I am very excited because this week it is my turn to tell you about the wine tasting I am hosting this weekend! My husband and I have a great group of friends coming to our apartment to sample an ample list of Jessup wines, taste some great food pairings and record all of their thoughts for you! (I don’t think I told them they were going to be blog guinea pigs in the invitation…)If you are one of my wonderful guests: Spoiler Alert!
Since we have a larger group of people that we invited, I am trying a more interactive style at our party. Instead of sitting around a table pouring, guests will get a chance to pour and pair their own on Saturday night. I thought it paired really well with the feel that the Jessup tasting room in Yountville brings to me: casual, homey atmosphere that relaxes me and really makes me appreciate the artistry of the wine (not to mention the art that they feature on the walls). My hope is that guests who maybe aren’t incredibly knowledgeable about wine will dive right in, try new things, and not be afraid to share their opinions. Because in the end, there are no wrong opinions about wine, it is a very personal experience for all of us.
When guests arrive they will be able to select their wine glass from a varied assortment of glasses. Each will have a name tag that I am making (mostly to keep track of who’s glass is who’s) to help them feel more at home. A note about glassware: I agonized over the glasses for this party. We have a good amount of wine glasses, but we don’t have a huge set of red and a set of white and a set of champagne or port glasses. What to do!? Rent them? Borrow them? I decided that using an assortment of glasses would feel homier. A huge array of glasses would take the focus away from casually experiencing the wine and sharing that experience with friends (and with you).
Creating this “pour your own” format, we will use our refrigerator as a display piece. Pictures of the Jessup bottles will show the name of the wine and a few tasting notes. The actual bottles will be arranged on the counter and available for self-pours. Do-it-yourself refrigerator magnets (made using a regular printer!) will have different tasting adjectives. Guests can arrange the magnets at will around the photos of the bottles all night, sharing their thoughts with each other and helping us to record their thoughts for the Epilogue post next week!
I really enjoy buying different cheeses, spreads, and various anti pasti-style items at local specialty stores and experimenting with what pairs well with my favorite wines. I am going to adapt this into a “pair your own” format, providing a variety of nibbles, cheeses, and goodies. I will recommend my favorite pairings and then guests can mix and match and tell everyone what combinations they like. Everyone’s palette is different, and I’m really interested in hearing what everyone likes together. A large chalk board will help everyone share their favorite pairs throughout the night.
You will have to tune in next week to hear about the final menu, see pictures of the party, and read about the highlights from my guests! While you are waiting, I highly recommend checking out the Jessup website to buy a bottle or two (you won’t want to not be drinking a glass of Jessup wine when you hear all of the yummy details next week).
In the glass at our party:
2010 Sauvignon Blanc
2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
2008 Table for Four (my fav!)
2008 Pinot Noir Napa Valley
2007 Zinfandel Port (paired with some sort of yummy dark chocolate dessert provided by my fantastic friend Faye)
I don’t think I can do quite as good of a job as the Jessup Tasting Room team does, but I will certainly try my best!