The Grand Reserve Wine Tasting

With the Westin at Savannah Harbor as the setting and the skyline of the Hostess City of the South as the view, wine lovers bundled up and turned out in large numbers for one of the many premiere events of the Savannah Food & Wine Festival.

Not being a fan of cold weather; however, being a fan of wine, I was particularly excited about the Grand Reserve Wine Tasting and was willing to brave one of the colder evenings this area had seen all year. Night after night, food has been the belle of the ball but last night, wine stepped into the spotlight. And we’re talking BEAUTIFUL wines!

Westin Grand Reserve Still Image 4Amarone, Cabernet, Cab Franc, Petite Syrah, Syrah, Zinfandel, Merlot, Pinot Noir…yes, yes, and yes.  Burly, Heitz Cellars, Iron Horse, Cakebread, Seamus, Silver Oak, and Jordan were just some of the names present at the tasting.  Warm peppery notes, bright red fruits, energetic and finessed, unique balance with a nose that leans to hay and grass, powerful with a bold finish, dry, acidic, old world, new world…many of the descriptors I overheard last night as I made my way from one table to the next.  Guests lining up for their favorites.  Swirling and sipping.  Tasting and spitting.  Yes, spitting!  Professional wine tasters learned long ago that if they swallowed every wine they tasted, they would be far less thoughtful tasters by the time they reached wine eight or nine.  Therefore spitting became acceptable.  I am definitely not part of that camp.  Not that I have anything against spitting under right circumstances (like professional baseball and…uhhhhhh, and I can’t think of anything else) but not in wine tasting!  I’m the first one to admit that even though we eat our way around the South, wines like these are not a regular occurrence.  I was not about to waste one ounce and condemn a lovely vintage to the bottom of a spit bucket.  Smart?  Maybe not.  But it was worth the headache I’m nursing today.

Westin Grand Reserve Still 1Admittedly, I did not get through a fraction of the vineyards present before the night ended and because of the cold, I pretty much stuck with the reds and eschewed the chilled whites.  I’m told the food was delicious, though I did not have one bite.  I only had eyes for the bottles of wine lined up from one end of the river walk to the other.

The Savannah Food & Wine Festival touts something for everyone and we have definitely been eating and liking our way around this city we love.  But last night, guests set aside their forks in favor of wine glasses to spend an evening drinking and liking!

Senea Crystal
Eat It and Like It

Eat It and Like It launched in Savannah, Georgia with television personality Jesse Blanco as the host. His passion for food and travel has made Eat It and Like It a two-time EMMY nominated program about contemporary and traditional Southern food.