Wine I like my job.

Here I am again.  I’m sure you sympathize with my plight – experiencing two wine trade shows in 10 days – tasting more wines than I have fingers or toes – being solely responsible for sampling and eventually purchasing the wines upon which Azalea Inn and Gardens must rest a portion of her reputation.  Sigh.

Last night was the Fall Wine Show for Atlanta Wholesale Wines and an opportunity to share with my sisters-in-law, visiting from California, the arduousness of my daily life. With well over 30 vendors and hundreds, literally, of wines to sample, I again found myself facing the dilemma of approach.  I decided to cut to the chase on this one.  Straight to my man, Casey O’Rear, who directed my SILs to sample some bubblies from the Arel Group, the representative company for Candoni Moscato and Condoni Prosecco.  One sweet, the other dry (I don’t mean the SILs) and both were well-received.  I think the pretty hand painted labels were a part of that decision, but no matter – I found them to be a great way to start the evening and a sip or so in-between kept my palate alive for repeated indulgences. I wanted to know if they were sweet wine ladies, so our next stop was with the rep from Constellation Wines who poured a delightful Jackson Triggs Vidal Ice Wine – alas too sweet for the girls, but I had no problem finishing their leftovers (you may remember, I don’t spite, and the Catholic in me won’t let me throw anything away, most especially a great dessert wine!)  Jake and I opted to sample the Wild Horse Pinot Noir “Unbridled” – Yum!! Worth your search for sure.

You may recall that last week I vowed to not taste any wines in our portfolio and I tried again to stick to that credo. Spotting Josh Brett with Michael-David Winery, however, allowed me to re-acquaint myself with two old favorites (7 Deadly Zins and Earthquake Petite Syrah), and taste some excellent additions to the lineup!  SIL Teresa (confusing isn’t it) stepped up bravely to dip her toe into red wine territory, and at Josh’s suggestions sampled the Petite Petite, a blend of Petite Syrah and Petite Verdot (85/15), a delightfully fruity wine with big taste. Feeling braver next up was Earthquake Petite Syrah – just a bit too bold for her, but Jake and I, that’s a different story.  We traveled across their offerings: 6th Sense Syrah, Gluttony Zin, Lust Zin and finally the Rapture Cab.  Michael-David Winery has a delightful selection of approachable fun wines – enjoy!

Two tables away I spotted Lacey of Leocci’s Trattoria busy sampling wines represented by Pacific Southern Wine Company.  Lacey’s strong recommendation was a “must try” ZD Cab and I can’t disagree.  I lead into this block buster with Morgan 12 Clones Pinot Noir and Steele Writer’s Block Pinot Noir.  I stopped sampling for a bit and went in search of my three guests – Jake, Kathi, and Teresa.  Jake was on the phone hiding in a corner, and the SILs were just finishing off some appetizers prepared by Olde Pink House – must say that I loved the fried green tomato bits as well as the corn fritters and some goat cheese on cracker that I slathered with fresh honeycomb.  Duly satieated I headed off for my last round of wine stopping by the Joseph Phelps Vineyards table and then Landmark Vineyards. Joseph Phelps makes some great wines under their own label as well as Fog Dog and Freestone and I was not disappointed.  The Insignia was a treat, especially for my usual price range.  Landmark presented me with achoice of three whites and three reds – though their Overlook Chardonnay receives great reviews – I was on a red mission.  Two Pinot Noirs were sampled side by side, Grand Detour and Kanzler and each earned more than 90 points from Wine Spectator, but my favorite from t his table was their Syrah “Steel  Plow”, a peppery explosion of dark berries, spices, full bodied and intense.

Time to go home now. We all hear the call of Vanilla Cheesecake (from Forms) and an early morning flight for the SILs.