I attended the monthly Wine Tasting & Mingle @ Mezzo hosted by Michael Plummer of the Vegas Wine Events Meetup Group. This is the second one I’ve attended, and as always, had a terrific time. I’ve written about Mezzo Bistro & Wine Lounge in the past, and I love the place! It’s a nice little Italian restaurant, originally founded by our friend Chef Marc Rizzi, and has become a fixture in the neighborhood. Great ambiance, good food at reasonable prices, and what’s important to me, wait staff who are wine-knowledgeable.
The group members ranged from experienced wine people to those who are complete novices but who want to learn as much as possible about wine. As one person told me, “I’ve always wanted to learn about wines, and thought this was a good place to start.” Indeed.
There were complementary wines and appetizers. The appetizers were onions, peppers and other vegetables sautéed in olive oil and herbs, fried mushroom balls with dipping sauce, a tray of still-warm Italian bread, and for those of us who decided to hang out a little longer, Cannolis!
Kimberly, the wine steward for the evening, opened several bottles, and described the origins of each. Here are my tasting notes.
2001 Preludio No. 1 Chardonnay: This was an Italian unoaked Chardonnay. I often have difficulty differentiating between old and new world whites, and this was no exception. If I was tasting blind, I would have struggled to figure out if it old or new. I believe it’s because it was unoaked, it was a little more fruity with more minerality than I would expect from a Chard. Green apple, white fruit with some citrus and vegetal notes were apparent on the nose and palate, and it had a surprisingly long, flinty finish.
2011 Hall Sauvignon Blanc: This is a Sauvignon Blanc from Napa, and initially I didn’t hold out much hope. My (admittedly limited) experience with California Sauv Blancs has been less than positive. I’ve found that they are either overdone, tasting like anything else other than Sauv Blanc either from New Zealand or France, or were essentially their own animal. This was delightedly the exception. The nose had grapefruit, gooseberry, fresh cut grass and – is that a touch of cat pee I detect? – a touch of guava. The palate reflected the nose, and the wine was absolutely bone dry with medium acidty, making it a great food wine. If I had some honey goat cheese from Trader Joe’s, I’m sure that would have been ideal. The finish was minerally of medium length.
2010 Colosi Rosso Sicilia Nero D’Avola: Pretty color, it looks like a young red wine with more red and purple tones than garnet. There’s always been a certain rustic quality to Nero D’Avolas that I’ve had in the past and this was no exception. The nose and palate were earthy, with blackberry and dark fruit notes. The tannins were noticeable but smoother than I expected. The finish was medium.
2010 Vignamaggio Il Morino Toscana: Very simple Sangiovese under screwcap. Bright red-purple color. Red berries, earth, touch of spice. Tannins noticeable but not overwhelming. Finish was short. I would describe this as a nice, sitting-in-front-of-the-TV-with-a-bowl-of-spaghetti-and-a-glass-of-red-wine wine.
If I were the scoring type, I’d give these a mid-to-high 80s score. Nice wines, but they won’t change your life. The retail of all of these wines is under $20, which makes them a bargain. There’s nothing better than a nice wine at a reasonable price that you can share with friends. The newbies enjoyed all of the wines, which speaks to the fruitiness and quality of the reds. I mean, everybody likes nice white wines!
Be sure to check out Vegas Wine Events, and be sure to stop by Mezzo for a nice lunch (their steak salad is killer!), have a glass of wine, and hang out with friends. I’ll be there at the next event!