Departing from my usual reporting of a visit to an adult beverage manufacturer, I thought this recent experience at Avon Bottle Stop was worthy of sharing. In person events are back and popping up all over the State of Connecticut, including here in my town of Avon at my favorite retailer, Avon Bottle Stop Wine and Spirit Superstore.  This tasting event was a day before my birthday, so I thought the $29 fee was a good present to myself for the experience of ‘Lafite Around the World‘.

It’s worthwhile to share why Avon Bottle Stop is my favorite retailer, and that is because of the knowledgeable staff.  Whenever I shop for wine, I hope for great ‘Value’.  I want to spend twenty dollars on a bottle of wine that tastes like I spent fifty or more.  G and his staff know the store very well, and it seems G stocks the entire store with ‘Value’.  From the seemingly small storefront in between the Goodwill and an auto parts store on Main Street across from Walmart, one wouldn’t imagine the sheer size of the store.  It’s huge.

This event was sold out and I’m glad I bought my ticket right when I saw the Facebook post about it.  I was a bit early and took an empty table in the front, as eager students do, and shortly before the event began, all the tables filled up including mine with a young couple from Granby.  We’re there to taste 8 wines from the Domaines Barons de Rothschild Lafite portfolio with Ted Satinsky, the Connecticut State Manager for Taub Family Selections.

Not seeing the wine list or the prices before the tasting, I expected the wines to be more expensive than my usual purchases and warned my wife that if I did purchase any, it’ll likely be a special occasion wine, but more than likely, I wouldn’t be buying any at all.

Happily I was wrong!

Here is the list of wines we tasted, my notes, and the sale prices offered that night (prices may vary, check their website for current prices):

Los Vascos Sauvignon Blanc 2020 – $9.99

Ten dollars?!?!?!  Seriously good deal!!!  This is a great ‘Patio Wine’ you can share with friends on a summer day and not worry how many bottles you go through.  It’s very fruit forward as the hot climate of Chile produces.  There isn’t a lot of complexity to this one, but you can’t beat the price.  Good value here indeed. I ordered two of these.

Légende Bordeaux Blanc 2019 – $15.99

If you’ve ever had a Bordeaux Blanc that was very tart or even tasted a bit ‘chalky’, it’s from the colder climate in Bordeaux producing a Sauvignon Blanc grape with more ‘mineral’ characteristics than the fruity wines you can get from hot climates. This blend uses 15% Sémillon grapes (which are much sweeter) to counteract that into what was for me a perfect blend. I ordered one of these.

Légende Bordeaux Rouge 2018 – $15.99

This is a good example of an entry level Bordeaux. It’s balanced and flavorful with mild but complex flavors.  Red fruit, toast and mocha scents, lead into an even taste across good Bordeaux characteristics of cedar, dark berries and licorice with a balanced and long finish.  I want this with a steak dinner at home, or even a pizza.  I ordered one of these.

Chateau Paradis Casseuil 2017 – $27.99

We are approaching the top of my price range for a ‘drink now’ bottle of wine.  Sure, I’ll spend more for a special occasion, but I don’t buy ‘investment’ wines (I lack both the equipment and the patience to properly store wine). So, what I buy, I’m going to drink.  This bottle however, was an incredible example of what I want and expect from a Bordeaux. Well integrated tannins, dark berries, earthy, mushroom and leather notes. Despite being at my higher end price point, I ordered two bottles of these as well.

Bodegas Caro Amancaya 2018 – $17.99
Los Vascos Cromas Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 – $19.99
Los Vascos Le Dix 2016 – $64.99
Bodegas Caro, Caro 2019 – $64.99

I’m lumping all the rest above together because I don’t think I can give them a fair shake.  Tasting these after good Bordeaux just had me tasting the hot climate they all came from (Argentina and Chile).  A hotter climate makes for a ‘jammy’ flavor in the wine, and while that’s not a bad thing, (I mean…. I like Lodi Zin), but it just didn’t fare well for me after having a Bordeaux flavor lingering.

At the end of the tasting, we were given a surprise of a bottle of the Los Vascos Sauvignon Blanc!!  Even though I had written 2 on my order sheet already, I took it as a gift and didn’t change my order.  I’ll happily have three.

I’ll be on the lookout for more events at Avon Bottle Stop, this one was definitely worth it.