Scardello’s Annual Wine Rep Showdown
“Wine and cheese are ageless companions, like aspiring and aches or June and moon or good people and noble ventures.” – M.F.K. Fisher
Scardello (www.scardellocheese.com) is an artisan cheese shop located in the Turtle Creek neighborhood of Dallas. Featured in a prior PositiveVines blog, this group of “Cheese Enthusiasts” embraces everything related to creating and enjoying cheese from around the world. They not only sell cheese and great wines to accompany them, they host tastings, classes and fun events like the annual Wine Rep Showdown.
To begin, let me tell you what a wine rep does. They sell. And they present. And they represent wineries, distributors and wine shops to encourage sales and consumption of the wines that they represent. Second – let me tell you what makes a great wine rep. Lots of passion, lots of wine knowledge and the ability to sell.
The Wine Rep Showdown featured 3 Dallas area reps – Kevin Trevino, Daniel McKeever and Travis James. Each rep brought 3 wines for a series of blind tastings. The Cheese Enthusiasts at Scardello paired the wines with cheese selections to create a delightful experience for the palate. Kevin, Daniel and Travis used their knowledge of wines to introduce the blind tasting participants to a new range of experiences.
Each round featured a pouring of 3 different wines by the reps. All labels were covered so you couldn’t identify the wines in advance. The wine reps described the qualities of the wine that we were going to taste along with other descriptors such as country and grape varietal. The cheeses were described in detail in advance. As I tasted each of the 3 wines per round there was a chance to play with the cheese pairings and determine what pairing of cheese and wine I enjoyed the most. The trick to pick the winner of the showdown was to match the wine description with the glass designation – A, B or C. Everyone participating in the tasting then voted on their favorite wine of the round.
I matched all 3 in round one! I missed one in round 2. Round 3 was a complete mish-mash for me. It could be that my taste buds were overwhelmed by the time that we got to round 3 or that I was having so much fun with the other tasters at my table that I let their impressions influence my choices! Either way it was a fantastic evening meeting new friends and growing my knowledge in the world of fine wines.
Each of the wine reps is an expert in the field with a slightly different approach to their craft. This was my first blind tasting event and it was a blast! The winner with the most votes was Daniel from Serendipity wines.
Out of the 9 wines tasted, my favorites were-
- Le Contesse Rosé,
- Poco do Lobo Arinto,
- Robert Biale “Black Chicken” Zin and
- Henri Bourgeois Sancerre Rouge.
I’ll feature each of these wines in upcoming blogs to introduce them to you.
Consider stopping by one of the Scardello locations – Oak Lawn and Dallas Farmer’s Market. They offer fun classes every month and an expansive selection of hand crafted cheeses and wines for you to enjoy in the shop and at home.
Remember to drink what it is that makes you truly happy and always think positively!