On Saturday night Adam and I had a great time with Adam's Uncle and his wife. We started off at Taste, which is a retail outlet in Warrington, PA for Sand Castle Winery, which is located further north in Bucks County.
Adam and I have been to Taste a couple times before where we had done a flight of wines or just bought a glass. Additionally, we had bought a living social or groupon deal a while ago for a VIP Tasting at Sand Castle Winery. The VIP tour was a really cool experience, and I learned some new things about wine and wine tasting. Sand Castle makes a lot of different wines, and has a couple really good ones - but I wouldn't rate them as the top winery even in Bucks County.
Taste has been making deals left and right on the deal sites, so we bought our deals a while ago and went on Saturday to get our two flights and a cheese plate per couple. I had the red flight, even though I knew I wasn't in love with their red wines. I was impressed though because they have a new red wine - Santo Rouge - and it was really good, so I ended up buying a bottle. Adam got the semi-sweet flight - which i found interesting that they called it that because I knew I liked most of the wines in that flight and I don't like sweet wines. Overall the wines were good/fair, and we devoured our cheese plates - but more importantly just had a good time hanging out and chatting (and making fun of the crazy lady who came and sat next to us).
Taste isn't all about wine tasting though, that they have a row each of olive oils and balsamic vinegars for you to go around and taste. Adam and I had previously bought both from here, and somehow I walked out without buying any this time! I did find 3 new ones that I did like though:
- Chipotle Olive Oil: had a nice little kick to it, but not hot or spicy at all. Would be great as a marinade for chicken or as a dipping oil.
- Wild Mushroom and Sage Olive Oil: I love mushrooms, and I just thought this tasted great - not sure what I would really use it in though - probably in a mushroom risotto or something.
- Espresso Balsamic Vinegar: For those that don't really know me that well - I don't drink coffee, and Im not really a fan of coffee flavor (but I do like coffee flavored jelly bellys and chocolate covered coffee beans...) Anyways, Adam really liked this, so I decided to try it - and I was pleasantly surprise that I also really liked it.
I might have to go back and buy a couple more once I finally finish the flavored ones in the house, which are:
- Lemon Olive Oil: a great light olive oil - perfect for marinating chicken in and then grilling the chicken. Its not an overload of lemon - but its the perfect complement - especially for a nice summer day. Its also so light that I just use this when sauteeing vegetables, and it just adds a light lemony flavor.
- Cilantro and Roasted Onion Olive Oil (or something like that): I LOVE LOVE LOVE Cilantro, so when i saw this I had to taste it, and when I tasted it I had to buy it - but in all honesty, I haven't quite figured out the best use(s) for it, so I haven't used it much.
- Fig Balsamic Vinegar: Im almost done this bottle. Its great as a dressing on salads, great as a dipping sauce for chicken or something if you need to add extra flavor. As I was typing this, I was actually just thinking this might even be good with a dessert - like a shot of this over a bowl of vanilla bean ice cream. YUMMY!
Anyways - if you live in the Philly region - I recommend a stop off at Taste Wine Shop in Warrington. The wine tasting is a fun experience, even if you don't fall in love with their wines; their cheese plates use DiBruno Brothers cheeses - so you gotta get one; and the olive oil/balsamic vinegar tasting experience is really fun and yummy. And who knows you might end up walking out with a nice mixture of wine, olive oils and balsamic vinegars to last you a little while.
Oh - and if its the summer, taste their "sangria" - which is Claret wine with a sliced orange (Delish!), and if its the winter, taste their Spice Wine - just make sure they serve it to you warm.
Stay tuned for Part 2 - the Melting Pot and some more fun with Adam's Uncle and his wife (technically his Aunt - but we are close enough in age that its just wierd to put it in those terms :-))