Monday, February 1, 2010

cork'd tasting: clif family wines at clo wine bar

This past Sunday, two gal pals and I attended a Cork'd wine tasting at Clo Wine Bar located in the Time Warner Center. The wines were provided by Clif Family Winery (of ClifBar) and accompanied by suggested trail mix pairings. I'm going to admit something that I'm not proud of. In fact, quite embarrassed about. So, here goes. I am not a fan of nuts. Like really, really can't stand 'em. Don't even like to think about them (I know, some foodie I am). So when I heard the pairing was with trail mix, I was ready to steer clear.

That is until I tried a smoked paprika almond. Now, I'm not saying I'm going to go ahead and fully embrace all nuts, but heck, when they're covered in a salty smoked paprika, they made a nut hater into a nut...tolerator.

Regardless, the wines that were poured were totally impressive. Not that I went in with any preconceived notions, but I suppose when a wine is associated with something completely non-wine related (i.e. Clifbars) there are some unmerited thoughts that run through your mind.

The first wine to taste was the 2008 Clif Family The Climber White Sauvignon Blanc Blend. A fruity and flat out really easy to drink glass of wine. Bright apple balanced by good acidity. I commented in my review that I thought it was probably low in alcohol because it was so sip-able only to turn around the bottle to see an ABV of 13.4%! A well made wine indeed.

Next was the 2006 Clif Family The Climber Red which had cherries and a meaty component on the nose. In the mouth, I was surprised to discover it was not at all a fruit-driven wine but instead had a whole savory and smokey thing going on that I was totally digging. I gave this guy a 90/100. Cheers.

Third was the 2006 Clif Family Gary's Improv Syrah: ultra smooth, pepper and berries. Another 90 pointer (to my palette), my friends.

Lastly, was the 2006 kit's killer cab which was throwing off some unappealing scents my way. In fear of unfairly representing this wine, I won't share what they were. But in the mouth, this guy totally redeemed himself: very dry but had a great meatiness to it with plenty of dark fruit.

The best part about this particular tasting, for me, was bringing two new friends on board. Both were fans of wine but nothing beyond that. What makes Cork'd such a great site is their ability to take the intimidating factor out of the whole wine experience. No need to fear you're not smelling or tasting the right thing because, heck, there is no "right" or "wrong." They were at ease because they were constantly reminded to trust their own palettes. I was proud to watch my girls dive in, without hesitation, and review wines, taste and smell them in a whole new light, and meet other wine-loving peeps of all different levels. Which, my friends, is the beauty of Cork'd.

If you live in or around the New York City area, do yourself a favor and pop by the next tasting. If not for the fabulous wine experience, for the fact that you'll most likely see me there.

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