My Total Wine store located at 1820 Ashley River Road puts on great wine classes.  There is usually one class per month on Saturdays from 3-5 with popular classes repeating on Thursdaysof the same week from 6:30-8:30.

For any of you with a Total Wine in the area, the classes and special events are well worth checking out.

Yesterday’s subject region was the Pacific Northwest featuring wines from Washington and Oregon.

My first surprise upon entering the classroom was seeing Winderlea Vineyard 2009 Pinot Noir on the table.  Wow!  Winderlea is one of the wineries I visited in Oregon and only 525 cases of this wonderful wine was produced. I was excited to see it at a large outlet like Total Wine and I must say it was the star of the show along with Stevens XY 2007 Yakima Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from Washington.

Jean Paul holding Winderlea

As for the class itself, the first three wines presented were a Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay from Washington state and a Pinot Gris from Oregon.

We then moved into the reds, starting with Pinot Noir Kudos Reserve 2010.  It is produced in the Yamhill-Carlton District of the Willamette Valley, home to some of the finest Pinot Noir vineyards in the world, including Ken Wright’s. This wine is priced at $19.99 and I found it very enjoyable. It is a lighter style, ruby colored Pinot Noir that is full of fresh fruit flavors and aromas.  It would pair nicely with braised chicken or sauteed veal.

Finally, from Stevens Winery, was the aforementioned XY 2007 Yakima Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.  It blew me away and with only 304 cases produced, I considered it a very special opportunity.  The wine is garnet/mahogany in color with intense flavors and medium tannins.  Tasting this wine makes you want to dig into a juicy steak or rack of lamb.  The tannic structure will allow it to age for at least 10 years.  The bottle I purchased will not be around for that long!  It is a higher end bottle at $44.99, but worth the investment for a special occasion dinner.

As a side note: Happy Valentine’s Day!

My friend, Chip, found a bottle of the René Geoffroy Rosé Champagne that I raved about at New Year’s (he discovered it at The Party Source in Bellevue, KY) and we will be enjoying it for our late Valentine’s celebration.