WBW #50 Which Wine Which Wilderness


That’s right folks, WBW crept up on us again this month. Our host for this golden birthday of WBW is a man who recently celebrated his own golden birthday, Russ, the Winehiker! In keeping with his interests and passions, Russ has set the theme for this WBW at Which wine, which wilderness? By this he meant he would like us to choose a wine we would like to drink after hiking a trail. He wants us to name the wine and the trail, and you get bonus points for choosing a local wine to the trail you select. You can get all the details here.

So here’s the thing. On the scale of athletic to unathletic, I fall squarely in the “unathletic” camp. I force myself to exercise because it’s good for me and with the amount of wine I consume I’d probably be the size of adult elephant in no time flat if I didn’t. Sure, I’ve been on hikes. I hiked halfway up Mt. Moosilauke in NH before the altitude made it too hard for me to breathe and I got an asthma attack….but in reality I’m more of a “wine stroller” than a hiker.

Another notch against me is that within the Metro DC area, trails are simply not abundant. You’d have to drive a bit to get to anything remotely strenuous.

After considerable thought, I’ve decided that my trail is the Mt. Vernon Trail. We walk this one quite frequently as it’s beautiful and very close to our house. The Mt. Vernon Trail goes all the way from Mt. Vernon to Roosevelt Island, all along the banks of the Potomac River. It’s about 18 miles long, fully paved, and is open to both walkers/runners and bicycles. Matt and I like to walk back and forth along about a 4 mile stretch of this trail, through a pretty marsh land and up into Old Town Alexandria.

If I were to have a glass of wine at the end of this, I’d stop along the way at one of the many picnic spots along the scenic Potomac (you can see lots of the monuments from the trail) and pop the cork on a bottle of the 2006 Thomas Fogarty Gewurztraminer in honor of Russ himself and the wine hike he took me on a few weeks ago that ended with a tasting at Thomas Fogarty in the Santa Cruz Mountains!

The above picture is a Banana Slug I took a picture of while hiking with Russ. These creatures fascinated me and I’m sure it annoyed Russ to no end that I kept stopping to examine them and take loads of photos!

The Thomas Fogarty 2006 Gewurztraminer hails from Monterey County. It cost me $17 at the winery, clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, and had a real cork closure. On the nose I found orange blossom, honey, ginger, lime, spice, tropical fruit, lychee, flowers, and something almost nutty. The nose on this wine kept going and going, so aromatic. You could smell your glass across the room. In the mouth I got flavors of citrus, oranges, tropical fruit, spice, and ginger.

Overall, the wine seemed light and sprightly. It had a great mineral quality, and the acidity really made it a refreshing wine. I would drink this at the end of a long hike/walk on the Mt. Vernon Trail because it it would be the perfect pick me up and would be a wonderful wine to drink while surrounded by great views of Washington, DC.

Many thanks to Russ for hosting us in this edition of WBW and as always, a tip of the hat to Lenn of Lenndevours, our founder who has kept WBW going for 50 iterations.

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Can You Pronounce This?


The wine for the evening happened to have a very strange name, the 2006 Navarro Edelzwicker. We picked this bottle up at the winery on our March Sonoma trip, it cost $12, had a real cork closure and clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume. Navarro bills the wine as “Mendocino Table Wine,” and it’s a blend of Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris.

In the glass, the wine displayed a pale yellow color, which unfortunately, you can’t see from my photo. Even though I got a new camera, I’m still working on the settings and actually taking good photos. Perhaps I should just give up and accept the fact that as a photographer, I suck.

On the nose I found perfume, spice, flowers, some underlying citrus, and 7-Up. Really, I said to Matt, “This wine smells like grapes.” No, I don’t mean to suggest it smells like the folks over at Smells Like Grape, though it could, I’ll let you know after the Wine Blogger Conference as I’m sharing a room with Taster B. In the mouth I got flavors of lemon, lime, (so really, if I knew what 7-Up tasted like, this might be it in wine form), flowers, honey, and a touch of spice. The flavors and body of the wine were quite light, though it did have just a hint of a creamy texture. Overall, an excellent bargain for the price.

