This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #WAWineTime #CollectiveBias
I’m so excited to be celebrating Washington Wine Month with my readers. I recently had the good fortune to live in Vancouver, WA for one year. While I was there I indulged in many of the great wines that the state has to offer. Although I encountered many fine wines during that time, which will be added to my list of favorites, I had discovered my absolute favorite white wine years earlier in Denver, CO, where I found Kung Fu Girl Riesling. Imagine my happy surprise to learn that Washington is home of Charles Smith Wines, the creator of Kung Fu Girl Riesling. More on that in a second. First, I just want to remind my readers that Washington state has more than 900 wineries and 350 vineyards. #WAWineMonth calls on you to explore and support local award-winning brands that put Washington winemaking on the map. To learn more, visit www.WaWineMonth.com
This week’s post is all about how to create a great home wine tasting experience. For Washington Wine Month, I’m going to be setting up a wine tasting dinner party featuring Charles Smith Wine. Many years ago, when I was just a wine neophyte, I wandered into a cute wine shop in Denver and was immediately attracted to a wine that had the greatest label design I’ve ever seen: a Ghost Fighter and the name Kung Fu Girl Riesling. I immediately knew from the label I could pair Kung Fu Girl Riesling with sushi and other Asian inspired dishes. Kung Fu Girl Riesling has the approachable flavors of citrus blossom, lime leaf, and white peach, intermingling with mineral notes that I love in a white wine. It was this wine that opened up a door to appreciating great wines that are enjoyable right now.
I’ve since had the opportunity to try out other Charles Smith Wines, including Boom Boom! Syrah, The Velvet Devil Merlot, Eve Chardonnay, and Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon. While I adore all of these wines, Boom Boom! Syrah is my other most favorite. This is a full-bodied red wine with hints of blackberry and boysenberry, as well as lovely notes of white pepper, savory herbs, and crushed granite. Plus, there’s a great story behind the wine. Boom Boom! Syrah is named for Charles’ first love lost – Elizabeth “Boom Boom” O’Brien. The spiciness of the Syrah tells you everything you need to know about Elizabeth. Not to mention Boom Boom! Syrah is also the top selling Syrah backed by top wine publications.
Here we are at the end of summer. It’s the perfect time to host an outdoor wine tasting party, especially to invite your friends over to taste Charles Smith Wines.
The first step for a great wine tasting party is to gather up all of your supplies. Here are the must haves:
- Wine glasses, of course. I prefer non-stemmed wine glasses, which has everything to do with my predilection for breaking wine glasses that are filled with wine. Don’t cry over spilled milk, but do cry if you break a glass that has Kung Fu Girl Riesling in it. One wine glass per person will do – be sure to give the glasses a quick swirl with water between pours.
- Notepads for tasting notes and pens.
- A carafe of water and some water glasses to keep everyone hydrated while tasting and to cleanse the palate between tastes.
- A bucket for spitting.
- Snacks that pair with the wines.
- Charles Smith wines.
A few items that are nice to have on hand, but are not absolutely necessary:
- Wine glass markers just in case anyone becomes separated from their wine.
- Slate plates to serve the snacks.
- Wine pourer spout to serve perfectly portioned tastes
Some notes on preparing for the tasting. Wines should be at appropriate temperatures to get the best flavor. White wines, like the Kung Fu Girl Riesling and the Eve Chardonnay should be fridge cool (between 44 – 57 degrees Fahrenheit). Reds should be slightly cool (between 63 – 68 degrees Fahrenheit). You can achieve this at home by chilling the reds, like the Boom Boom! Syrah, the The Velvet Devil Merlot, and the Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon, in the fridge and then taking them out to come to temperature thirty minutes before you start tasting.
When you are preparing snacks for pairing with the wines, think about fruit, cheeses, crackers, nuts, and chocolate. If you are feeling ambitious, add in cured meats or tapas style recipes (like meatballs) to pair well with your red wines. Chopped up tomato with a bit of basil and a flaky salt on crackers go great with Kung Fu Girl Riesling, but that’s just my opinion. Not to mention Kung Fu Girl Riesling also has consistent 90+ points scores and was named Top 100 Wines by Wine Spectator.
Wines get tasted from white to red, with Kung Fu Girl Riesling going before Eve Chardonnay, and The Velvet Devil Merlot being tasted before Boom Boom! Syrah. Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon would be tasted last – a variety that has four years of 89+ scores.
Most importantly, enjoy! These wines are meant to be every day wines – wines that showcase the varietals and vineyard, but that are very approachable. Charles Smith Wines are a great way to celebrate Washington Wine Month, but are also the perfect wine to drink anytime.