It's a Halloween Wine Masquerade!
Want to know a secret about tasting wine? The single most important thing to know is that it's fun. Honestly, that's it - all this other stuff about color, nose and aromatics, flavor descriptions and more, takes a back seat when it comes to just enjoying what's in your glass. And since Halloween season is all about altering perceptions, playing with identity and dipping into the unusual, we're here to encourage that sort of behavior with a wine masquerade!
Halloween reminds us that most rules around social norms are constructs that we put into place and then allow ourselves to follow. The same is true when it comes to tasting and enjoying wine: A few tweaks here and there, and your perspective on things might shift entirely. So with that said, let's trick your perspective and treat your senses.
We picked three wines for your masquerade party, all delicious and just a little offbeat. In other words, perfect candidates to confound your expectations! Catch them one by one, or grab all three from the shop and arrange your own masquerade.
Coferment-y Mystery Party
Âmevive 2021 Coferment Estate-Ibarra Young 'Périphérie' - Buy It!
Alice Anderson is the current steward at Ibarra-Young, a vineyard planted in Santa Ynez back in 1971, and Périphérie is her effort at making a fresh, enchanting red wine from some pretty serious older vines. Alice harvested and fermented the Syrah, Mourvedre and Marsanne for this wine all at the same time, and the result is a punchy blend of red and white grape varieties that feels like white, rosé and red wine all at the same time. Behold, the multiverse awaits you!
White Wine That Drinks Like Red Wine
Johan 2018 Chardonnay Estate - Buy It!
Morgan Beck and her collaborators at Johan Estate farm vines grown on the western edge of Oregon's Willamette Valley following biodynamic and regenerative practices, and the result is a bucolic garden of plenty. Witness the Estate Chardonnay, which is a blend of several different types of Chardonnay woven together with energy and verve, and underpinned with serious structure and depth. Close your eyes as you take a drink and look for the note of red apple and cherry and tell us this isn't Pinot Noir.
New World Vines in Old World Drag
Tzum 2017 Red Wine 'Atavus' - Buy It!
Leaving aside the fact that Nate Ready could pass for a winemaking Gandalf in a flash, with his bearded visage and often flowing garments, what's happening at Hiyu and Tzum in the Columbia Gorge is simply magic. Atavus is a parcel of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer and more planted in the 1960s high on a hillside overlooking the Gorge, and in 2017 Nate and crew made their first red wine from these vines. The result is a visceral expression of place, with dark hues and deep, savory flavors. Ignore the label, close your eyes, and you might as well be in Dijon.