Many people take wine tasting seriously, and I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t, but I know that there are those of us who are intimidated by the entire tasting process. What if I ask the wrong question? What if I don’t smell or taste what everyone else is smelling and tasting? What if I don’t like what everyone else is loving?
Your unique sense of taste and smell are what make each of us individuals, and winemakers often tailor wines to a broad range of palates, and sometimes, they miss. This means that if you consider yourself uninformed or a beginner, this is great news! Now is the perfect time to grab a friend, or two, and check out a winery right here in the Lodi area.
Wineries want you to feel comfortable. We want you to look at the color of the wine, take in the aroma, swirl, sniff, taste, and if you don’t like it on that first taste, give it one more chance. But life is too short to drink something that you don’t like, or don’t want. Do be willing to try different wines, more than once before you write it off. Like everything else in life, your tastes will change over time, and maybe even with the season, so be open, but never feel that you should like a wine simply because someone else does.
This month, we decided to poll our colleagues in arms here at Nostra Vita Family Winery, and asked them, “Which is your favorite NV wine and why?” Then we queried, “Where’s your favorite place to sip ‘n savor?” Here’s what those who make and serve the wine had to say.
• Robert Indelicato [vice president, winemaker]: “My favorite NV wine changes throughout the year. One wine that I’m really liking is our 2020 Chardonnay. It has gotten some rest in the bottle, and it’s showing layers of fruit and complexity.”
“I enjoy drinking wines on the patio along with some prosciutto and melon. Hmmm!”
• Tim Cook [asst. cellar door manager]: “Blanc de Blanc. I have the best memories drinking it with friends, and now every time that I drink it, the fun times that I had come to mind.”
“Outside on the patio at home, where I can watch the creek, enjoy the flowers and hummingbirds. And I always share with friends.”
• Jan Klevan [cellar door guide]: “Right now it’s our Cabernet Sauvignon. It is so silky and smooth. I enjoy every sip!”
“And my perfect place to sip is the beach. Any type of weather, but at the beach.”
• Sergio Hurtado-Arroyo [asst. cellar master]: “I really enjoy the Red Envy. It’s a well put together blend with great taste on the palate.”
“I enjoy sipping out on the loggia with friends and food.”
• John White [sales]: “My favorite is our Blanc de Blanc. It’s elegant and drinkable anytime, anywhere, especially paired with our favorite dishes.”
“I enjoy sipping it with my wife in our backyard on a warm evening.”
• Hayden Sparks [sales}: “Carignane, because of its ability to be consumed with ease in any situation.”
• Anisa Keyser [cellar door manager]: “My favorite Nostra Vita wine is the 2018 Blanc de Blanc. It’s a perfect balance between crisp and creamy. It does well with any meal of the day: breakfast, lunch or dinner!”
“My favorite place to sip is wrapped in a blanket in bed watching movies.”
• Mia King [social media/event coordinator]: “Sparkling rosé! Because it’s beautiful in the glass, it smells divine, and tastes like a summer day. I always find a reason to celebrate when I’m drinking sparkling rosé.”
“My favorite place to taste is on the beach.”
• Kyle Bloudoff-Indelicato [asst. winemaker]: “My favorite wine is the Blanc de Noir. It’s austere, clean, and mineral, a lot like the Blanc de Blanc, but with a fuller mouthfeel and supple stone fruit aroma.”
“I love tasting on the Nostra Vita patio. It’s very calm and relaxing, a home away from home. Otherwise, I do my tasting in my backyard with my family while we barbecue some vegetables and salmon filets.”
• Chad Osborne [cellar door guide]: “Blanc de Blanc! It’s dry and creamy, and the bubbly finish is what I love about it. I always thought of it as if the bubbles were pop-rocks on the palate. I also love the Bella Blanca for its lighter and sweeter taste. Anything that has hints of citrus is a plus for me. It makes me feel like I’m by the beach or poolside.”
“I love sipping at our winery. A nice sunset makes me feel at home.”
• Katie Bloudoff-Indelicato [sales manager]: “I love the Nostra Vita Petite Sirah. I bring it to every dinner party, and I have three friends that wait anxiously for the release every year. It’s got beautiful fruit, and a wonderful balance of tannin and oak aging. It literally goes with every meat dish. My last dinner was lamb cutlets with Nostra Vita Petite Sirah, and it was a huge hit.”
“I don’t have a specific place I enjoy tasting but tasting with friends is the best!”
• Leslie Bloudoff: “As for what I favor, it varies from season to season, what I’m eating, who I’m drinking with, or even what I’m doing. Right now, this spring, I think our 2020 Viognier is delicious—both for the aroma and the taste. Take a deep whiff and enjoy the citrusy aroma with notes of apricot and pear. The taste—vibrant, rich, well rounded and quite honestly, the perfect addition to any meal, or simply on its own.”
“I love sipping wine outdoors, relaxing out in the middle of nowhere, or, tucked into a chair, reading a book, or listening to the wind ‘n the birds. A perfect way to spend an afternoon.”