Thursday, December 4, 2014

Winey Tasting Notes: A Quick Visit, A New Wine: Grove Winery's Chardonnay

One afternoon a few weeks ago, I was texting with The Winey Daughter. We do it a lot - a little text to say hello or to ask a quick question. (I am convinced I hear more from my freshman because of text messaging than my parents ever did in the days of land lines in the dorms.) Somewhere in the middle of this conversation, I asked how her friends were. She replied that they were wonderful and she was so blessed to have such good friends...but.....she could use a mommy hug.

Oh just rip at my heartstrings, why don't you? A mommy hug. I'm her mommy, and I would give anything to be able to give her that hug. It was then that a little idea took hold in my mind and about 36 hours later, thanks to a quick flight to North Carolina, I was able to deliver that hug. Very last minute, very impromptu and very, very much needed on both our parts!!

bottle of Grove Winery unoaked Chardonnay with tasting glassesBecause it was a quiet mid-week visit, I was able to book myself into the very charming Acorn Inn, on the edge of Elon's campus. They provided lovely suite type rooms, a hot breakfast tastings every evening. The first night I was there, The Winey Daughter had an event to attend, so after we'd spent the afternoon together, she went on her way and I headed back to the inn. It was a gorgeous, warm (70's) North Carolina evening and the sun was just beginning to set as I arrived there. The tasting had started, so I decided to head down to the lobby and sip away.

The Acorn Inn features the wines of Grove Winery, located only about 7 miles away in Gibsonville, North Carolina. They grow a wide variety of grapes and I had the chance to sample a few different wines, but in the end, I settled on a glass of their unoaked Chardonnay (13%, 2012, Haw River Valley, NC).  I am becoming a bigger fan of unoaked Chardonnays and this wine helped to seal my approval.

The nose starts out with ripe pear and a touch of honeysuckle. The first taste in my mouth was of round, mellow pear followed by sharp, spicy flavors of allspice and nutmeg. I totally didn't expect those spices to kick in after that first taste of mellow fruit. But there they were, in all their autumnal glory. It finished with juicy fruit and felt round and supple in my mouth. What a treat!

Winey Mom and Winey Daughter on campus of Elon University, NC
Mommy hug delivered!
Buy this wine if you like your Chardonnay light and full of flavor, but not necessarily big and oakey. I could see it pairing with a fruit and cheese tray, roasted chicken and light pasta dishes. It retails for about $16 and Grove has a web store that will ship to most states. If you happen to be in North Carolina, lots of stores carry their wines. Look for their unoaked Chardonnay - I sure will!

Did I mention that I was sipping this wine on the front porch of the inn? As I said, it was a gorgeous North Carolina evening. And perhaps the porch was that much more lovely because I knew that, back at home in Ohio, it was starting to snow. I don't usually take such an evil pleasure in the weather, but this night, with my book and glass of wine, I admit that I did.

Mommy hugs and cheers!

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