A stroke of good fortune led to my invitation by DG Blackburn to check out a Nirvino Urban Wine Tasting at the Boothby Center for Beverage Arts. The event started at 6:00 PM, and that was a good thing because I was still relatively dry and ambulatory. And I am glad I was because the event was decidedly pleasing.
The event boasted a respectable turnout without getting crowded (a preferred balance). One standout beverage was Mashup by Periscope Cellars. A multifaceted blend, the wine stood out as a rare example of a fundamentally complex yet delicate creation. Brilliantly, it was served on tap, getting the wine at the right age, right from the barrel, and right into your glass without any interloping bottles. I hope more wine makers figure out that this is a great way to get quality wine to the public when one doesn’t intend on laying the wine up for half a decade. Kudos, Periscope. Another good showing came from Fortuna Winery. Their sparkling wins (one dry, one almond enhanced) and a pomegranate wine surprised me. My initial reservations were quickly dispelled when these offerings proved to be lush and original. The Extra Dry was respectable and while satisfying the traditional needs of a champagne-seeking palate brought a new freshness to the flavors. The Almond, and I am not particularly crazy about almonds, managed to add a tasty layer in nose and body without side-tracking the well-focused champagne experience. The pomegranate wine was expressive of the fruit without getting bogged down in the sweetness that often comes with such attempts. Yummy. And the Extra Dry with a dash of the pomegranate wine made for an aesthetically pleasing champagne cocktail sans the bitters.
I hope Nirvino keeps up the good work. And I look forward to spending more time at the Boothby Center. As the name states, this space is dedicated to the beverage arts, be it educational seminars, tastings, or some new concoction. It is a space for drinking and I look forward to spending a lot more time there. DG’s build-out bodes well for future events. Between the hand-crafted bar-top and the spirit safe (seriously, it’s an actual bank vault from near-on a century ago set into the wall with what looks like a functioning lock) a broad swath of windows makes for a solid spot to imbibe. –Nate