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Wine Experiences … In The Airport

You can look at it as a sequel to previous post about Vino Volo. Yes, I’m talking again about Vino Volo, which continues to deliver great wine experience on the go.

What I really like about Vino Volo is the fact that wine selection is always changing. Different locations offer different wine selections, which are changing throughout a year – what can be better for the wine experiences seeker?

In addition to being able to try a number of different wines at a reasonable price (I’m specifically referring to the price of wine flights – most of the individual bottles are overpriced, unfortunately), there are other positive elements of overall experience at Vino Volo. One of them is a very good service. Beyond just being nice and pleasant, Vino Volo’s staff knows quite a bit about the wines they are serving, and they also can handle challenges quite well. One of the wines in the Northwest Stars flight we had at San Antonio airport was spoiled – it was borderline corked and lacked all the fruit. When I mentioned that that to our waitress, the wine was replaced, no questions asked. This doesn’t always work that good, based on my own and fellow bloggers experience.

Another thing which I like is that fact that Vino Volo is always trying to go local when possible. When you are in Portland, Oregon airport, you should expect to find few tasting flights dedicated to Pacific Northwest wines. When in Virginia, I was very glad to find a flight of Virginia wines – all of this definitely adds up to unique experience.

Let me tell you about the wines I tried during my last two visits to Vino Volo in San Antonio, Texas and Dulles airport in Virgina.

We tried two flights at the San Antonio airport. First was Northwest Stars, which included three reds. 2009 Cummins Road Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton district, Oregon ($39 at Vino Volo, $19.95 on internet) had too much fruit for me. 2008 Mibrandt Vineyards Traditions Merlot, Columbia Valley, Washington ($25 at Vino Volo, $14.99 at the winery) was very nice, with good balance, but needed a bit more body to be appreciated fully (might be young, though). Last in the flight was 2006 Powers Parellel 46 Meritage, Columbia Valley, Washington ($43 at Vino Volo, not easy to find but about $27 on Internet). This was the wine which was spoiled and replaced. It is a classic Bordeaux wine, with characteristic  green notes – definitely needs more time, but this was a very good wine.

Next one was a flight of whites (I know, going in reverse) called Bright Whites. 2009 Colome Valle Calchaqui Torrontes, Argentina, was very nice, blight and flavorful. 2007 Efeste Sauvignon Blanc, Columbia Valley, Washington ($29 at Vino Volo, about $16 on wine-searcher) was the most unusual wine in the tasting – it had a very pronounced “rubber” on the nose, and lemongrass on the palate, and it was very nice overall (once you overcome the initial rubber sensation). Lastly, 2009 Racines de la Terre Chardonnay Pays d’Oc, France was very nice, with good balance of fruit and acidity, very approachable. I would say that the last two are worth seeking.

Now let me tell you about two tasting flights in Washington Dulles Airport.

First was the flight of Rose wines (very appropriate – summer is coming!). All three were very interesting, with #2 being my favorite. First was 2009 Vidal-Fleury Cote-du-Rhone, France – blend of Carignan and Syrah. This wine was a too fruity with limited body expression. Next one was Conde de Subritas Brut Rose NV, Spain – most unusual wine in the tasting (and the best). This sparkling wine had a lot of vegetable and pungent flavors – I definitely would like to try it with the salad. Last one was 2009 Avondale Estate Rose from South Africa, which tasted practically like a red wine ( it is made out of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes). I have a suspicion that if I would have this wine in a blind tasting, I would fail miserably to identify it as a rose – may be I should try it one day, just for fun.

Last one was a flight of local Virginia wines, which I was glad to find on the list and was looking forward to trying. First wine was 2008 Annefield Vineyards Arrowhead Viognier – this wine was lacking fruit and had oak which was not integrated. After tasting Viognier at Chrysalis Vineyards last year (you can read the story here), which was outstanding, I was really looking forward to trying this wine, but apparently it didn’t work out. The next wine was 2009 Old House Vineyards Estate Vidal Blanc, which was simply too sweet for my taste. And last one, 2008 Pearmund Cellars Ameritage, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, was simply classic Bordeaux, with all the necessary traits – acidity, fruit, tannins. I put drinkability of this wine at 8-, but at $29/bottle I would expect more from the wine.

This concludes the story of airport wine tastings. Yes, the airports are still a hassle – but Vino Volo makes traveling experience a lot more palatable and even something to look forward to. If you are at the airport, remember – you can have fun on the go!

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  1. December 21, 2011 at 1:43 am

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