Saturday, October 3, 2009

Cheers to the final Cheers event

Since May, the first-Friday-of-every-month-downtown-St. Helena-wine tasting-extravaganza called "Cheers!" has been an event to get excited about. More than 40 wineries were present at each event and were assigned to pour in a different shop from 6-9 pm. The benefits of attending Cheers were pretty obvious: the ability to explore Main Street's luxurious shops (most of which close at 5 pm, which makes it difficult for those of us with daytime jobs to visit otherwise) and the opportunity to taste countless new wines in a very social setting.

Last night was pretty low-key (no live concert or fire truck parade like the September event), but there were a few outstanding wines that were new to my palate, including the Sonador Cabernet Sauvignon (a very exclusive wine made from 97% Cab of both valley floor and mountain vineyards, and 1% each of Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Merlot) and the Barn Burner Cab from Tom Scott Vineyards (a young Cab whose fruity, chocolaty flavors were amplified by the dark chocolate salted caramels offered by the Woodhouse Chocolate shop).

There were also a lot of familiar wineries (and faces), and in my opinion, it never hurts to revisit an old favorite. A few that we couldn't pass up (and enjoyed just as much as when we tasted them for
the first time at the inaugural Cheers event) were the 2006 Pride Mountain Merlot, the Mumm Brut Rosé, Orin Swift's The Prisoner (an affordable Zin/Cab blend that is always well liked by the staff at Wine Spectator), and the Elizabeth Spencer Grenache.

Hopefully, Cheers will start back up in May of 2010. Until then, it will be missed!

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