Wow, there sure has been a lot of Beringer in my life lately. Three out of four of my Wine of the Week posts have been about Beringer. Well, I can promise next week you'll see something new. Last Sunday our friends, Debbie & Jeff treated us to a tour of Beringer. They had picked up a 4 pack for an hour long tour and food & wine pairing at Beringer on groupon. After we ate a quick lunch at a cute Italian inspired cafe, we headed over to Beringer for our 1 o'clock tour. We were in a group with about 15 other people. People from all over the world! It's funny how I don't really realize that people come from all over to try Napa and Sonoma County wines.
We started out in Beringer's wine cave, where they house their barrel aged wines. We were able to take pictures in here (mine didn't turn out well), learn some history, ask questions, and have a tasting of a 9 month old cabernet sauvignon. It was pretty good! After the cave we went into the beautiful house, sat down at a large table, and did a short food and wine pairing.
This was my favorite part of the tour. I've never had any luck at pairing food with alcohol. I usually always drink my alcohol as an appetizer because food changes the taste so much. Well, that's probably because I've been pairing everything wrong. The first two pairings were done so well. I absolutely loved the potato chips with the chardonnay. I'm not sure what kind of cheese was paired with the cabernet sauvignon but it was rather sharp. Both those first pairings really smoothed out the wines and made them taste even better. Who knew potato chips could go well with wine?! Unfortunately for me, the white chocolate paired with their dessert wine didn't work. It made the dessert wine all that more sweet and less desirable.
As you can see, not much left of the tasting! From the left, we started with a 2010 Modern Heritage Sbragia Limited Release Chardonnay for $35 a bottle. In the middle was their 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve - Knights Valley for $50 a bottle. The last glass on the right was the 2007 Nightingale Dessert Wine for $40 a bottle. While I thought the first two were delicious, I honestly wouldn't spend the money. First, they aren't really in my price range, and I'm sure you could find great bottles for cheaper. I wasn't a fan of the dessert wine, it was much too sweet for my taste.
The best part of the day was afterwards when we browsed their gift shops, walked around the property, and shared a bottle of wine.
We all decided to share a bottle of wine outside and just hang out for a while. It was an absolutely gorgeous day. It was pretty warm, so we decided to go with a nice chilled bottle of their Rose.
Beringer's website states that this bottle is $22 with "Aromas of cranberry and sweet pastry are followed by notes of white pepper, pomegranate, and spiced raspberries. A hint of orange rind and subtle brown spices carries into a pleasing finish". I can't say I really noticed any of those but this was the prettiest wine I've ever drank. The color was stunning! The wine was very easy to drink with no bite. It was smooth and crisp and was just what we were looking for on a hot day. It might seem like this was a sweet wine, but it really wasn't.
We had such a great day at Beringer, and haven't felt that relaxed in a long time. I can see why so many people flock to Napa Valley for vacation. It really is a different world when you're at a winery. There were so many people enjoying themselves, sharing a bottle outside, while live music was playing.
What a perfect day.