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The Last Grape Nutz Wine Tasting by Southern Wine & Spirits

Southern Wine & Spirits (SWS) hosted another Grape Nutz wine tasting at their headquarters. The SWS HQ, as always, was an excellent setting for a wine tasting event.

This is probably the last time that the Grape Nutz would be held at the Jones premises as SWS is thinking of taking the show on the road. The turn-out at this particular tasting was the highest I’ve seen so far. It was almost as if wine professionals from all over came to pay their respects, knowing that this could be the last time a Grape Nutz would be held at the SWS premises.

Italian Wines Galore

Moet Hennessy (MH) USA presented their portfolio of wines at the tasting. New and old world wines alike were featured. Seth Box, MH USA’s portfolio manager for Italian wines presented Ceretto, Capezzana, Monsardo, and Livio Felluga wines. Seth used to be a winemaker at the Ceretto winery; this probably explains his passion for and extensive knowledge about Ceretto wines.

Wine Reviews and Wine Tasting Notes

The following are some of my Grape Nutz wine reviews and wine tasting notes:


Ceretto makes an interesting blend (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Nebbiolo) called Monsardo. Each variety’s vinification process is carried out separately. First they are fermented in steel for 12-15 days. Next, they are transferred into barriques for malolactic fermentation. Only after the malolactic fermentation phase has been completed are the wines blended.

Wine tasting notes: The Monsardo has a rich bouquet of red fruits and displays a certain structure which is immediately noticeable in the mouth. It has the aromas of strawberries, raspberries, fresh tobacco, and roasted coffee. Oak (barriques) apparently plays an important role as the flavors of vanilla and spice are also present.  Well-rounded with mellow tannins, this wine is very enjoyable on its own. It was actually the wine of choice for most of the people present at the Grape Nutz wine tasting.

2002 Wedell Cellars Edna Valley Chardonnay

Exhibiting his usual generosity, Ira Harmon introduced a few of us to another of his “special” finds. He uncorked a bottle of 2002 Wedell Cellars Edna Valley Chardonnay. After the wine was poured, we could easily discern by its color that this chardonnay is unfined and unfiltered.

Wine tasting notes: On the nose, typical aromas due to new oak fermentation can be detected. Oak, lots of toast, roasted hazelnut, butter, new leather, and other aromas all come together to create a popcorn (or stinky new sneakers) bouquet. Overall, this wine is exceptionally well-balanced. I was very impressed with this wine and I highly recommend it to anyone who lives by the ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) rule. Don’t expect to find this chardonnay at your local wine store, though; you will probably have to do a bit of research to find it.

Mezcal Santo Domingo Albarradas

Ira finished the evening by pouring us a glass of Mezcal Santo Domingo Albarradas. This is a mezcal or a distilled spirit made from the agave (maguey) and named after Santo Domingo Albarradas, a town in the high Mixe region south of Oaxaca, Mexico.

Wine tasting notes: This mezcal has the distinct aromas of citrus fruits and bruised pears. It is more tropical in the mouth, with noticeable woody-spice aromas and a clean, dry finish. This mezcal’s production is regrettably limited, however, as all transportation in the area where this mezcal is distilled is done through horses and burros.

That’s all for this wine tasting. Cheers!