Well everyone, this is my last and final blog. It’s been quite the journey as a Jessup Ambassador and a journey that I didn’t want to end! To finish it off, I had one final tasting with some of my family and my parent’s close friends. This tasting was a bit different since we had all of the guests bring a dish of their own choice. Once we finalized the menu, Jessup matched up their best selections with the dishes and made a fantastic pairing! Jessup provided their 2010 Chardonnay, 2009 Pinot Noir, 2009 Table for Four, and 2007 Zinfandel Port. Talk about an awesome selection!
The night started with an array of Italian meats and cheeses alongside a walnut gorgonzola salad with cranberries and pears. We cracked open the 2010 Chardonnay for this course and sipped that sweet gold liquid while everyone found their way to my parents’ condo. This was the first time I tasted Jessup’s latest edition to their Chardonnay family and let me tell you, Rob Lloyd is a genius! I remember a year ago when he said he was waiting a little longer than usual for this wine to get to that perfect spot, and of course he nailed it! The website says it all, it’s moderately full bodied with a smooth finish. For everyone out there that fell in love with their 2009 Chardonnay, you’re in for a treat!
Next we opened the 2009 Pinot Noir and dug into Janice’s boysenberry baked brie along with a strawberry salad containing feta cheese, almonds and poppy seeds. The fruits in the dishes made this Pinot pop! Everyone is not a Pinot fan, I get it; but when it came to this Pinot and this pairing, everyone was a fan! Jessup really outdid themselves with this wine, if you haven’t tried it already you seriously need to get your hands on a bottle.
The main feature for the night (as if we hadn’t had enough awesomeness already) was Jessup’s latest 2009 Table for Four. As most of you may know, this is Jessup’s flagship blend. This was also the first time I had tried their 2009 blend and wow is it amazing! As opposed to the 2008 blend, it’s got a much darker color and a bit more tannins. It reminds me a lot of the Juel blend in that sense, but the taste is most certainly not the same. We paired this with my Mom’s chicken pasta in a tomato cream sauce and of course some garlic bread on the side. I could have this over and over and over!
For the final pairing, we broke out the 2007 Zinfandel Port and served some homemade chocolate pudding pies and a raspberry tart. Every time I have one of Jessup’s ports, I fall in love all over again. When you finish a bit of dessert with a sip of this port, the raspberry and chocolate flavors almost explode in your mouth. The port has that sweet chocolate dessert characteristic already, so when you add in a rich chocolaty food, you get a dessert worth remembering!
What a way to wrap up the night and alas, my final Jessup tasting! We let the last couple pairings linger on everyone’s pallet and for the next hour or two everyone mingled, laughed and had a great time. I’ve never seen a bunch of jollier folks in my life! It was at this tasting that I realized how much this ambassadorship helped me to grow, not only in my knowledge of wine, but in my appreciation for its ability to glue people together.
From the people who make it to the people who drink it, wine contains a friendship energy that no other beverage possesses. The infinite number of flavors it produces creates a unique and happy experience that I have not seen with anything else. I don’t know about you, but when I take the first sip of a great wine matched with some great food and friends, the only thing I can do is smile. I think that’s why every person I’ve ever met at Jessup feels like a great friend even with just a few minutes of talking. The wine that Jessup makes not only tastes like a dream, but it’s somehow infused with this friendship energy in the most potent state. The greatest wine I’ve ever tasted has been shared with friends.
I can’t thank Jessup Cellars enough for this opportunity to be one of their Ambassadors and given the option, I would do it all over again. Thank you Jessup! And if you’ve gotten all the way down to the end of this blog (and I hope you have), thank you very much for supporting my journey! It’s been an experience of a lifetime that I won’t soon forget and I hope you’ve enjoyed my blogs as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them. Keep enjoying and exploring wine, it only gets better with age. Adieu.