8.12.09 Blind Date: Central Coast Reds

18 08 2009

This tasting was on my (Katie) birthday so I chose to mix it up with a big bad BLIND tasting. The theme was Central Coast Reds  which was Tim’s idea in honor of our home town. Here’s me trying to open the bottles that I had just bagged, without looking.

Grrrrr. Its hard to do this without looking


Wine #1: Ellen and Colin both immediately said “this smells like a pinot”.  They should have called jinx. I picked up on some alcohol  and Christopher smelled some honey. Ellen also got notes of blackberry and Colin said it was oaky and smelled like raisins more than berries to him. Kelly showed up later that night and wrote down “brown spice” for this one.

On the palate Florian mentioned that it was not very heavy but had a lingering taste. He also thought it was a bit papery. Christopher thought it was earthy and smelled sweeter than it tasted. Colin got some tannic and strawberry action. Kelly’s added notes mentioned cranberry and “pinot fo sho”. This one turned out to be our favorite.

Wine #2 Florian immediately got earthy woody, diesel, and eucalyptus scents. Christopher agreed and added that it reminded him of chemicals or burned wood. Fernanda chimed in that it smelled sweeter than wine #1. Colin got oak again, and bandaid which impressed me as I immediately picked up on it too. Ellen thought it smelled like an old library book, but in a good way, for those of us that enjoy the smell of library books. Kelly later wrote that he thought it was a syrah.

The taste was both sweet and vinegary for Christopher with notes of fig. Florian thought it was super tannic and dry. And I got some white pepper action. Overall we though this wine was just average.

Wine #3: Florian said this one was his favorite smell so far. Fernanda got a lot of alcohol and Colin agreed. I thought it had a distinct cheery smell and Kelly whiffed  some brown sugar.

On the palate Kelly got the hotness and some berry flavors. I quickly started loosing my focus and said “I’m not really concentrating tonight. I just want to get drunk”. Fair enough I think.This wine didn’t excite us that much and we agreed it was an equally average as wine #2.

Wine #4: Moving on to the fourth blind wine, Colin got some jammy berry notes. Kelly though it was peppery. Chris said it was sweet tasting and Colin equated it to caramelized candy. I came back in the game, noting that it had a nice leathery taste and Ellen also got some berries and pepper. Fernanda also found the berries on the nose and the palate. This wine we all liked a bit better, maybe almost as much as Wine#1, but being the pinot whoirs that we are I think #1 was still the fav.

Wine #5: Our second to last wine, Christopher thought it smelled like oak and razzberry (yep with a z). Colin got licorice and leather  and I thought it smelled like “your mom” but no one’s mom in particular. I also got some earthy whiffs of something complex. Fernanda smelled cassis and Kelly found some grapey, blackberry notes.

Nikki thought it tasted like brown sugar and both Nikki and I thought it had some port-like qualities. Florian qualified that by saying “bad port”.  There was a bit of confusion over what type of varietal this was. Kelly, Colin and I all pinned it as a zin. A few others disagreed and Nikki thought it was maybe a petit syrah, zin blend. Some of us really like it, other were less enthused.

Wine #6: The final wine of the night. Well actually not really, but the final blind wine. Kelly and Ellen both said oak! (emphatically). Nikki and I both thought it was funky. Nikki got some almonds and I nailed it down as a “funk nut”. Kelly and Nikki also picked up on some spiced plum on the nose and Chris got peppercorn salami. Ew.

On the palate Ellen though it was peppery and sweet. Kelly said it was spicy and plummy. I got some meaty flavors, while Colin tasted figs.

Then came the unveiling….. drum roll….

Central Coast Reds

Central Coast Reds

Wine #1: Irony Pinot Noir, Monterey County, 2006 $12

Wine#2: Valréas “Cuvée Prestige” Côtes du Rhône Villages 2007, $6  (Yeah we threw in a cheap french to throw people off the trail)

Wine #3: Qupé Syrah, Central Coast 2006, $13

Wine #4: Ventana Rubystone, Soledad, 60% Grenache 40% Syrah, 2007 $13

Wine #5: Barrel 27 Syrah “Right Hand Man, Central Coast, 2006 $18

Wine #6: Robert Hall Syrah, Paso Robles, 2006 $14

Crazy how we ended up with all those Syrahs!

Lucky for me the night didn’t end there. Tim and Kelly surprised me with a delicious birthday cake and some awesome bubbly. What sweethearts they are.

Birthday treats for the lucky birthday gal!

Birthday treats for the lucky birthday gal!

Kelly also enjoyed some grapes, hand picked from Napa:

Mmmm, grapey

Mmmm, grapey



The night was long and fun. BUT another surprise awaited us….

The wine ran out and we thought we were S.O.L. , but then Chris presented us with a secret wine that he had brought and stashed:



Cosmic Cruzers, Supermerlova 2001. And  then we drank it.






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