Category Archives for "Washington State"

Jan 12

Organic Wines at Garden Café in Woodstock

By Louise | Organic , Riesling , Rose , Washington State , White Wine , Wines I Like

photo(36)I had a lovely relaxing weekend in Woodstock, NY this past weekend.  While I was there, I had dinner at a vegan restaurant called Garden Café (I’m not even vegetarian, but the restaurant got great reviews and the food, especially the cabbage soup was fantastic).  As you might be able to see from the rather shoddy photo I took of their wine list, all their wines are made from 100% organic grapes.  (Some of the wines are also vegan, which I will explain in my next post!)

Onto the wines I tried there….

photo(35)1)  Snoqualmie Naked Riesling from Columbia Valley, Washington, USA, which was $7 a glass and $26 a bottle at the restaurant, but which retails for $9-13 in wine stores and online.  This was also a vegan wine.

I loved the way this wine smelled – of sweet honey (not flowery or sickly sweet, but of almost a fruity honey).  The taste was bitter-sweet.  There was the bitterness of grapefruit mixed with the sweetness of apples and pears.  The sweetness level was probably that of an off-dry wine i.e., sweet-tasting but not much actual sugar in the wine.  It’s not my favorite Riesling, but I am definitely partial to off-dry Rieslings, and so this was definitely a “Like” for me.  I have to say, I was quite surprised that I liked the wine because I rarely like any non-German Rieslings and was a bit scared of trying a cheap organic one.  It was a very pleasant surprise!

photo(34)

2) Gerard Bertrand Grenache from Languedoc, France, which was $9 a glass and $34 a bottle at the restaurant, but which retails for around $12-15 in stores (although it seems to be only carried in a few NY and CA stores and some online stores).

I don’t know if you can tell from the photo on the left, but this was a rose.  There was a fruity smell, which was faintly reminiscent of strawberries.  Despite this alluring smell, the taste was awfully bland.  It was definitely a light wine.  In fact, the wine tasted so watery, I wondered if it contained any alcohol in it at all!  It was very disappointing, especially since I had tried the Riesling first.

Dec 10

Charles Smith “Kung Fu Girl” Riesling 2009 from Columbia Valley, Washington State

By Louise | 2009 , Riesling , United States , Washington State , White Wine , Wines I'm Neutral About

I tried this wine a few nights ago at Casellula Cheese and Wine Café on 52nd and 9th Ave (in NYC). It was an interesting place with a decent selection of wines and cheeses (although very few wines by the glass). My eyes naturally wandered down the wine list to their one riesling.

What did I like about the wine? Hmm, the name was cool…and the bottle label made it look like a sake rather than a wine bottle. I had trouble smelling the wine, although I detected a slight metallic whiff. Then, the first taste was at fairly pleasant – slightly sweet and fruity. I was briefly reminded of grapefruits during that sip. Unfortunately, I can’t say much more in favor of the wine. A mildly bitter aftertaste developed in my mouth, and the wine became more bitter with every sip.

I was told that I didn’t like the wine because it lacked “complexity.” My understanding is that a complex wine will have a variety of different flavors with distinct aftertastes. Complex wines will keep being interesting to you every time you drink it as you discover more flavors and more smells. I would agree that this wasn’t a complex wine. Nothing new came to me as I drank it, except for it becoming more and more bitter, which wasn’t very interesting or good tasting! All in all, it was fine to drink once, but probably not a repeat buy.

Price? I found it online for $12.99 or $14.99 a bottle for the 2008 vintage and as cheap as $10 a bottle for the 2009 vintage. At Casellula Cheese and Wine Café, it was $10 for a glass.