A little bit “Hollywood Squares” and a lot of fun, winery tastings at home are a diverting coronavirus lockdown alternative.
I’m not sure the term “virtual tasting” is entirely apt given that the participants were sipping actual wine, but a recent virtual visit to Three Sticks Wines via Zoom was a diverting coronavirus lockdown alternative. The session began with the 2019 Casteñada Sonoma Coast Rosé of five Rhône varietals, two white and three red. The rosé is named for The Adobe, the winery’s meticulously appointed circa-1842 tasting room in downtown Sonoma.
To Oak or Not to Oak
Three Sticks is known for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The first white, the 2018 Durell Vineyard Origin Chardonnay, was fermented and aged in 70% concrete and 30% stainless steel vessels rather than in oak barrels. Lively, crisp, and tartly tropical, this wine is off to the races the second it enters the mouth. Origin couldn’t be more different than the 2018 Gap’s Crown Vineyard Chardonnay that followed, but it’s equally satisfying. The Gap’s Crown was its usual well-composed self, its oak components playing suavely off the grapes’ flinty qualities.
The fruit for both Pinots came from multiple sources of owner-winegrower Bill Price. The fresh-as-a-colt 2018 Price Family Estates Pinot Noir, from a few Sonoma Coast vineyards, is already appealing. Like the PFE, the other red, the 2018 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, evokes its region, to be more specific the Green Valley of Russian River Valley subappellation.
Our wines came in a Virtual Tasting Kit that you can order online while scheduling a tasting. If you’re looking to have a shelter-in-place house party, this is a fun way to pass some time. It’s a little like playing Hollywood Squares. Channel your inner Paul Lynde, Joan Rivers, or Rose Marie and give it a try.