Juniper Cooper of Mutual Distribution was our host for the evening. For consideration, Juniper submitted wines that would complement a Thanksgiving Table including an Pinot Blanc from Alsace, a French Minervois, California Red Blend and a California Zinfandel.
In an hour, Juniper shared location and origin history, characteristics and styles of the varietal, as well as pairing advice. The evening was comprehensive, interesting, educational and fun. Thank you Juniper!
While a significant number of participants liked each of the wines, the Pinot Blanc was the clear favorite. From Gustav Lorentz, this Pinot Blanc is 100% organic and could probably go 5 years in the bottle.
Juniper explained that this varietal, because of its heavier texture and being smooth on the palate can be paired with just about anything except a thick piece of beef. That means German sausages, chicken and fish, and anything with heat. Oregon Pinot Blancs, Juniper says, are a little more tropical in aroma and flavor. This Pinot Blanc from Alsace was clearly more complex.
As always, Group was concerned about the quality to price ratio. In one case, a participant even named a bottle on the shelf he preferred for a lower price! Group has become very savvy.
It is clear that Group is seeking the different. If you present a varietal they know, it better be better and cost less than what is on the shelf or it won't make the shelf!
We are very grateful to Group for their insight and advice. Often, when only two or three taste in the shop, we can go wrong, pick a wine we like but not many others will like or a wine that is not worth the extra cost.
In December, Group tackles The Biltmore Smack Down.