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WineAlign and Beringer Winemaker

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WineGuyTo and I had the pleasure of meeting the man behind Wine Align at last year’s Wine Camp.  We were excited to find out that he was hosting a taste and learn with Beringer Wines winemaker Laurie Hook at Sassafraz May 24th.  We were both familiar with Beringer, myself mostly with their whites.  Got to admit, the price made going attractive, $45 for 6 wines and tapas.  So away we went!

Being served were the following:

  • Beringer Founders’ Estate Chardonnay 2009
  • Beringer Napa Valley Chardonnay 2009
  • Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay 2008
  • Beringer Napa Valley Pinot Noir 2008
  • Beringer Napa Valley Merlot 2009
  • Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
  • Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
  • Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1997

Luckily, our late arrival coincided with Air Canada’s late arrival of the Laurie, so we were treated with an extra glass of Founder’s Chardonnay while we waited.  A cool climate version, as Beringer’s vineyards are very spread out, I enjoyed it immensely.

Two Chardonnays side by side

We then started early with the Napa Valley  second chardonnay, which would be our first of the tasting.  Very typical chardonnay butteryness.  We moved quickly through the wines as Laurie explained the wine’s background in relation to where they were grown and their differences to other wines within the same vineyard.  A personable and approachable speaker, she let us ask questions during her presentation.  Only the 7th winemaker in the Winery’s history, she has been with them since 1986.  Beringer is no longer family owned (since 1970s) but owned by Nestlé.  This has allowed them to expand.  My personal faves were the Knight Valley (on sale at LCBO) and the 1997 Private Reserve Cab.

The ‘tapas’ plates were large enough to be considered full servings!  There actually was almost too much food.  My only critique was that the wines and the food were not presented as pairs, but rather as two separate entities.

Spice rubbed lamb chops with olive jus

Buffalo mozzarella and aged asiago ravioli

Charcuterie and cheeses


Overall, we enjoyed the food and the wine and look forward to more events from WineAlign.


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