Wine & Jazz

Over the long weekend, Brett and I ventured to the Southern borders of Pennsylvania to Chaddsford Winery for their Labor Day Weekend Jazz Festival.

Our admission fee got us an etched wine glass for tasting, and a nifty neon orange wristband with 10 detachable tabs, each valid for a one-ounce taste of eight of the winery’s featured wines.

[Now, let me preface this by saying that we are by no means wine connoisseurs. We like wine that tastes good to us. We tend to enjoy whites more than reds, with Rieslings generally being our favorite varietal. Our wine knowledge is limited and something we are both interested in learning about and appreciating more. Now I will let you know how we felt about these wines.]

Our first taste was of the 2009 Spring Wine. According to the website, it is a “light, fresh, and fruity” wine, and according to the tasting station attendant, it was closest to a Reisling. According to us, it was blah.

The next station featured the 2008 Naked Chardonnay and the 2008 Pinot Grigio. We were both surprised how much we didn’t like these. The Naked Chardonnay tasted to me like rubbing alcohol (aging in stainless steel instead of oak has something to do with that, I’m sure) and the Pinot Grigio just wasn’t as refreshing as you’d expect one to be on a 90-degree summer day.

Looking at the rest of the list, we weren’t encouraged that the rest of the tasting would go in our favor, with the next three stations featuring reds. We have nothing against reds, we just really enjoy the simple refreshment and crispness of a cold white wine more-so than the warm complexity of a red. That’s just us.

However, we were surprised to very much enjoy two of the next three tastings – the 2008 Proprietors Reserve Red, and the 2005 Merican. The 2008 Pinot Noir wasn’t bad, but just a little too “inky” for my tastes (I felt like I was drinking a pen).

Encouraged by the promising reds, we finished the rounds with the 2009 Sunset Blush and the 2009 Niagra. Usually we enjoy sweet wines, but, wow! These were candy sweet. Hmpf.

At this point, we decided to get some food in our stomachs. Festival guests were invited to bring a blanket and a picnic lunch to enjoy whilst listening to the two jazz bands playing throughout the afternoon. We opted to see what was available from the advertised caterer, Pace One Restaurant (partially because the fridge was empty, but mostly because we can’t resist trying new restaurants!). Overall we were very pleased with the picnic-type food, with the highlight being the mushroom bisque. We also shared a Sangria Slushie and a cup of chocolate hazelnut gelato that were both extremely enjoyable.

We went back to the tasting stations to use up our last two wristband tabs on our two favorite wines, and decided to buy a bottle of each. I also threw in a bottle of the Apple Spiced Wine, because it just sounded too good and fall-ish to pass up. Can’t wait to try that one warm with a cinnamon stick on a cool fall night!

Overall we really enjoyed our day and were glad to be able to soak up some of the last rays of the summer sun. We’re always willing to try new foods and wines, and sometimes you have to take the good with the bad! Luckily we at least have good company in the experiences 🙂

And below, our one picture from the event! Enjoying the last sips of the Proprietors Reserve Red on our Big Blue blanket.

[FYI: We stink at taking pictures (we only have one from our honeymoon!) but we received a new point-and-shoot as a wedding gift, and we have a fancy-shmancy Nikon so hopefully their frequency of use will increase!]

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Filed under Festivals, Wine

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