Friday, November 2, 2012

A Find in Town

        Carmel Valley-by-the-Glass decided to go to Carmel-by-the-Sea to visit a new kind of tasting room.  Called Trio, it offers a threesome of local artisan wines, olive oil and vinegars, and contemporary art. 
        Located on Dolores between Ocean and 7th, the tasting room is light, airy, spacious, with local artists’ paintings on the wall and great tasting possibilities. The young woman who guided us through the various options was knowledgeable and creative.  We could pour a little of whatever olive oil or vinegar we wanted into a small paper tasting cup, and then dip French bread into that. Think Persian Lime, Blood Orange, or Mushroom Sage olive oil…or Cinnamon Pear, Lemon White, or Dark Chocolate Balsamic vinegar.  Oh, yes.  We were happy campers.
        We then moved to the bar for our tasting flight, four wines for $15 (the fee is waived with a wine purchase of $75 or more).  Three localish wineries were featured.  The first winery was Le P’tit Paysan and we tasted, and loved, their 2011 Viognier.  Their Chardonnay we also liked.  It was very fresh and full and not as buttery as other Chardonnays we have had.  We also found the labels whimsical and appealing.  Apparently, the younger brother of the vintner does the artwork and their father is always one of the featured characters.
(The stories of the vintners and the label art work are at times almost as captivating as the wine!)
        The next winery was Pelerin, which means Pilgrim in French. We tasted both their 2008 Syrah and their RTW (Red Table Wine).  The Syrah had 94% Syrah and 6% Viognier.  As our wine server said, the Syrah is bacony, the Viognier is peachy and “takes out the meatiness and brightens up the head” of the wine.  Now that’s some hefty wine talk! The RTW was a combination of Zinfandel, Syrah, and Sangiovese and a nice price of $18.  LC liked the Syrah; MK and two other friends liked the RTW.
        Finally, we tasted the Mesa Del Sol Vineyards Prima Rosa, another inviting blend of estate grown Zinfandel, Syrah, and Sangiovese, from this Arroyo Seco small organic vineyard. Check out their website for descriptions of their other wines and their elegant on-site accommodations.
  The whole tasting experience was unique.  We thought having some nibbling tastes pre- the wine tasting was oh-so-wise.  And we could sashay back to the olive oil or vinegar whenever the spirit moved us. We each managed to come away with some olive oil, vinegar, and wine and the satisfaction that we had been introduced to some interesting new taste treats.  We’ll be back!  You, too, might enjoy this great Trio.
Painting by Patricia Qualls

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