TasteLive with Wente Vineyards

Hello Friends,

I recently participated in an engaging and enjoyable community wine tasting virtually in the comfort of my home with a number of other wine savvy people. Participants, led by the wine-grower who crafted the wines, chimed in real-time to swirl, sniff, sip, and discuss the wines. Pretty darn cool concept, eh? This cutting-edge concept is called TasteLive. TasteLive is a popular online wine tasting community that leverages off of popular social media platforms to bridge consumers, bloggers, press, etc., with the people who grow and produce the wines for an awesome experience.

TasteLive with Wente Vineyards

The TasteLive event in which I participated in was with Wente Vineyards. Wente Vineyards, founded in 1883, is located in the Livermore Valley (San Francisco Bay) and farms nearly 3000 acres of estate vine plantings in the Livermore Valley and Monterey. The TasteLive event was led by fifth generation winemaker Karl D. Wente who assumed winemaking duties of the winery’s estate-grown and small lots wines in 2002. I have enjoyed several selections from Wente in the past as a number of their labels are nationally available. I was able to learn a lot about Wente’s operation during the online interactive tasting event. Wente was the first in California to produce varietal labeled wines (circa 1933) and the first in California to produce a natural noble rot late harvest wine in 1969. Wente employs sustainable farming practices to help protect the land and to produce quality fruit for high-quality wines. After meeting online at a specified time, we enjoyed tasting and discussing the following three wine selections with Karl D. Wente. First up was the Riva Ranch Chardonnay 08, which retails for about $22 and offers layers of lush fruit, a viscous mouth-feel, and seamless oak integration. Next we opened a nicely scented Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 that was easy-drinking, fruit forward, and smooth on the palate, with a nice QPR (quality-to-price-ratio) at $14.99. Last up was the Nth Degree Syrah 2007, retailing for about $44. The Nth Degree is Wente’s limited production label and from vineyard to bottle the wine-making process is hands-on and meticulous. The Nth Degree Syrah was deeply colored - almost opaque, and offered dark fruit, smoked meat, and cocoa flavors backed by a firm structure and a long lingering finish. I decanted the Nth Degree Syrah for over an hour and it really opened up nicely throughout the night. This type of wine would pair nicely with red meat such as steak.

In closing, I had a great time participating in the Wente TasteLive event and look forward to swirling, sniffing, and sipping with my online friends again. Look for Wente wines in your local wine shops and experience the legacy of their five generations of wine-making tradition.  I would love to see Virginia wine in this spot, so if there are any producers up for it shoot me an e-mail - I’m more than willing to assist in putting a TasteLive event together. Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping!

Stay tuned friends ...More to come!

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