Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Merry Marquette Christmas: Part II

I'm finally getting around to posting the first of our wine tasting notes from my family members that I mentioned from Part I.  This whole working full time, Christmas shopping, and going to Christmas parties, has really gotten in the way of my blogging!  I know you've been waiting in suspense to hear what people have to say about our first bottle of Marquette.

While Aaron and I are certainly impressed with ourselves on our first vintage of Marquette, the opinions of others are truly what matters, so getting feedback from a wide variety of people is important to us as our goal is to make wine that is appealing to people from all walks of life.

As you read from Part I, first comments on our Marquette were taken at my pre-Christmas fondue and twice baked potato family dinner.  My family is made up of all sorts of personalities, opinions, and tastes.  We thought this eclectic bunch would be a good sample for our first sampling of this wine.

I don't think we could've started with a more forgiving couple as our very first tasters.  My parents,  who would likely describe themselves as social wine drinkers who never drank more than a drop of wine until about 12 years ago.  They really discovered wine on a trip with some wine drinking friends to Italy.  I am constantly rescuing bottles of half empty red wine from their refrigerator.  That's a no, no, but they are still learning!

Bob and Mary, what do you think?
Bob:  "I've never had anything with such a unique taste."
Hmmm...okay, kind of ambiguous, but I'll take it. 

Mary:  "Oh, wow! It's very light! I could drink a lot of this." 
Be careful, Mom! 

Next up, sister Allee, whose New Year's resolution THIS year was to drink more wine.  She prefers whites, and more specifically, sweet whites, like Reislings.   She is typical of a novice wine drinker who has started with whites, but is slowly working on developing her "red" palette.  Allee, what do you think?

Allee: "I can drink it!!"
Maybe this will be her transition into red wine!

Allee's husband, Jaxon, humored us by tasting our wine.  This is a rare photo of Jaxon with a glass of wine in his hand in place of a Coors Light.  This man has enough Coors Light stocked up and on hand at any given time to get him through Armaggeddon. I'm not kidding. 

Jaxon, whadda ya think?
Jaxon:  "I think it's great...but it's not as good as Coors Light."
Okay, that comment was to be expected.  But from a beer drinker commenting on wine, I'll take it.

My brother, Eric, and his wife, Jill, were kind enough to put down their second gin and tonic, each, of the night to participate in this wine tasting.  I feel the need to preface their comments with this fact as it may lend some insight to their comments.  They have similar taste in hard liquor, but how about wine? 

Eric:  "It has a really nice finish and it's better than a box of wine."
Leave it to big brother to give this type of statement.  The second part of that quote won't be going on the label.

Jill: "It's fruity."
Yeah, Jill, all wine probably tastes fruity after you've been drinking pine needles!

Finally, I got some insightful comments from my sister and brother in-law, Jen and Mike.  Jen will have an occassional glass of wine, likely at a party, dinner, or event.  And Mike, though not a connoisseur, gets to drink a lot of good wine at what he calls "fancy business dinners" where he is among lots of wine-o's.

Note: Jaxon in background with a Coors Light in hand.

Jennifer:  "Oh, it's good. It's very light!"
Wait, didn't someone else say that?

Mike: "It's good.  It tastes like a light Pinot Noir."
Yes!  Mike, finally someone who picked up on something truly insightful!  Indeed, Marquette is a hybrid grape.  It is a cousin to Frontenac (another cold hardy grape), and a grandson to...Pinot Noir!

As someone who doesn't normally opt for a glass of Pinot Noir, I do love this Marquette!  But, maybe I'm bias. And as it turns out, it does pair well with fondue, oil dipped beef cutlets, shrimp, cocktail sauces, horseradish, and mushrooms.  Mmmm...adds some nice cherry notes, a slight black pepper spice and some toasted oak.

Concensus: The Marquette is good and it appeals to beer drinkers, to gin drinkers, to novice wine drinkers, and to experienced wine drinkers, which is the ultimate goal!  As I mentioned earlier, we are pioneers in Marquette winemaking, so we will continually be experimenting and evolving to find the best way to make this wine.

And, although I love my family and know they take my teasing in this post with a grain of salt, I'm hoping to get some wine tasters with a more developed wine palette next time around.