Hot weather greeted Dutcher Crossing owner Deb Mathy and winemaker Kerry Damskey on their return visit to The First Avenue Wine House in Cedar Rapids Iowa. Huge turn out for the event and reinforces the number of fans they have courtesy of my favorite wine house owner Traci Weber. She along with husband Ron and even her parents, head to wine country every February to scope out potential wines for her store. We her loyal customers, are treated to some tasty juice. Tonights food pairing was fresh grilled pizza. My compliments to the chef/griller (aka Ron) but the best job of all last night had to be the always positive door host Jim (Traci's Dad) who was stuck in the cool a/c!
Three stations of wine were set up with Deb pouring at 1 and Kerry at 2. These two were ribbing each other all night and I was one of the messengers. Deb first poured the Costello Chardonnay which was a great starter to the evening. Honeysuckle, apple, creamy creme brule with a nice little mineral finish. Next up Proprietor's Zinfandel with its deep dark fruit of blackberry and blueberry. Petite Sirah in the wine really softens the finish and I would never have guessed I was drinking Zin. Up next Proprietor's Syrah which was full of deep rich blackberry, cherry and vanilla. How the heck do you pick a favorite? The last wine Proprietor's Petite Sirah. Dark berry, raspberry with black pepper notes, leather, mocha and a touch of earth on the finish. I was instructed to go tell Kerry the wines at table 1 are better!
I wandered over to table 2 where the winemaker was pouring and chatting with all the guests. Before my glass was filled, I passed the message on and his response "Go ask her when she is going to learn to fish?" My first wine at this station was the Winemakers Cellar Chardonnay full of white peach, green apple and creamy buttery oak. Back to deliver the news to Deb who laughs and responds with "Who caught more fish and big ones?"
By now the line is huge as Kerry is chatting more than pouring lol. Traci to the rescue helping pour and the line moves fast. Maple Zinfandel was next in my glass and believe it or not my and everyone elses favorite of the night. Blackberry, cherry, chocolate notes with a nice pepper finish. Message delivered his response "She is full of it!" Into my glass the Taylor's Reserve Cabernet with ripe raspberry, cherry, blackberry with hints of smokey oak. Steak anyone? The final wine at station 2 was the Cooney Cabernet from Alexander Valley. Again loads of rich ripe fruit. Blackberry, dark cherry with a hint of smokey cedar.
My purchase this evening the Costello Chardonnay and the Maple Zinfandel. I asked Deb and Kerry to each sign a bottle which they naturally agreed. She is an absolute hoot and Kerry reminds you of the mischievous little kid next door just seeing how much he can get away with. Deb was right too Kerry.... get a haircut!
Traci and Ron it was a great evening of music, wine and food. Deb and Kerry it's always great to see and talk with you! Check out my favorite wine store First Avenue Wine House and attend the next tasting. You will love it!
Dutcher Crossing Winery learn more about their winery and portfolio of wines.