My loving wife likes to surprise me by bringing home bottles of wine that I’ve never heard of to try. And, she knows that while I like all Rhone wines from France, I’m especially fond of the white wines from that region, such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape blanc.
Well, a domestic (California) Rhone-style white wine caught her eye at the wine store – a wine called The First Date, which is made by Sonoma’s Jeff Cohn Cellars. The label is filled with words like Kiss, Love, Curiosity, Crush, Attraction, Anticipation and such – all possible earmarks of a first date.
If you like floral wines, The First Date is going to be love at first taste. Made from 60% Grenache Blanc and 40% Roussanne, the aromatic First Date opens to gorgeous aromas of apricot, honeysuckle, peach and white flowers. On the tongue, it is rich and textured, a full-bodied wine offering peach and apricot flavors, as well as vanilla, brioche and pineapple. I was somewhat surprised at the firm minerality at the core of the wine.
That minerality – which is a good thing – is explained, in part, by the winemakers: “We use a concrete egg shaped tank to ferment and age the Grenache Blanc portion of this blend. The premise is that with the egg shape and the earth’s gravitation rotation it creates a vortex inside the egg that stirs the lees on a constant basis as it ages. What we like about the egg is that it keeps the fruit bright, adds a creaminess to the wine, and it brings out the minerality of the fruit.”
This beautiful wine is one you’ll want to make many more dates with. Indeed, it recently won Double Gold – Best Aromatic White – as the 2021 Sonoma International Film Festival Wine ‘WOSCAR’ winner. It is a winner, and I am looking forward to sipping The First Date from Jeff Cohn Cellars on the patio all spring and summer long.
Photo by Ted Scheffler
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THIS CONTENT IS FROM UTAH BITES NEWSLETTER.
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.