Fall Harvest Festival on September 27th and 28th. They’ll have hayrides, vineyard tours, and they’ll share information about the harvest. The next Virtual Vines is taking place on September 25th. Check their website for event details.

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Last week, I tuned into Old York Cellars latest edition of Virtual Vines, which highlighted their Blackberry and Stagecoach Red, as well as Laurie’s (amazing) Chocolates from Bucks County, PA. I really enjoy these Virtual Vine tastings. It provides an opportunity to really indulge in the qualities of the wines and fully savor the flavors. My appreciation for Old York Cellars grows more and more during each Virtual Vines session. I love how they interact with the audience and answer all questions. I feel like I’m getting to know the staff and in a way their getting to know me through our Tweets and chats during Virtual Vines. I’ve been to Old York Cellars in the past and I’m really looking forward to getting there again. In the meantime, I enjoy experiencing Old York Cellars through Virtual Vines.

Stagecoach Red – The Stage Coach Red is 50% Malbec 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot. The sommelier said this wine pairs well with veggie burgers as well as other foods. Coincidentally, this was exactly what Tom and I were eating! We didn’t have time for much else when I walked in the door late because my bus hit traffic heading home! I have to say, they did go well together. Tom said he thought it would also pair well with Italian food. Stage Coach Red is a lighter style red with less tannins that makes it easier to drink. It’s fruit at the front, plum in the middle, and peppery on the end. It captures different characteristics and qualities while you sip. If you’re not typically a red wine fan, you may enjoy the dynamic qualities of the Stagecoach Red. We served this wine chilled, as we prefer to drink our reds at a cooler temperature. I asked them if this was okay and they said, it’s fine in warmer months, but they would suggest only chilling it for about 10 minutes. Another interesting note, Stagecoach Red was named so because Old York Cellars Rd, obviously what the winery was named after, used to be a stagecoach road, one of the oldest that went from Philly to New York.

Blackberry – I have a sweet tooth, but Tom doesn’t, yet we both loved this wine! I knew at first sip that I could easily finish the whole bottle! Tom said it tasted naturally sweet and just like blackberry. He added that it would be great with cheesecake. Yum! I agree. It’s semi-sweet, not tart like other fruity dessert wines, and refreshing. The Blackberry is a nice dessert wine that’s accommodating for people with different tastes. Chocolate pairs amazingly with Blackberry. It becomes a dessert in itself that’s creamy, fruity, and smooth.  Someone asked a good question and we got a good answer. The question was, “What’s the serving size for dessert wines?” The answer, “Whatever you like.” My response, “Good!”

Some suggestions from Laurie about pairing chocolates with wines were put something in dark chocolate, like almonds to make it more palatable, salt in chocolate softens wines, and wine should be sweeter than the chocolate.

If you’re free, make sure you visit Old York Cellars Winery on May 3rd and 4th. They’re hosting a Spring Festival and Laurie’s Chocolates will be there! The Festival will feature food, music, wines, ours, hayrides, crafts, and fun stuff!

The next Virtual Vines is May 29th. Check back here to purchase your tasting kit.

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As you are well aware, it’s been a pretty cold and snowy winter. Tom, Kristen, and I headed out one Saturday to visit some wineries as it started to snow. At first it looked like flurries. Then, before we knew it the ground was covered in snow and cars ahead of us were sliding around the road. That particular day we had planned to do our nearest wine trail and one of my favorites, which normally includes the Tomasello Winery tasting room at Wemrock Orchards, Cream Ridge Winery, and Working Dog Winery. We got to our first stop Tomasello just as the roads were getting bad. I bought a couple bottles and we headed back home. This hasn’t been a favorable winter for excursions.

Old York Cellars offers Virtual Vines, an online tasting session. This is perfect for the winter weather conditions we’ve been having. Rather than toughing it in the snow or subjecting yourself to freezing temperatures, you can have a winery experience in your home! I love it. They’re the only winery that I know of who does this. It’s a unique experience. For each Virtual Vines, for a fee advertised on their website, they will ship you 2 full-sized bottles of wine and delicious chocolates, along with suggestions for food pairings. I appreciate that we have the opportunity to really zero in on the qualities of these 2 wines rather than do a full tasting. All you have to do is log into a website where they broadcast a live tasting session and drink your wine!

For the last Virtual Vines, I invited, my sister, Kristen, and our friend, Irene to join Tom and me. We sat around the kitchen table and set up the laptop on the far end. On the opposite end, was a platter of cheeses, crackers, meats, and glasses and bottles of wine. We sampled and completely drank 2 bottles of wine, which were Vidal Blanc and Syrah.

