12005 N Saguaro Blvd, Fountain Hills, AZ, USA
www.casavinowinery.blogspot.… - 480) 816-8466
Casavino Winery Fountain Hills Reviews
Custom Wine Tasting and Custom Winery Jul 01, 2011
This delightful little winery in the heart of Fountain Hills should be awarded a "Top Ten Places to Impress your Date in the Valley".
Casavino offers something truly unique: A wine tasting, vine and wine education, and a wine making to end the evening.
The experience begins with a tasting of ten of their very signature wines. Their wine is not chemically engineered, so aromas and flavors vary from bottle to bottle. Hence, you will not find detailed descriptions of the wine's floral notes or eclectic ingredients on the backs of the bottles. However, this is what your sommelier is for. He will guide you through the process from pour to delicious pour. Let your other senses explore the wines. Smell it, swish it, and let it linger. We certainly did!
We began with the Gewürztraminer infused with apple. (8% Alcohol) Something so sweet yet crisp that we had to buy the bottle. With prices ranging from $13-$19,all available bottles are a veritable steal.
Next came the Merlot infused with blackberry. Until this day, I had never enjoyed Merlot unless I was sharing it with a steak. Absolutely divine, enjoyed by both the white wine drinkers and the red wine snobs who look down on sweet reds. Words fail me, it was simply wild and beautiful and sweet.
To lighten the load on our palates, we next sampled a (10.5% Alcohol) Piesporter with elderberry and notes of honey and peach. This was a drier wine, with a very smooth finish. Perfect to pair with a summer salad or light fish dish.
Their custom white blend came next - white table wine with Pinot grigio, viognier, and Riesling. My least favorite as it had a little tartness and was much drier. But at 12.5%, this white blend from California Chardonnay packed quite a punch.
During our tasting, our discussion led to wine headaches: we learned from our knowledgeable wine steward that it is not the sulfates, but histamines that cause this unhappy side effect of wine for some. He explained that malicious acids in the wine are removed by bacteria, which in turn produces lactic acid and histamine. He was happy to share that none of their wines have these nasty acids, so we could be happy in the knowledge that we would not be developing allergy-like symptoms. And we were fit as fiddles, not a even a wine hangover the next day.
When we began the tasting of the reds, we started with a Pinot Noir. It was very drinkable, coming from a white wine lover.
This was followed up by a merlot, which had just been bottled, so we noticed a sort of effervescence in the glass. This led to our next wine lesson. When wine is fermenting, yeast eats the sugars. This releases CO2, which can add a slight fizzle to the wine.
We swilled their custom red blend: a full bodied red wine without the aftertaste. With its vanilla finish it is designed to whet the palate - I actually had the opposite experience. Again, my taste buds love sweet, light wines so don't let my personal opinion sway yours.
After the California Shiraz it was finally time for the "Amarone", with its distinctly raisin finish. It was explained to us that when the grapes turn to raisins, it brings up the alcohol content, almost 15% percent alcohol! Joe and Jordan Burglin, our sommeliers, both attested that this was a food wine, a wine made for steak!
After our palates were so overwhelmed with their cornucopia of bouquets, they brought out the dessert wines. First was a ruby port, which was too sweet even for my taste but a welcome change. (They also sell ice wines, which are harder to come by and more expensive outside of Casavino - hence they did not have any in stock)
Speaking of port, they offered us something truly unique to end our tasting experience. Something appreciated by the discerning wine drinker. And the cigar smoker. This was the chocolate port. At 16% alcohol content, all of its splendor comes from yeast fermentation. With dark chocolate notes, amaretto, and a butterscotch finish, our wine professor noted that there's a lot going on in this wine. "Cigar smokers buy as much of this as women that love chocolate." - Joe Burglan.
To complete our experience, we went on to make our wine. Our friends decided to make the full bodied Shiraz, and we were all involved in the process.
One of us poured the Bentonite clay into our pseudo wine cask, which helps the yeast break down sugars. Then the grape juice was added by another member of our motley crew. Then french oak chips were added, followed by the yeast which converts the juice to alcohol. The container was sealed and the fermentation began. In six weeks we will be picking up our bottles with our own personalized labels, created by their inhouse graphic designer.
We walked out of there with half a dozen bottles of wine, so thoroughly fortified with wine, wine education, and excitement over our experience. Truly a fantastic date!
Thank you Joe and Jordan, and Casavino!
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