September 27, 2011 at 09:00 | Posted in Adult beverages | 5 Comments
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Monday evenings normally consist of staying home, maybe going to the gym and watching a DVD’s worth of Friends. The difference tonight was the result of a mass text calling for people to join in a wine tasting at Bobby’s Downtown.


Cheers to the evening.

Who am I to turn down such an invitation when the only plan I would be breaking was a date with my media law textbook? I think you know what I did.

Tonight was a white wine event. I’m exclusively a red wine drinker as a rule, but I’m willing to try new things. I always want something to impress me. Happily I discovered some whites that did the trick. I will share them with you along with the delightful appetizers that were given to us to whet the palate.

The evening included 20 white wines hand-picked by Bruce Abbott for the tasting. Being a newbie to the Fairbanks social scene, I’m really enjoying to getting to know the different circles of people and that nearly all of us are connected via Twitter. It’s nice to put a physical person with an @ handle.

Of the 20 bottles tasted I had a true affection for 3 and an affinity for 2 and those all deserve to be shared.

Robert Mondavi Winery Fume Blanc

Fume Blanc by any other name is really just a Sauvignon Blanc. The alias is borne from the Robert Mondavi brand.

This is the list of wines for the tasting this evening along with my easy to read ratings.

This was a fine Napa Valley wine. Enjoying a 2009 vintage of this wine was a treat, and this is the official party line, since the harvest for this particular batch was interrupted when a tropical storm soaked Northern and Central California. All the Sauvignon Blanc was harvested under ideal conditions though. Foggy days of August kept the acids bright and allowed for full flavor development.

The tang of white peaches and nectarines are in the flavor and in the nose (which means how the wine smells, when you smell it with your mouth open) you get a great amount of guava and passion fruit. The after taste was delightfully acidic and lively.

Jordan Chardonnay

Chardonnay is the most run of the mill white wine.

Grilled chicken caesar salad with red peppers and red onion.

It has a tendency to be over done and, all too often, done poorly. Too sweet, too light and/or too acidic. But this Jordan Chardonnay was very nice. From its apple, citrus and honeysuckle aromas, its sweet apple flavor with a touch of something dark (It was later explained this flavor oak) to the crisp finish, the wine did not disappoint. For such a dedicated fan of reds, this Chardonnay was the best surprise of the evening.

Michele Chiarlo “Nivole” Moscato d’Asti

Calamari drizzled with lemon juice, sauteed white onion and tzatziki.

Dessert wine is a treat. They are light, low alcohol and complementary to most any after dinner sweet. They come in half bottles because, who could take that much sweetness? This particular one would go well with a cheesecake (or baklava according to Bruce). This Italian fare was lightly carbonated and had a distinct citrus aroma. It has a strong grape scent and flavor, but a musky crispness. Delightful for an after dinner treat.

All the wines enjoyed throughout the evening.

Following up these intense winners were the strong contenders Caposaldo Moscato IGT and Illumination Sauvignon Blanc.

The moscato was light and refreshing, similar to a dessert wine in that it was a sweet and slightly carbonated spirit. It exhibited subdued apricot and peach, while blossoming as a fragrant, vernal wine. The sweetness was a bit duller to me than the other dessert or dessert-like wines presented this evening.

Photo by Bobby
Tania and myself, pictured behind a flattering blur of wine at Bobby's.

The Illumination, which was the hit of the night with the majority of those in attendance, was a fresh and tangy experience. The wine was complex and hinted at many different aromas and flavors. Citrus, herb and stone fruit essences were present with complementary flavors of lemon and papaya. It has a lingering and grainy finish. The mineral finish is perhaps what kept this one out of the top 3 for me.

This evening was really top drawer! I am very thankful to Bobby for providing this experience and the tasty treats that accompanied the festivities.



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  1. I’m so glad you were able to join us, and I like how that picture captures my trying to smile and not sneeze, sniffle, or anything else that related to my need for antihistamines.

    Next week… REDS!! 🙂

  2. How expensive is that place? Do the have any French wine in their selection? I’ve heard of Lavelles restaurant downtown Fairbanks, a friend told me that they had a very good wine selection and quite cheap. Do you know of this place?

    • I think one of the whites we tried was French and I believe they have a couple of reds on the menu as well. The h’ors d’ouevres are about $15 each, but are enough to split and enjoy. I think the meals are $20-$25.

      Lavelles definitely has lots of wine!!

  3. I’m jealous!
    I’ll have to go with you one night! I’ve been meaning to go since I heard of it! =)
    Dessert wines are fun! I just had an order open with bevmo (in California) for a hello kitty pink sparkler dessert wine (notes of raspberry & strawberry… Yummmm)!!! Lol

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