Wine Tasting Retirement Party!

Posted on June 16, 2012

With good people and delicious appetizers to accompany 6 different and very tasteful wines the retirement party for Kevin and Karin’s mother went without a hitch. Taking place at Kevin’s beautiful house in Oak Park California, you could not have asked for more perfect weather. With summer here it’s now the perfect time to have your own wine tasting party. Here is the menu of appetizers and wine that where served. Hopefully this will give you some inspiration!



pepper crusted seared tuna with wasabi aioli and sesame seed

saffron scented shrimp

fig, prosciutto, arugula crostini

moroccan olive tapenade

smoked apricot chicken skewers

artisan cheese platter

petit tarragon chicken gougers

chimichuri baby Lamb chops

warm hazelnut soup shooters


chocolate fudge brownies

chocolate and vanilla mousse cheesecake

apple struedle



2010 Brooks Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

 Over the years, the quality of this wine has been growing from strength to strength. I believe the 2010 is the best vintage they have produced. A perfect balance of fruit, structure and acidity. Red fruit, cinnamon, mushroom, sassafras, cedar all wrapped perfectly together in a light, refreshing package. Pretty close to perfection. (Mike Jordan, K&L Wine Merchants)


2009 Cambria “Julia’s Vineyard” Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

 The 2009 Pinot Noir “Julia’s Vineyard” with its light tannins and transparency flows from the glass with layers of sweet candied fruit, raspberries, flowers and spices. The Julia’s is impressive for its expressive varietal character and excellent balance, both quite an achievement for a wine with a 60,000 case production. This was fermented in oak barrels (27% new) and aged on its lees with batonnage for seven months. Anticipated maturity.


2010 Lucien Crochet Sancerre

 A classic Sancerre from one of the region’s most esteemed producers, vintage after vintage. This cuvée is made with grapes from the estate’s vineyards in Bué, Vinon and Crézancy. This always deftly expresses Sancerre’s terroir and has textbook mineral and white grapefruit notes on the nose and palate. A great value.


2011 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough

 The 2011 Sauvignon Blanc offers intense notes of gooseberries, passion fruit, grapefruit zest and grass with a hint of fresh herbs. Crisp, dry and medium bodied with a good concentration of grapefruit and herb flavors, it gives a long tropical fruit laced finish. Sourced from a combination of estate and grower vineyards Rapaura and Renwick subdistricts of the Wairau Valley (alluvial stony soils) as well as the Fairhall, and Brancott subdistricts (aged alluvial loam and clay soils) and fermented in 100% stainless steel, this is classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc at its best: clean, crisp, and refreshing, with a Sancerre-like complexity in the nose and elegant structure. It makes a great partner to oysters in the half shell and would complement the tart, tangy, and herbal flavors and texture of an herbed goat cheese salad.


2009 Barber Cellars ‘Lazarie’ Dry Creek Sauvignon Blanc

 Always one of our favorite domestic Sauvignon Blancs, this small prodution gem comes from a single block of the sustainably farmed Handley Ranch Vineyard. Sancerre inspired, it showcases California’s 2009 vintage well with sharp acidity and a lean, crisp body. The palate is full of melon, grapefruit, flowers, and green apple with noticeable minerality (both from the Sauvignon Musque vines scattered in the vineyard and the six months the wine spent on the lees). Fermented and aged in stainless steel and bottled unfined, the wine is crisp, dry, and very sharp – perfect for asian cuisine, seafood and anything with spice.


Ariston Aspasie “Carte Blanche” Brut Champagne

 Now with the Aspasie label. It is made of 40% chardonnay, 30% pinot noir and 30% meunier. A balanced cuvee in every way, this Champagne is clean and powerful at once. The length of this little bottle of bubbles proves to me the class of its origin, the small commune of Brouillet in Champagne.