Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Karlo Estates Red and White Port

One of my favouite stops on my recent Prince Edward County wine tour was at Karlo Estates winery. I had been chatting with the amazingly talented Sherry Martin on Twitter and was excited to meet her, but I had also heard nothing but rave reviews for their port and was eager to try that. I definitely wasn’t disappointed.
Karlo Estates has a gorgeous location and the creek that runs out behind is just stunning. Richard Karlo, the winemaker, has built an incredible bridge out there and the members of our wine tour made sure to pose for photos on top of it before our tasting.
We were a large group but they had a fantastic set-up for us in their lovely loft area, with lots of interesting food pairings to go with each tasting. I was surprised by many of the selections, as it seemed to go against what I typically choose in terms of wine. The cab franc, which I had been excited to try, didn’t suit my tastes (Shawn loved it), but the CHOA Chardonnay lit up my tastebuds. I am not a chard drinker in general, so this was impressive for me.
But the real surprise for me was the port. Granted, I had heard a lot of hype from friends on Twitter who are big fans, but I still wasn’t sure what I would think of it. Port can be hit or miss – too sweet, too cloying, too much overall, so it can go either way. From the moment the Van Alstine port hit my mouth, though, I was in love.  It was a flavour explosion – hitting all the right notes and not overwhelming with the sweetness. Love.
The Van Alstine White Port was sweeter, but I still really enjoyed it. And white port in and of itself is so rare that I was fascinated. I was happy to have been able to sample both and to get to check out the differences.
In line to purchase, I had decided on a bottle of CHOA and a bottle of white port. The red was spectacular, but I was mindful of my wallet after two days in wine country and thinking that the white port was so unique and interesting that it would be a shame to leave without it. Discussing my choices with a man from our group, he shook his head and said, ‘I saw your face when you tried that red port – you have to get that one.’ He reminded me of what one of our wine tour guides had told us earlier in the day – ‘you always regret the wine you leave behind.’
So true. Which is how I ended up with a bottle of both the red and the white port and I don’t regret a penny.  I’m definitely looking forward to our next trip to Karlo Estates.

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