Vidal Blanc – Each of us thought the Vidal Blanc was clean, refreshing, light, and crisp. Scott Gares, the wine maker, and Laura, the Virtual Vines host, discussed how this wine emits qualities of tropical fruits like lemon and pineapple. We didn’t taste the pineapple, but we did get light fruit flavors. Irene said it reminded her of pear and that it was, “really good.” Kristen expressed that considering she likes reds, it’s really good. Not sweet and not dry. I noticed the Vidal Blanc to have a little bite when swallowing, but in a good way. According to the hosts, their Vidal Blanc is completely dry with no residual sugar.

Syrah – As for the Syrah, we each had a different experience. Irene said, the Syrah tasted peppery and that it was a light, spicy wine. During the live steam, through social media, I asked what made the wine seem peppery and they explained that it’s created by the grapes and yeast. Kristen described the Syrah as tasting like a red version of the white. It was a little difficult for her to sip because she felt a burn on the way down. My experience was different than both Kristen’s and Irene’s. I didn’t get the peppery quality and I didn’t feel a burn. I thought the Syrah felt warm and cozy. It had a light feel. It also seemed less bitter than other reds. I really enjoyed the Syrah and did some damage on the bottle. Their 2012 Syrah won a bronze medal in a San Francisco wine competition (out of 5,800 entries). The hosts described this wine as being an old world style vintage with fruit and spice, soft without being light. They said it’s food friendly and versatile. I would have to agree.

During the tasting, we also paired the wines with chocolates from Laurie’s Chocolates in Doylestown, PA. The Syrah and the chocolates blended well together. We tried two different types of chocolates, Madagascar Single Origin and Hawaiian Single Origin Milk Chocolate with Macadamia and Sea Salt. I couldn’t get enough of the Macadamia and Salt chocolate. I LOVE the combination of flavors and they were delicious!

If you would like to attend the next Old York Cellars Virtual Vines, call them to sign up (908-284-9463), as their website is currently under construction. The next session is March 27th at 7:00. They will feature their Pinot Gris and Cabernet. Old York Cellars also offers a Virtual Vines Club membership.

Although they’re working on their website, you can still access additional information about Old York Cellars Winery and their wine shop at www.oldyorkcellars.com. You can also check my full review of our last visit to Old York Cellars.

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We recently attended our very first virtual wine tasting (Virtual Vines) and it was awesome. I commend Old York Cellars for being so progressive and bringing the tasting experience to your home. After all, when we buy wines, they will be consumed at home or with friends and family, so why not do a tasting in the comfort of your living room or kitchen.

This live, interactive, online, tasting session with their wine maker, Scott Gares, included a bottle of Chardonnay, a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, 6 chocolates from Laurie’s Chocolates, and dinner pairing suggestions. Tom cooked up wild mushroom ravioli with tomato sauce  (not one of the suggestions), we poured ourselves glasses of wine, and tuned in to the live stream from Old York Cellars.

We started with the Chardonnay. Here’s what the vintner had to say:

NJ provides growing conditions similar to France which is why quality Chardonnay grapes are harvested at Old York Cellars. This particular Chardonnay was bottled in September and for about a year since then. The wine gets softer while sitting, which is how it avoids “bottle shock”. The just released Chardonnay smells of the American Oak that’s used in the fermenting process. It’s easy going, gives more nose, and is soft on the palette. The taste is apple on the finish, buttery, medium oak, and not overpowering. The wine felt soft and light. The oaky quality seemed mild to me. If you take a breath over the Chardonnay on your tongue, the oak flavor releases more. I also felt that the wine tingled a bit on my tongue, but that might have been just me, since no one else mentioned it during the session. Lighter foods were recommended with this wine since light food pairs well with lighter wine. Laurie’s Chocolates caramel milk chocolate went well with the Chardonnay.

We tried the Cabernet Sauvignon next:

The”king of the red grapes,” Cabernet, started in Bordeaux. Now, it’s grown and finished at Old York Cellars’s where they grow, crush, press, and age the wine. Old York Cellars’s approachable Cabernet Sauvignon is well balanced in fruit and alcohol. The tannins and mild acidity give the Cabernet a good back bone. I don’t typically enjoy reds. When we do drink them, we usually serve it slightly chilled, which isn’t really advisable. We loved it, it was really good. I think it was even better than their 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon. Last year’s growing conditions may have enhanced the flavor. They had a later harvest because of all the rain we received in NJ. Like the Chardonnay, their Cabernet Sauvignon was also bottled in September. To me, the Cabernet Sauvignon gave off aromas of Fall. It was fruity at first with a cherry quality and a slight tobacco taste on the finish. They recommended tasting this wine with Laurie’s Chocolates truffles. In addition to some other dishes, they said this wine goes well with fuller body cheeses. I enjoyed the Cab with our mushroom ravioli.

Old York Cellar’s next Virtual Vines Online Wine Tasting will be on November 14th. Keep track of Old York Cellars’s wine events at NJ Wine with Me or on their website at www.oldyorkcellars.com/events.

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