Drinking on JetBlue

As usual, we flew JetBlue out to Long Beach as it allows us a direct flight here from the DC area. Plus, there’s tons (relatively speaking in terms of planes) of leg room which is always great when you have a 6’5″ husband who gets cranky all cramped into an airplane seat. Though this time we were oh so fortunate to be on the same flight at a group of approximately 60 giggling, screeching 7th and 8th graders. Boy was that ever fun. Needless to say, I was quite pleased to see that JetBlue is now serving wine on it’s flights!

JetBlue has teamed with Best Cellars (who, if you look back a few posts, hosted a very nice tasting we attended recently) to offer a white and a red wine on flights. The wines chosen are both from Three Blind Moose, which, despite it’s critter label, actually got a chuckle from me based on the play off the old nursery rhyme. They offer a Chardonnay and a Merlot in 187 mL bottles with screwcaps for only $5. I was very pleased with the value.

I chose the Merlot, which came in at 13.5 % alcohol by volume. The nose was huge and fruity. I almost thought it could have been regular old juice from the aroma. But really, it just smelled like absolutely fresh fruit. Blackberries, blueberries and plums, with hints of chocolate. In the mouth there were raspberries, plums and just a bit of an earthy taste. Overall it was very light-bodied and easy to drink. This was a simple wine, but for $5 on a long plane ride, I was completely surprised to find anything quaffable at all. Go JetBlue!

Tasting with Best Cellars

I seem to have picked up a bug yesterday and am currently in my pjs on my couch, sitting up for the first time today and eating some ice chips…yum, ice chips. Basically, it means I had no wine last night (or really nothing at all, yum, ice chips….) and I will not be imbibing tonight either. Instead, I have a report on a tasting we attended a few weeks ago (part of my backlog of posts) with Best Cellars in Dupont Circle. It was organized by my college’s alumni club and cost us $30 for the evening for lots of yummy appetizers and 6 wines. A little pricey, but all the profit goes to the scholarship fund, so at least it’s a good cause.

We were presented with 3 white, 2 reds and a port to taste. It was done very nicely, with a new glass for each wine, the server explaining all the wines and asnwering questions that the participants had.

First up was a Botter “Spago’ Prosecco from Veneto, Italy. The bottle cost $11, is 11% alcohol by volume and is non-vintage. On the nose, it was sweet and fruity with a distinct scent of almond paste, plus a little honey. In the mouth it was very slightly fizzy, light and slightly slight, but with a nice crisp note to keep it in line. In the taste I got fizzy peaches and apricots. A good value.

Second was a 2005 Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc from Napa. The bottle cost $15, is 13.5% alcohol by volume and has a screwcap closure. On the nose, this one showed grassy herbs and a tiny bit of apple. I was surprised when I sipped it and got a large amount of pear in the mouth, with a bit of apple and finishing with big grapefruit. Overall, this one had a very good structure and acidity. It’s exactly what I wanted with my crab the other night when I got an oaked sauvignon blanc instead.

Third up was a Crisol Torrontes from Mendoza, Argentina. The bottle cost $9. This wine showed honey, sharp white flowers (I’m not really sure what I meant by that) and passion fruit on the nose. In the mouth, there was a slightly sour note, but the rest of the flavor was all crisp green apples. At $9 this was a great value, I would definitely get it again.

Next we moved to the reds. First up was a 2005 Tortoise Creek Pinot Noir from Pays d’Oc, France (I didn’t get a chance to look at this bottle, but I was under the impression that the French didn’t name their wines by the grape….am I totally wrong?). This one was $12, was 13% alcohol by volume and had a screwcap. An odd fact about this one is that it is stainless steel fermented. The wine was ruby red in the glass, with a nose of raisins and black currants. In the mouth, I got more of the currants, plus a little earth. This one was a bit mouth drying, though smooth until the end and showing some cherries. My overall impression was “eh.”

Second for the reds was a 2006 Altos las Hormigas Malbec Reserva, again from Mendoza, Argentina. This one cost $13 and was 14.3% alcohol by volume. I got alcohol and plastic on the nose of this one, with a little spice. After that cleared, I got raspberries, cedar and black currants. In the mouth, some currants, and not much else. This was my least favorite of the evening.

Finally, we had a Ramos Pinto Tawny Port from Douro Valley, Portugal. This wine cost $15 and is 19.5% alcohol by volume. This wine smelled sweet and had alcohol on the nose. I also got some dark fruit on the nose. In the mouth, this was really full of alcohol, but I also managed to discern dried raisins, dried currants and dark fruits. Overall I thought it tasted like Robitussin cough syrup. But I’ll admit I’m not a big port drinker, so I don’t really know what makes a good port.

Altogether, a very nice evening and I’m glad we attended. I also really enjoyed some of the whites and the price was right for everyday wines. When I am in need again I will be seeking out the 2 whites I really liked, as I thought they were very good values.

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