DISHing Up the Tastiest Wines from the Western USA

USA seminar wines at DISH

USA seminar wines at DISH

DISH stands for Drink, Indulge, Savour, Help.  The DISH event supports the BC Hospitality Foundation.  Many of the BCHF’s beneficiaries have been in accidents or illnesses which necessitated financial support.  This is the 9th annual event and over the years the BCHF has helped 217 beneficiaries and granted scholarships to 188 students in the hospitality, culinary arts, beverage, sommelier and related programs.

At the latest DISH event, we had wines from Washington, Oregon, California, and New Mexico featured, along with food from several restaurants across Vancouver.  I attended the Trade portion of this event, which featured the wines sans chef’s creations.  Part of the Trade event was a short seminar lead by a few somms from Vancouver restaurants who gave us their take on the restaurant wine scene and how to help people with their wine selections.  A few takeaways from the seminar:

  • People recognize major wine labels, so make sure to have a few on your wine list to make the novice wine drinker feel more comfortable with ordering a wine.
  • Many people particularly identify with certain sparkling wine brands.
  • Price point for wines by the glass is important.  Have a range.
  • Sparkling wines work well with spicy dishes.
  • Many people are going by the adage, “Drink Less, Drink Better”. Relate that back to wine by the glass.
  • Many people prefer lighted coloured rose wines.  The perception is that lighter colours are classier.

Through the seminar, we tried a dozen different wines from the USA.  I’ve listed my favourites below.  Also after the seminar, we attended the larger tasting room where all the participating wineries for DISH were located.  My favourites of the tasting room are also included below.  Pinot Noirs seemed to be my favourite overall wine from the tasting as many of my favourites are from this grape.  I hope you find a few to interest you to buy and try as well.  Enjoy.

White, Rose, and Sparkling Wines

Gruet Brut Rosé NV, New Mexico ($31++) – A sparkling wine from New Mexico?  Yes indeed; Champenoise methode.  I have been tasting their sparkling wines at the Vancouver International Wine Festival for several years and recommending them.  This wine is a pale orange colour.  Nice fresh strawberry nose.  Medium body, off-dry and medium plus acidity.  Light crisp and creamy bubbles.  Red cherries and strawberries on the palate.  Medium plus length. Very nice. 4.5 out of 5 stars

Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery Fume Blanc 2018, California ($27.99++) – Medium plus intensity lemony green colour.  Fresh with a grassy and citrus nose.  Medium plus body, dry, almost round mouthfeel.  Lower acidity.  Tropical fruit with a hint of stonefruit and a dash of floral on the palate.  Lower acidity overall, but some tartness on the finish. 4.5 out of 5 stars

Copain Tous Ensemble Rosé 2018, California ($22.99++) – Pale intensity, bright orange rose coloured in the glass.  A very light tart red fruit nose.  Medium body, lean with medium plus acidity.  Mineral. Dry.  Tart, fragrant, fresh red fruit flavour. A GREAT wine. 4.5 out of 5 stars

Gruet Brut Rosé NV, Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery Fume Blanc 2018, and Copain Tous Ensemble Rosé 2018 wines at DISH seminar

Gruet Brut Rosé NV, Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery Fume Blanc 2018, and Copain Tous Ensemble Rosé 2018 wines at DISH seminar

Red Wines

Primarius Pinot Noir 2016, Oregon ($25.99++) – Medium translucent garnet.  Lots of nutmeg and other sweet spices, ripe red fruit, some smokiness and sausage on the nose. Fuller body, dry, almost silky.  Lower tannins and medium acidity.  Ripe red fruits, sweet spice and a dash of oak.  A balance between fruit, oak and acidity. 4.5 out of 5 stars

DeLoach Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2017, California ($37.49++) – Medium minus intensity translucent garnet.  Light smoky, red fruit nose.  Medium plus body, dryish, with a light mouthfeel.  Dill, tart red fruit and some sweet spices on the palate.  Fine tannins up front and get firmer toward the finish.  Some pepperiness as well on the finish. 4 out of 5 stars4.5 out of 5 stars

Ashes and Diamonds Cabernet Franc 2014, California – Light capsicum and dark fruit nose.  Medium body, dry and soft in the mouth. The wine starts off with capsicum then adds red fruit and cherries to the palate.  Soft tannins. Very nice. 4.5 out of 5 stars

Primarius Pinot Noir 2016, DeLoach Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2017, and Ashes and Diamonds Cabernet Franc 2014 wines at DISH

Jackson Family Wines Nielson Santa Barbara Pinot Noir 2016, California – Pale translucent garnet in colour.  Light red fruit and dill aromas.  Dry with light acidity and tannins.  Overall light bodied.  Red fruit and dill on the palate.  An understated Pinot. 4.5 out of 5 stars

Josh Cellars Joseph Carr Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, California – Deep garnet coloured but still translucent. Light capsicum and cassis on the nose.  Medium plus body, dry, soft and round.  Flavourful cassis along with some capsicum.  Medium plus fine tannins.  Cassis, cherries and vanilla on the finish. 4.5 out of 5 stars

O’Neill Vintners Robert Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, California – Deeper garnet colour.  Nice aromas of cedar and ripe cherries.  Medium plus body with lighter tannins and a light mouthfeel.  Cedar, red fruit and sweet spices on the palate. 4.5 out of 5 stars

Nielson Santa Barbara Pinot Noir 2016, Josh Cellars Joseph Carr Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, and O'Neill Vintners Robert Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 wines at DISH

Nielson Santa Barbara Pinot Noir 2016, Josh Cellars Joseph Carr Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, and O’Neill Vintners Robert Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 wines at DISH

Paul Hobbs Winery Crossbarn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, California – Medium plus translucent garnet.  Nice nose, almost porty, showing cassis, apples and red cherries.  Medium minus body with a light mouthfeel and medium acidity.  Firmer tannins.  Red cherries, red apples and nice sweet spice flavours. Very elegant. 4.5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars

Ponzi Vineyards Tavola Pinot Noir 2017, Oregon – Medium minus translucent garnet.  Light floral and red fruit nose.  Fuller body with a round mouthfeel.  Quite fruity with red cherries, along with floral and vanilla tones.  Medium acidity and fine tannins. 4.5 out of 5 stars

Ponzi Vineyards Classico Pinot Noir 2015, Oregon – Light red fruit nose.  Dry, soft and round, with medium plus body.  Red fruits, along with lesser floral, red cherries and vanilla flavours. 4.5 out of 5 stars

Ponzi Vineyards Reserve Pinot Noir 2015, Oregon – Very light vanilla and red fruit aromas. Light body, dry and soft.  Light red fruit and a touch of vanilla and cedar.  Soft tannins.  Some pepperiness and nutmeg on the finish. 4.5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars

Paul Hobbs Winery Crossbarn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, and Ponzi Vineyards Tavola Pinot Noir 2017 Classico Pinot Noir 2015 and Reserve Pinot Noir 2015 at DISH

Paul Hobbs Winery Crossbarn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, and Ponzi Vineyards Tavola Pinot Noir 2017 Classico Pinot Noir 2015 and Reserve Pinot Noir 2015 at DISH

 

Drink Good Wine. That is my motto and I really want to help you drink good wine. What is good wine? That can be a different thing for each people. Food also loves wine so I also cover food and wine pairings and restaurant reviews. MyWinePal was started by Karl Kliparchuk, WSET. I spent many years with the South World Wine Society as the President and then cellar master. I love to travel around the world, visiting wine regions and sharing my passion for food & wine with you. Come live vicariously through me, and enjoy all my recommended wines.