Monday, February 28, 2011

Valentine’s Wine and Chocolate Tasting at Arrington Vineyards


Even though Joe and I traveled all the way to California to drink wine, we actually have wineries not too far from us in Nashville. The closest is just 10 miles from my parents’ house: Arrington Vineyards. Arrington has definitely become a very popular destination for the Nashville area due to their beautiful grounds and tasty wines. It can’t hurt that there is a slight chance of running into one of the owners, Kix Brooks of Brooks & Dunn, when you visit either! Because my parents are wine club members, they were invited to a special Valentine’s wine and chocolate tasting and asked Joe and me to come along. The tasting included five tastings with matching truffles from local chocolatier The Cocoa Tree, a tour, and our tasting glass and a set of truffles to take home. When we arrived, we were escorted to the downstairs tasting bar where we encountered this set-up:


Our first wine/truffle combination was the 2009 Gewurtztraminer with the Beck’s Margarita truffle. The fruit in the wine and the slight salty citrus taste of the truffle complemented each other nicely. I’m not usually a fan of sweeter wines, but the AV Gewurtztraminer is perfect for drinking outside on the patio once summer comes.


The next pairing was AV’s Red Fox Red, their red blend, with a salted caramel truffle. The Red Fox Red is usually my pick when we go to Arrington Vineyards. It’s a very food-friendly and medium-bodied red wine that goes well with the cheese and crackers that we usually pack for a picnic. This truffle was one of my favorites because of the combination of different kinds of chocolates and the beautiful pink Himalayan salt that covered it.


I was going to have to be forced to pick between the salted caramel and the chili pepper truffle that came next. The heat of the truffle was subtle but played off the chocolate and spice in the wine.


I was excited to try the Encore, which is a Port-style wine. All of the grapes came from the estate vineyards, and while I’m not usually a fan of the Chambourcin grape, it does make a nice Port-style wine. We ended up buying a bottle for the house. This was a very rich pairing!


Being in the South, sweet wines are one of the biggest sellers. While they don’t match with my personal preferences, Arrington does a very nice job with their Blackberry and Raspberry wines. It is definitely sweet and fruity but not cloying. The truffle they were paired with was designed specifically for AV and was a nice sweet finish to the tasting.

We then got to have a little bit of some of their specialty wines to take with us on the tour. I chose to try the Petit Verdot, which had all of the smoky tobacco flavors I was craving.


Our very nice tour guide walked us through the history of Arrington, the wine-making process, the warehouse, and the bottling line while we sipped our glasses of wine. I thought it was interesting that the guide presumed knowledge of the whiskey-making process in his comparisons to the wine-making process. When in Tennessee…

We had a wonderful time, and as much as I enjoyed the wineries we visited in California, I also feel that it’s important to support our local wineries, so Joe and I will be joining Arrington’s wine club. If anything, it will give us a wonderful excuse to visit four times a year!

Note: I was in no way compensated for this post.

What did you do for Valentine’s Day?