Wine and cooking!?! Yes! Our most recent and truly different virtual wine tasting was led by individuals associated with Benovia Winery, located in Santa Rosa, California. David, an employee, and Austin, a chef, lead us through the making of wild mushroom risotto and the wine tasting. The package we bought included, 2 Benovia wines: a chardonnay and a pinot noir, plus all the fixings to cook risotto! Yes, they included the olive oil, truffle butter, dried wild mushrooms, grated pecorino romano cheese, a spice (seasoning) blend, and carnaroli rice.
While David talked with us about the chardonnay we were tasting, Austin also had us heating our stock and sautéing the first ingredients for the risotto. At various points of the virtual activity we were looking into each others cooking pans to see how our risotto was coming along. Once the risotto was cooked, we also heard from David about the pinot noir we were enjoying with our meal. (Others were also cooking scallops or steak and having the risotto as a side dish, but for us it was our meal.)
Benovia Winery has held local catered events in Arizona, pre-pandemic. They were always an enjoyable time to taste wines and meet fellow wine club members. Hopefully those activities will return when we are back to a normal world. In the meantime, wine can be ordered on-line at benoviawinery.com
If you followed my four virtual wine tasting posts, it is very interesting how businesses have promoted their products and interactions with buyers through Zoom. Part of me hopes there will be continued activities such as these because it is not always possible to get to a winery. Time will tell.
Here we go again with another virtual wine tasting, but with our friends and our own coordinated Zoom time! Claiborne & Churchill Winery, located in San Luis Obispo, California, had a different twist on the idea of virtual tastings and offered a “Blind Tasting Challenge”. We received 3 “mystery” bottles of white wines, or you could choose the red wine package, wrapped individually so we could not see the name of the wine. Five tasting note cards were provided. As we tasted each wine we could see if the notes helped us determine the type of wine.
The fun part was inviting friends from around the country to buy a white wine package and join us on a future zoom call we arranged when everyone was available. A bit of coordination was needed as we were across 3 different time zones. We sipped wine, talked about the aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel of each wine to the best of our ability, and solved answers to wine trivia questions so we were sure to talk about other things too. It was fun and at best 2 of 3 wines were determined correctly by a couple of people.
Maybe we will do the red wine mystery package next??
If you are visiting near San Luis Obispo or the oceanfront town of Pismo Beach, you are close to this Edna Valley winery or check out their website: claibornechurchill.com and enjoy their wines!
Another fun virtual wine tasting was with Pedroncelli Winery which is located in Geyserville, California. I think this was the first winery where we became club members. We discovered this winery years ago while road bicycling in the area and have enjoyed dinner in their barrel-room in the past. Oh, when will we be back to pre-pandemic days!?
Pedroncelli’s virtual wine tasting package was an Italian feast! It included three different cheeses, see photo below, a box of crackers, Molinari salami, 5 bottles of wine and a bottle of vintage port. Sips of different wines while enjoying the cheese was fun. So was eating some salami, something I usually never eat. We were drinking and eating left-overs for a few weeks!
Even if we cannot visit Pedroncelli Winery, we know their wines are available at pedroncelli.com If you are in northern California, stop and check out their wines!