Winemaker Meeting & Wine Tasting

Etude Winemaker and Tasting

Meeting & Wine Tasting Details

What:  Meet Etude winemaker Jon Priest and enjoy three of his wines
The Wines:  Etude Chardonnay, Rosé and Pinot Noir
Where:  The Tasting Room Uptown Park in Houston
Date:  Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2013
Time:  4:00 -6:00 pm
Price:  $15 per person or $20 per couple

The Wines

Last week I sneak previewed the wines with Jason McCain of The Tasting Room and this is what I observed:

The Chardonnay very much reflects Etude’s commitment to growing its wines in the vineyard and tinkering with the grapes very little after being picked. It had layers of flavors that expressed themselves throughout the tasting in different ways. I like a Chardonnay with some complexity like that. The acidity was perfect for me, keeping it crisp, and the oak was subtle, rather than overpowering. This was a Chardonnay that could be enjoyed solo, taking in each of its flavors, or with a meal.

The Rosé was soft and dry, and not at all sweet, although I noticed a hint of strawberries and cream. Please, dear readers, if you haven’t given Rosé a try since White Zinfandel, do it. There are some fantastic ones out there and this one is delightful. Most people in other parts of the country (where the winters are cold) see Rosé as a summer wine. I love that in Houston it can be perfect almost year round. My husband was also tasting with me and, if this gives you any indication of our thoughts on the wine, he ordered a case of this Rosé as we were wrapping up our evening.

The Pinot Noir changed in my glass through the tasting. At first pour, I found it to be a bit hot, or high in alcohol, but as it sat in my glass, just 10 minutes later made a difference and brought out more luscious flavors. I enjoyed the red fruit and pepper accents in this Pinot and paired it with the Arugula pizza at The Tasting Room. (I’m a simple girl, really.) I’d definitely buy more of this and decant it for a bit and enjoy it at home, alone or with dinner.

The Winemaker

When I asked Jason about the winemaker, Jon Priest, he said he is a “Salt of the earth, boots on the ground farmer… And we get to take advantage of (his) passion.”

Jason pointed out Jon’s respect for the commitment to sustainability at Etude, and when I spoke with Jon earlier this week, he echoed the winery’s regard for the earth and his commitment to allowing the grapes to reflect the character of where they are grown.

Jon mentioned that both in the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes, he strives to make the wine “more about the vineyard than the winemaking.” The ranch, where the grapes are grown, is covered in wildlife with lakes, flowers and other landscape.

“It’s a happy place to be and hopefully it reflects that in the wine, ” Jon said.

In caring for the grapes, Jon said, “The wines are made with heart and soul and hopefully that shows in the glass. What better vehicle is there to share and make memories than a bottle of wine?” Jon said.

I couldn’t agree more.

If you are in Houston, come find out for yourself what you think of the wines and chat with Jon this Thursday at The Tasting Room Uptown Park.

He’ll also sign any bottles purchased to take home.

For reservations or more information on this or other Valentine’s Day events at any Tasting Room location, visit The Tasting Room website.

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