Tasting Notes: First Friday Wine Tasting

Each month, Ashland Food Co-op hosts a First Friday Wine Tasting at the Community Classroom, 300 N. Pioneer St., that coincides with Ashland Gallery Association's artwalk. February's theme — inspired by Valentine's Day — is "amore," says Kelly McNamara, Co-op specialties manager.

She and her crew will pour samples of a dozen roses and dessert wines from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1. The entrance fee is $3, which includes a case discount of 20 percent.

One Napa Valley sparkling rose, the nonvintage Domaine Carneros Brut Rose Cuvee de la Pompadour ($39.99), is a blend of pinot noir and chardonnay with hints of wild strawberries.

An Italian sparkling rose, the nonvintage Marotti Campi Italian Brut Rose ($18.29), is made of Lacrima, a rare, Italian red grape with black-currant notes.

Jacksonville's Quady North, owned by second-generation winemaker Herb Quady, is represented with a 2011 dry rose ($13.59), a blend of grenache and syrah. Another dry rose is the French 2011 E. Guigal Tavel Rose ($22.49), made of grenache, syrah and mourvedre grapes.

Also being poured is the 2008 Grgich Hills Estate Zinfandel ($35.99), from the wine producer who earned recognition for the Napa Valley at the 1976 Judgement of Paris wine competition.

"We'll have luscious reds," says McNamara of 2006 Tenuta Sant'Antonio Amarone ($69.99) from Verona and two from Napa Valley: 2010 Orin Swift Cellars D66 Grenache ($39.99) and 2011 Folie a Deux "Menage a Trois" ($10.99).

"And we will have a dessert table," she says, with Warre's Otima 10-year Tawny port from Portugal, Castelnau sauternes from France and Yalumba Antique Tawny dessert wine from Australia.

The 2010 Insomnia Port ($24), also made by Quady for Troon Vineyard, is 100 percent tempranillo grapes in the Portuguese tradition.

— Janet Eastman

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