Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Tasting #winetasting #wine #TampaFL #foodiefriday

This Foodie Friday is all about WINE!!!

While I was in Tampa, FL during my last trip, I decided to go to Cooper’s Hawk restaurant.

It was recommended by the concierge at the hotel where I was staying.
They also have a tasting area. While I waited for my table, I decided to try a variety of their sweet wines.

The tasting with souvenir wineglass cost $10.

In the order in which I tasted:

Raspberry Sparkling ***MY FAVE #2***– fragrance of black raspberry, citrus, vanilla
TOW: Light, sweet taste on tongue. Great chilled. Loved the light crisp fragrance

Moscato – fruity and floral , scents of white grape juice, nectarine, guava, orange blossom, and honeysuckle
TOW: Sweet, light fruity. Little hints of the citrusy fresh flavor.

Gewurztraminer – 2016 International Eastern Wine Competition winner – lush and fragrant, releasing kiwi, Bosc pear, lychee, rose petal, honeycomb
TOW: Definitely tasted the floral hints. Reminded of a spring time, sweet dessert wine. Could not detect all the fragrant notes. Kiwi, Bosc pear, lychee, rose petal, AND honeycomb? If they say so.

Raspberry ***MY FAVE # 1*** – ripe raspberries and note of cinnamon wakes up the palate
TOW: Smells like fruit juice with subtle hints of berries on the tongue. The delicate spice undertones add aromatic depth.

Blueberry – blueberry pie, raspberry, and Bing cherry with hint of cinnamon
TOW: Rich fruit taste and deep flavor. It was smooth like drinking juice (which could be dangerous). Tasted spicy hints but thought it was nutmeg instead of cinnamon.

Cranberry ***LEAST FAVE*** – tart cranberry with gingerbread and candied mandarin oranges
TOW: This was my least fave because the cranberry flavor was so tart, like drinking 100% cranberry juice. It tasted more like a health drink and less like wine.

Red Sangria – juicy plum, sweet cherries, apple, tangerine, and a touch of molasses on the nose
TOW: This was very sweet and tasted like candy. I could tell there were a lot of fruit notes in it. This is best served cold and in small doses.

Limoncello – intense lemon zest with soft lime undertones
TOW: Definitely zesty! Sweet, smooth lemon flavor came through. Best as an after dinner liqueur and like the Red Sangria, served in small doses.

TOW Final Word: This wine tasting is worth the trip. There are plenty of wines in their selection for every palate. This was my first time, but not my last!

Here is the location address where I went
4110 West Boy Scout Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33607

To find the nearest Cooper’s Hawk tasting room

Flynn’s on Maxwell Wine Tasting

Flynn’s on Maxwell Wine Tasting 3/13/14

Finally I am getting around to posting about the wine tasting I went to last March! I know. I know. I am so behind. I must say my excuse is that I read too many books when I should be composing these posts.

When I finally focused, I composed all my notes from the wine tasting.

I tried 4 wines

Plume Bleue – France – Grenache and Syrah blend
To me, it tasted earthy and made me think of oak. At the same time, it was fresh with a mild, soft flavor. The fruity hints that I could detect smelled like blueberries. I think this is a nice summer red wine.

TintoNegro Malbec – Mendozza Argentina
The speaker said that the grapes were grown in a cold climate and that was attributed to the deep color. To me, the wine scent had hints of currant or berry. When I tasted it, I think it is dry at first with a smoother finish. I am not a fan of malbecs in general, but this was one of the better ones that I have tasted. I would buy this for people who liked malbec wines.

Truth Red Blend (Axios & Worthy) – Napa
The speaker said this wine had mild tannins (whatever that means). I could not get a distinctive smell like I did with the first two. I did think this was a mild flavored wine with fruity hints coming forward on the taste buds without being overly sweet. It was also very smooth to me. Another note (having nothing to do with the actual flavor of the wine) I loved this wine label design. Very MC Esher-esce. From the label alone I would probably have bought the wine without having tasted it.

Petalos Bierzo – Mencia grape Spain
The speaker said that this wine made the Top 100 list in the Wine Enthusiast in 2010 and received 92 points in 2011 (whatever that means). Maybe my taste buds are not as refined as the sommeliers of Wine Enthusiast, but I thought it smelled heavy. I had thoughts of earthy in a peat moss kind of way. It was so dry that I felt it in my teeth. If you are like me and like lighter, sweet wines, do not get this one. Your taste buds will wonder what they did to displease you. If you like strong, heavy, dry wines, then this is definitely for you.

Of all the wines I tried this night, Plume Bleue was my favorite. It was light and fruity. It did not have any of the heaviness that I usually associate with red wine.

Flynn’s on Maxwell Wine Tasting – June 2013

Flynn’s on Maxwell Wine Tasting

A couple months ago, I went to a wine tasting at the newest wine and beer establishment in Greenwood SC. The couple that owns this store are passionate about what they do. The husband loves specialty beers and the wife loves good wine. With Flynn’s on Maxwell, they have an avenue to talk about their passion and explain flavored nuances of many libations that they have discovered.

I attend wine tastings because it gives me a chance to try wines that I would otherwise not buy. Over the years, I have found that I do not like many reds because they are usually too dry for me. I am an ultra sweet moscato or Riesling type of girl. However, I will try new red wines to see if I can find one that l like to drink.

The wines talked about here were ones that I tried during the June 2013 tasting.

Steelhead Pinot Noir – $14.18 – Dry wine with strong flavor. I was not a fan because I do not like dry wines. I felt like I had cottonmouth.

