Welcome to Our #WineWednesday Blogs
Jersey Wine and Spirits is Jersey City’s home of exciting wines. Each week we hold tastings where you can try wines we’re highlighting and learn a little about your palette and preference. Be sure to check back every Wednesday to check out our weekly blog on what’s coming up for the rest of the week in wine. This week we’re tasting wines from California and New Zealand.
Thursday Wine Tasting: Jersey City NJ Does California
We’ll be tasting two California wines this Thursday, and they are pretty much opposites, allowing tasters to appreciate the vast spectrum of wines.
Carneros Ranch Chardonnay
The Carneros Appellation of California produces some of Cali’s most sought-after grapes. The area, where the Bay Area meets Napa and Sonoma produces cool climate grapes. Carneros Ranch uses these grapes to produce a classic, oaked Chardonnay.
If you’re newer to wine, here’s some lingo to get you started (pros can skip to the next wine).
Appellation: A designated area for growing. These boundaries are strictly enforced, often legislatively, and determine what can and cannot be printed on a bottle. You know how people like to point out that all champagne is sparkling wine but not all champagne is sparkling wine? That is because champagne can only be labeled as such if it is grown in one appellation in France and made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier or a blend of those grapes.
Cool Climate: There are two types of grape growing climates, cool and warm. A cool climate is one that experiences a drop off in temperatures around harvest. While the area might reach the same high temps as warm climate areas the drop off essentially stops the ripening of the grapes. Wines from a cool climate will have a more tart fruit flavor, more acidity, and lower alcohol content.
Oaked: Many people associate Chardonnay with a particular feeling in the mouth (or mouthfeel). This comes from aging the wine in oak barrels which round out and soften the flavors.
Broadside Cabernet Sauvignon
If you’re on the “ABC” train, please get off at the Jersey Wine and Spirits stop and try this delicious offering from Broadside. Cabernet Sauvignon is a versatile grape and the expression in this particular bottle is that of blue fruit and cassis. There is also vanilla and cola spice thanks to being oaked. Structured tannins and delicate acidity round out this wine.
ABC: “Anything but Cabernet!” -- a cry of protest often uttered by wine lovers. Sure, there’s lots of other wines but a good cabernet is a good cabernet. This is a good cabernet.
Tannins: An organic compound that gives the wine an astringent quality in the mouth, mostly at the front. Think of the sensation when drinking black tea. Black tea is very tannic.
Saturday: Tasting New Zealand Wines
New Zealand grows wine mostly in ten regions throughout the country. We’ll explore New Zealand with two popular varietals: Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir both made from grapes of the country’s most important region: Marlborough.
Walnut Block Sauvignon Blanc
This is one of those wines you might pick up just for the label. Luckily, you can judge a book by its cover and the wine inside is just as great as the label outside. This sauvignon blanc hits the classic markers of the typical New Zealand expression of the grape: a juicy mouthfeel, crisp dryness on the finish, and vegetal strike the varietal is known for. It pairs with hard to pair vegetarian dishes including asparagus and artichokes -- two notoriously difficult to pair veggies.
Dry: Wine sweetness is described on a spectrum of dry to sweet. Dry wines make the mouth feel like it just bit into a green apple. If the tongue is run across the roof of the mouth while drinking a dry wine it will feel gravelly.
Vegetal strike: a “green” or “herbaceous” taste found in young white wines and often disliked. In Sauvignon blanc, however, this is a desired trait when produced in several notable regions. Sauvignon Blanc from Bordeaux is round and full bodied without this strike.
Mount Riley Pinot Noir
Burgundy’s favorite grape is grown, drunk, and loved throughout the world. This award-winning, revered bottle offers a nose of black fruit. The taste is bright with distinct red fruit and a long, long finish.
Nose: The bouquet or scent of the wine.
Black Fruit: plum, blackberry, dark fruit scents and flavors.
Red Fruit: sweeter, jammier fruit scents and flavors like raspberry, strawberry.
We hope to see you Thursday and Saturday as we share, taste, and discuss these delicious and varied wines. You can find us at 492 Jersey Ave. Give us a call at 201.763.5888 if you have any questions or need directions.