Wine Friends Are Great!


Farley, formerly of Behind the Vines and soon to be of….well, yet to be announced, but we all know that whatever she chooses to do next will be a great success, gave me and Matt this bottle of 2005 Thomas Fogarty Gewurztraminer last year as a house warming present! It hails from Monterey, California, had a real cork closure, and clocked in at 14.2% alcohol by volume. I doubt this vintage is widely available any longer since it’s now 2008, but if the quality I found in this wine is an indication of future vintages, I can easily recommend it.

On the nose I found vanilla, ginger, floral aromas, honey, and tropical fruit. The nose was quite aromatic…I had to force myself to stop smelling it so I wouldn’t lose my share of the bottle to Matt!. In the mouth I got peach, tropical fruit, honey, spice, and minerals. The wine had a very full mouthfeel, and was silky smooth. With the great acidity and structure, I can see how this would be a good match with spicy food as Farley suggested (though, my heartburn can’t handle spicy food, so we just drank it on it’s own!).

I described the wine as “yummy” and “very yummy” in my notes, so I guess that’s a good vote about what I thought of it! Many thanks to Farley for sharing this with me!

Meeting Farley

Now, I know all of you who haven’t yet had the absolute pleasure of meeting Farley of Wine Outlook will be jealous, but Matt and I got to have dinner with her during our Sonoma area trip. At first it was a little hard to pin down a place…Farley’s not too familiar with the area that was half-way between our Inn and her winery and clearly I was lost as anything trying to find something. I finally settled on Novato, a little over an hour for each of us and a brewery called Moylans.

I think it turned out to be a decent choice, Matt and I arrived a bit early as the night before we had hit some brutal traffic driving in the same direction, but that gave me some time to flesh out the meager notes I had made during our whirlwind tastings during the day.

We were seated relatively quickly at a nice big table and soon had, gasp!, beers in front of us. Though we did talk blogs and wine quite a bit!

In any case, Farley was just as cute as could be and has the most darling Southern accent. She was also incredibly sweet and easy to talk to. We chatted all evening about wine, her moving to CA, how I manage to read and post on so many blogs every day, how awful Uhaul can be, etc. She even brought Matt and I some housewarming wine, including the famous Fogarty Gewurztraminer she is always raving about! I can’t wait to try it in our very own Thomas Fogarty wine glasses! We had a lovely dinner and I was sad when I realized it was after 9 and we should probably wrap it up as we had fairly long drives ahead of us. It was just great to meet one of the people behind a blog I read all the time and I look forward to meeting more of you in the future.

Stay tuned for a post about the lovely evening we spent with Ken of Ala Wine and his wife.

Roshambo Gewurtztraminer

I’m a little behind in my wine reviews, which I suppose is fine because there won’t be any wine drinking tonight (I’m still recovering a bit from last night) so at least I have a few back-ups to post!

Anyway, on Monday we drank a bottle of 2005 Roshambo Gorey Gewurtztraminer. It had a real cork, cost us around $15 and is 14.1% alcohol by volume. I paired it with some more of the Zuppa Toscana because it struck me that it might be a good match with the spiciness of the sausage.

It smells like Gewurtztraminer……it’s aromatic, floral, lightly sweet with an undertone of spice. Honeysuckle especially seemed to jump out.

In the mouth, it’s a little greasy. Very heavy and palate coating and an odd kick of maybe petrol at the end? Also quite sweet. NMS.

Questing Again

Last night we moved on to another bottle in our quest for everyday wines. This was a bottle of 2005 Vin D’ Alsace Willm Gewurztraminer. We paired it with the last (phew!) of the turkey and some sides (still lots of those left). 13% alcohol by volume, $13.99 at Arrowine, cork closure.

Very nice flowery nose. Good spice on the finish, light, but full in the mouth. I’m sold. For the price, it will find it’s way to our table frequently.