Oscar Night is a fun night in our house. It’s a perfect evening to celebrate what we love… movies and wine! We’ve hosted this event a number of years (2013 Results, 2012 Results). Whether it is who takes home the Best Picture award, or which wine is the favorite of the evening, each night brings different surprises. All wines selected are under $20, and ones we’ve shared or discovered with friends.
While the food pairings give a good hint to what’s inside the bag, it is always fun watching friends guess the varietals. This year had a little twist, as they were all blends. I must say, the surprise for me was how many of our friends came pretty darn close to nailing every single wine! After tasting all the selections, and before the reveal, votes are cast for the favorite. This year’s winner…
4th Place: Gruet Blanc de Noir
We first discovered this wine as part of our “Coast to Coast, Champagne Toast” New Year’s Eve parties. At these events, we shared sparkling wine from each time zone, welcoming the New Year on each hour (including Hawaii!). It was a tough challenge to find a decent selection from each US time zone, but this one was a winner for the Mountain region. It has rich and toasty flavors, smooth and refreshing finish, and a great deal. Retails $17.
Food pairing: Ginger-Soy chicken wraps, vegetable spring rolls, parmesan cheese
3rd Place: 17th Edition Sokol Blosser Evolution
We discovered this wine while visiting their tasting room. It is one of my favorite “summer” wines. Intense tropical fruit notes up front, with a nice crisp, clean finish. Blended from 9 grapes, this smooth, layered white is an excellent food wine, and is enjoyable all on its own. Retails $14
Food pairing: Bacon crostini, butternut squash tartlets, baked camembert with roasted garlic onion jam
2nd Place: 2009 E. Guigal Cotes Du Rhone
We first shared a bottle of this wine with our friend Darren, in Dublin. It is a versatile, light-bodied red wine blend of 52% Grenache, 45% Syrah, 3% Mourvedre. It tastes well on its own, even better with food. It’s a crowd pleaser in flavor and price. Retails $12
Food pairing: Italian sausage pigs in a blanket, port salut cheese
1st Place: 2010 Wattle Creek Kristine’s Cuvee
This is another one we discovered at the tasting room. It is a Bordeaux blend of 60% cabernet sauvignon, 14% Petit Verdot, 13% Merlot, 13% Malbec. Friends enjoyed the aromas and flavors of plum, cherry, and caramel, and lower alcohol and light tannin profile. Retail $20
Food pairing: Balsamic beef sandwiches, aged cheddar cheese