I just discovered Gregarious Cellars during a trip to Pine Creek Nursery in Monroe, where they do tastings on the weekends. Pine Creek Nursery also does “Taste from the Garden” dinners during the summer and Gregarious Cellars is always there to pair their wines with the four course meal. We attended three of the dinners this year and got to try different wines each time. The dinners are only $40 per person and come with a complimentary glass of wine. Any additional glasses are extra.
Gregarious Cellars hasn’t been around for very long but word of mouth is getting out there and their business has been steadily growing over the past couple of years. They’ve doubled their wine production in the last year. The wines are very impressive for such a young winery and it’s no surprise that they have grown so much every year.
Two of their wines deserve special mention because they are wines I typically don’t care for and actually ended up buying bottles of them.
- 2011 Roussanne: A white wine that we actually preferred served at room temperature. Mark and I are not normally white wine drinkers though we drink it on occasion and we were talked into trying it at the first “Taste from the Garden” dinners we went to. It seemed very different from any white wine we’ve had before. It didn’t seem to have as much acid. We liked it so much that we bought a bottle to bring home with us for $15. Before I move on to the 2nd one I also had to mention that the 2011 Syrah is fabulous. It is very peppery, just the way I like it. Unfortunately they are sold out of it and their 2012 doesn’t have the same amount of pepper but they promise that with age that peppery taste I like will be there.
- 2011 Merlot: If you know me, you know Merlot is probably my least favorite red. I don’t like the dry chalky coating most of them leave in your mouth. I tried Gregarious’ 2011 Merlot during the release party paired with mushroom cream cheese puffs and wouldn’t you know it, it was my favorite wine of the whole release party. They have very limited quantities so if you want a bottle you better hurry on down to Pine Creek and get one because as of last Friday they only had a case and a half left and I went home with a bottle for $25. I think I will store it for a year or so and see if it gets better with age.
They had a 2012 release party at Pine Creek Nursery where they served 6 different wine and food pairings all for free! My favorite bite was probably the dark chocolate brownie and as mentioned before. the 2011 Merlot was my favorite wine. The best food and wine pairing however probably went to the 2012 Cab Franc with Tuscan Bean Soup. We had the Cab Franc again at the last “Taste from the Garden”. It was recommended as a good pairing for the entree which was pork tenderloin, butternut squash and potatoes and it was a good pairing indeed. It might be my next bottle of wine purchase.
There was a 2012 Red Blend that was paired with a sausage pizza that was pretty good too. The blend was actually created by a guy named Mike at one of their blending parties. They had a little contest to see who could come up with the best blend and he ended up winning. They may be doing another blending party next year so I’m going to have to keep my eye out for that, it sounds like a lot of fun.
|2013 Rosato and Hemplar’s Sausage|
|2011 Merlot and Mushroom Cream Cheese Puffs|
|Left: 2012 Cabernet Franc and Tuscan Bean Soup Right: 2012 Red Blend and Spicy Italian Sausage Pizza|
|2012 Cabernet Sauvignon and Hearty Beef Stew|
Be sure to follow Gregarious Cellars and Pine Creek Nursery on Facebook to find out about upcoming events.