Decoy Pinot Noir – $21.32 – The aroma of this wine was better than the taste because it was dry too. The aroma was rich, full body with an earthy, leather, tobacco smoke flavor. I loved smelling the wine but the dryness took all the taste out of my mouth. All the people there that like dry wines were raving over this one though.

Joel Gott Pinot Gris – $14.58 – I could not verbalize what I thought of the flavors for this one. My nose caught hints of a sweet flowery fragrance, but my tongue did not taste what I expected based on the aroma. I think my mind was confused. This wine blew my mind 🙂

Folie a Deux Chardonnay Sonoma RRV – $15.93 – My favorite of this tasting session. It was light and fresh. I ate with some grapes. I wish I had had some strawberries though. It felt like summertime at its greatest.

Since everyone’s palate is different, the reason I do not like a wine could be the same reason another person wants to try it. If you like pinot noir wines, you might enjoy Decoy Pinot Noir. Like I said, the people who did like Pinot Noirs said it was delicious. If you are looking for a nice chardonnay, I do recommend Folie a Deux Chardonnay Sonoma RRV. It was really tasty.

City Scape Winery – Greenville county, SC

City Scape Winery – Greenville county in South Carolina

A friend of mine told me about a winery in Greenville County, near Simpsonville, that was producing some very delicious wines. Of course, I had to check it out. That led me to City Scape Winery. Their tasting room is open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM.

I did a wine tasting of all of the wines that they offer in the following categories: white, blush, red, and specialty.

My favorite white wine was Pineapple Riesling. It was sweet, light, but not dried. My least favorite was the Uptown White which was at Pinot Grigio. It was also light but the flavor was dry. I think that is a characteristic of Pinot Grigio, but I’m not sure.

Out of all the different categories the blush wines were my favorite. They offer two wines in this category: Upstate Blush and Raspberry White Zin. Upstate Blush is a Chardonnay mix to with cranberry juice. To me, it smells like a pretty, dainty wine. The Raspberry White Zin smells like cotton candy and taste like berries. A great combination to me!

My least favorite category of wines was the Reds. All of them were different variations of dry, strong flavors. The Downtown Red was probably the most tart of all in this category. The Blackberry Merlot smelled sweet and I am told it is better chilled. And the strongest of all of the Reds was the Urban Red because the flavors seem to overpower numb my taste buds. But since I want to enjoy the flavor and not trying to drink myself senseless, I decided Urban Red was not for me.

The specialty wines should have also been titled the most decadent wines. The Dark Chocolate Red had a very good flavor and would be good to eat alongside a piece of chocolate. The Orange Chocolate Delight also had really good flavor and if paired with the right food I think that would be helpful. Raspberry Chocolate Delight had a good smooth, deep rich flavor that I would like to enjoy the warm while sitting next to a fireplace. It had that comfort-taste to it.

After the tasting, I bought the Pineapple Riesling and the Raspberry White Zin. Those were my two favorites out of all the wines.

I highly recommend doing a wine tasting at City Scape winery. This is a perfect outing for anyone that is looking for something different to do. I like wines from Chile, France, Spain, Napa, and other global regions, but I think it is great that there are wineries in the area where I live that are making wines with local fruit.

Villa Alena Moscato D’Asti

I am not a wine connoisseur so I can’t explain to why my taste buds like this sparkling wine so much.
But trust me when I say it is DELICIOUS and bubbly. And it is cheap because it is sold at Trader Joe’s . I bought it because I was having a party and was going to mix it in the punch.
I always thought that cheap wine was supposed to taste like rot gut, but this is smooth and full of flavor. Once I tasted it, I decided this wine should be served on its own in glasses. There was no wine punch. Just plain punch and Villa Alena Moscato D’Asti.

I am going to buy some more so that I can enjoy the whole bottle myself.
Served Villa Alena Moscato D’Asti chilled with a plate of strawberries is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

If you are interested, at there are steps to becoming a wine connoisseur.

Steps (with my comments in parenthesis showing why I probably will never be a wine connoisseur)
1 Get information from the experts (I know I am supposed to trust the experts, but what if their taste buds like different flavors than mine?)

2Go to a wine shop and ask the staff for recommendations. Look for bottles of wine with write-ups near them, award citations and high magazine ratings. (Once again, I know I am supposed to trust their recommendations, but what if their taste buds like different flavors than mine?)

3Attend a local wine tasting or a wine appreciation class. (I have attended a local wine tasting before. My impression was, "Eh, no real standouts." But other people were, "OMG, this is awesome." I felt like missed something everyone else got. Are my standards too high that nothing met it OR are they too low and not even registering what they are supposed to? A serious conundrum.)

4Join a wine group. (Many times these groups are filled with pretentious people who usually get on my nerves)

5Visit a winery. You’ll learn how wine is made, see how the grapes are grown and be taught the proper procedure for drinking wine.(Did this in Napa. The "proper procedure" for drinking wine does not suit me. I feel like some of the flavors I am supposed to be noticing are being lost. Possibly my taste buds are not refined enough.)

6Buy wines that match the taste of the food you’re serving. (Did this before but cannot really tell what I am supposed to get out of that)

7Don’t just stick to traditional reds and whites. Try sparkling wines, ice wines and dessert wines as well. (I do try this. I like moscato, reisling, and sparkling wine. I need to find an ice wine to try.)

8Learn about different grape varieties. (Good idea, but I don’t have a good memory)

9Subscribe to online wine newsletters. (I might do this)

10Look for a wine school in your area. (I live in the country so there are no wine schools in area)

11Have an informal tasting either at a friend’s house. (This is a good idea that I plan to try one day. Don’t see how this will help me become a wine connoisseur, but seems like fun)

12Make wine inexpensively at home. (This could happen. Hubby planted several grapevines that look to produce in the coming years.)