Whenever someone says to me, “I don’t like wine”, my
response is, “then you haven’t tried the right one yet!” However, I understand
completely where they are coming from because at one point, I felt the same way. It was at a wine tasting
in Oregon where I tried that pivotal wine for me, the one that turned me into
an appreciator of wine and fueled my curiosity for further exploration. That wine, was Evolution by Sokol Blosser – a
blend of 9 varietals . Up until then I had tried mostly single varietal wines
and sort of walked aimlessly into a wine shop hoping for the best. That single
taste of Evolution put me on a path. I wanted to try all 9 of those varietals –
some I was unfamiliar with. This then
lead to greater discovery and the realization that I did like wine and it guided
me toward the types of wine I prefer. See my video on this blog or at this link: Discovering Wine Specifically Blends.
This week’s Wine Wednesday feature brought that momentous
occasion back to mind. The 2011 Airlie 7 is also an Oregon wine and also a blend,
this one a blend of 7 different varietals.
It is unique but equally brilliant as if it was blended specifically to
suite my taste. As I tasted, I attempted to guess the varietals and managed to
guess all but one. Ironically, the one I didn’t guess, the one I’m least
familiar with, is the one that is the majority of the blend, Müller Thurgau. Müller
Thurgau is a cross of Riesling and Madeleine Royale. I should mention that "7" is a blend of 7 different
varietals but also 7 different wines. The approach here is that each of the 7
is fermented separately and made into a single varietal prior to blending.
The other varietals
in order of most to least are Pinot Gris, Viognier, Gewürtztraminer, Riesling,
Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc. On the nose,
the scent of pineapple, orange blossom, stone fruit and herbal notes. On the
palate, juicy well balanced acidity, spice and a crisp clean finish. The things that stood out to me most were the
subtle sweetness (though this is not a sweet wine) a lovely acidity, the spice
that I’ve come to associate with Gewürtztraminer and the herbal notes I love in
Viognier. The Chardonnay along with the Viognier likely contributes largely to
the structure and being a huge fan of Oregon Pinot Gris, I love everything it
brings to the table.
It should be mentioned that each vintage of this wine is
unique. I’ve noticed the blend for 2014 is slightly different and I’m anxious
to explore that as well.
Like my first love, Evolution, this wine has now found a
special place in my heart and a permanent position in my wine fridge! It’s one
I’ll reach for when I just want to sip on a glass of wine, but also an
extremely versatile choice for food pairing and what I perceive as a crowd
pleaser. This may be my Thanksgiving
2016 choice! I’ll enjoy it a few times between now and then just to be
sure. We honestly, didn’t pair this with
anything this time. We enjoyed it by itself as we relaxed by the pool one evening. I’m
anxious to try it with Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps or Tempura Fish Tacos as
well as Grilled Shrimp with Wasabi Remoulade. The subtle sweetness should make
this a great pairing with spicy foods - thus Thanksgiving with the various spices and richness in all those magnificent side dishes.
Click the links below to print or save the recipe pairing suggestions.