This fall, I’m racking up my frequent wine event miles. #tistheseason Last week, I had the opportunity to attend Zest in the West at Château Crystale. Imagine being stuck in a room filled with unlimited wines AND food from some of the best restaurants in West Houston. Sounds like paradise to me! Well that’s what Zest in West is…. a wino and foodie’s dream come true!
With so many wines, it can be overwhelming trying to remember which wines you actually liked. Luckily, I have these events down to a science and have discovered a method to help me keep track of my favorites. Check out my YGOM picks below.
First up at the event was the Bubbles & Brews outdoor reception. Although, I’m not a big fan of the bubbly, I discovered some new contenders that will definitely help make sparkling wine great for me again ;)
- IL Ugo! – This was actually my favorite wine of the evening! It reminded me of a Sauvignon Blanc, but with a sparkling evanescence to it. IL Ugo! is an Italian semi-sparkling wine crafted with elderflower blossoms and wildflowers. This wine was a little sweet, but the elderflower gives it a bit of a funky earthy taste that balances it out. I’m a huge fan of elderflower, so it’s no wonder why I kept going back for more. Served chilled, this wine is so refreshing, especially with the weather still being on the warm side in Houston.
- Cava Proa – Most Cava sparkling wine is normally dry, but what I like about Proa is that it’s semi-sweet. Sadly, that’s the only way that I’ll drink sparkling wines. I enjoyed the citrus aromas and mild fruit flavors. This Cava would be great served as a mimosa!
- Bottega Rosé Gold Prosecco – Can we just talk about the bottle first?! I heart rose gold, so that’s what initially drew me to this table :) This sparkling wine is a 100% Pinot Noir Prosecco from Lombardy in Italy. On the nose, you get beautiful floral aromas and summer berries. Once you take a sip, you get crisp flavors of strawberries and peaches. I don’t believe in seasonal wines. Just because it’s fall doesnt mean you have to stop drinking rosé! So, if rosé is your jam, keep the party going with this Bottega.
After the Bubbles & Brew reception, we headed inside to the main event. Nearly 30 wineries were in attendance. Here are a couple that stood out to me:
- 2014 Llano Cellar Reserve Chardonnay
Located in Lubbuck, Texas, Llano Estacado is one of the largest premium wineries in the state. Still on my white wine kick, I opted to try their Chardonnay. Now I’m a born-again Chardonnay fan, sticking only to the extremely buttery and creamy Chards. Llano’s Chardonnay is quite opposite–light and airy and full of lush tropical aromas and flavors. Very unique, especially for a Texas Chardonnay. It’s fermented in stainless steel and then aged in neutral French Oak barrels for 105 days.
- Fall Creek Vineyards
I’m no stranger to Fall Creek Vineyards! Located in Texas Hill Country, it’s my favorite Texas winery. You can’t go wrong with any of their wines!
- Chloe Wine Collection
Based in Northern California, Chloe Wine Collection is the brain child of winemaker Georgetta Dane. Again, I tried the Chardonnay, which I absolutely loved! Chloe Chardonnay is made from grapes grown primarily in Sonoma’s Russian River Valley. Aged in oak, this Chardonnay has clean flavors of fresh citrus, apple, pear with notes of creamy butter and a hint of vanilla.
I had a great time at Zest in the West! I’m so excited about my new wine discoveries. And I’m so glad that you can find these brands at your local Kroger store. Be sure to check them out too and let me know what you think! Until next time…