I don’t know why it took me so long to post this wine tasting. It’s been trapped on my hard drive for months!
I went to D’Vine a Wine Bar because of its emphasis on wine tasting. With so many wines available by the glass, it was easy to focus on the wine. The atmosphere was trying too hard to look like a modern wine bar. There is some pedestrian wine art on the walls. I don’t know why it irks me when the art is so obvious, but it does! (Look, we like wine! We're about wine! We're classy!)
The club chairs are very comfortable for relaxing and enjoying wine; however, the round tables are FAR too small. One wine flight is four glasses; if there are two flights being tasted, nothing else fits on the table and it’s precarious to choose a glass in the middle. If one orders an appetizer, forget it: it has to be held in one’s lap. It’s too awkward. So here’s what I tasted:
Lagaria Pinot Grigio- Venezie: This is what I have come to expect from Pinot Grigio: light, crisp, lemony. The nose is also predictably chalky. Not a bad wine, but not remarkable.
King’s Ridge- Pinot Gris- Oregon: Following the Lagaria, this wine was bolder and fruitier. It had a peach-like roundness and soft lime zest finish. Tasty with good balance.
Trimbach Pinot Blanc- Alsace: This wine won the white flight. Interestingly, flavor names did not spring to mind for this one. Modifiers included “elegant” and “smooth.” Clean- but not crisp. Subtle- but not boring. I can’t put my finger on it. But I definitely like it.
Erath Pinot Noir- Oregon: Soft and subtle. This wine shows its youth in its light, unconcentrated color.
Au Bon Climat- Santa Barbara: Again, a young, new-world wine that is what I’d call a porch wine: easy to drink but not terribly memorable either. I have a bottle at home because this type of wine often appeals to non-wine drinkers. I think a couple of years of cellaring could improve the complexity. I like the label because it looks like I might have made it on my own laser printer; the stuff IN the bottle is more important than a beautiful OUTside. I didn’t realize how much I liked it until I realized I was going back to this glass for sip after sip. This wine wins the red flight.
Jeriko- Mendocino: this wine tasted like carmelized nuts to me with a bourbon taste on the second sip and a slightly harsh finish. I think the oak overpowers the fruit and the wine is not as balanced as I’d hoped.
Not part of a flight:
Gary Ferrel Redwood Ranch Sauvignon Blanc- Sonoma: Wow! I lifted this glass and smelled an explosion of tropical fruit. Mango, papaya, and a good dose of pineapple exuded from the glass. The oaking was clean but flavorful. There was some sweetness, but it was not cloying. I would recommend this wine with dessert- maybe vanilla ice cream with a habanero-tropical fruit salsa. Yum. This was my favorite of all of the wines and I savored every sip I took from the glass. This is the wine that converted me to liking whites.
There was an unforgivable sin committed by the staff. The sweet, attractive server was attentive but knew nothing about wine. Nothing. Barely knew red from white, didn’t know what was available, couldn’t name a wine grape at all. She had to go fetch the bartender who was better but not great. He knew a few wines but nothing about food pairings. Two of the wines on the menu were unavailable but neither of them knew it until I requested them. There was no sommelier in the building at that time; I’m not sure if one was on staff. I’m not complaining about a cute server: it’s better for business. But there are plenty of attractive people who know something about wine. It told me that the management was not so interested in the wine experience and more concerned about immediate sales. What the management doesn’t realize is that an impeccable wine experience leads to loyalty leads to long-term sales.
I will go to D’Vine again because of the wine selection, but everything else needs work.
Atmosphere: [rate 3]
Beer Selection: not rated
Wine Selection: [rate 4]
Food: [rate 3]
Service: [rate 2]