The Winebow Inc. “Ode to Spring” trade tasting Wednesday at the Marriott Metro Center brought together more than 200 producers and even more wine and beverage selections that illustrate the flexibility, innovation and tradition that follow wine from grape harvest to the dinner table.
While just a short hop across the river from Alexandria, this 11th annual tasting provided a glimpse into flavors from around the world that shoppers can pick up at a variety of area fine restaurants and wine retailers.
One standout at the tasting was Portugal’s Sandra Tavares Da Silva, winemaker for Wine & Soul, who honors the history of Portuguese winemaking tradition with her Pintas Character red.
“It’s a very rich and complex red wine that’s full of tannins and structure, but still with freshness,” Da Silva said. “I think Character is perfect with steaks or with lamb and even with game; I love it with duck [and] partridge.”
That versatility is matched only by its dedication to winemaking roots that goes back centuries. With such an old vineyard, Da Silva said she and her husband wanted to stick to tradition.
“We decided to do everything foot-trodden,” she said. “In fact, the feet adapt really well to the grapes and [don’t] destroy the seeds, so we are not extracting the green tannins, as if we were doing by pumping over with pumps.”
Charles W. Hendricks, owner and winemaker at Napa’s Hope & Grace, offered up some very rich concentration with his very food-friendly Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir and St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon.
“The Pinot Noir, which I probably drink the most of, I’ve found you can pair it with salmon, crab, lobster, chicken, pork…you name it,” he said. “The neighborhood down there in Monterey County is cooler, you get a longer hang time, you get a richer development, a nicer base, something that will stand up against fat or a fatty fish, like sea bass or lobster, but it still has an ethereal quality where you get nice spice.”
One of the hallmarks of Hope & Grace wines is a dedication to grape varietal in each of his wines.
“What I’ve tried to do is give a real expression of that terroir—and a true expression because they are 100 percent, not blended down at all—so when you drink these wines you get that experience.”
With the variety of wines available at Winebow, the food and wine pairing opportunities appeared almost endless. To find some other great selections featured at the Ode to Spring tasting available in the area, visit Winebow’s easy-to-navigate search page.
Don't miss more on the Winebow tasting from D.C. Wine Shopping Examiner Angela Logomasini.