It’s a Croft Pink Port & a Pinot Noir Smackdown Thurs. August 18, 2011

I’m not sure which invitation came first–the one for a Thirsty Girl twitter tasting of Croft’s Pink Port or to participate in the Pinot Noir Smackdown.

After all, I was on the road all of July and into August doing research for my wine and family and sustainability project. I could barely get service for my phone much less wireless for my computer!

I do know that I said yes to both, of course–and at some point I realized I had two wine dates for the same night! Yes, both the Croft Pink Port twitter tasting AND the Pinot Noir Smackdown twitter tasting are being held on August 18, 2010. Woe is me!

Now I have to admit this won’t be the first time I’ve juggled two dates–you know, going out with one earlier then another later. I didn’t make a practice of it but it did happen a time or two. Or three.

So juggling two wines dates should be easy, right? Right! And you’re welcome to join the fun! (I’ll get to how in a minute!)

My first date is with a few bottles of California pinot noir: 2009 Sonoma Coast Vineyards Freestone Hills, 2009 Windsor Sonoma Russian River Valley  and 2010 Windsor Vineyards Pinot Noir, Sonoma County courtesy of Ed Thralls who describes the event in this way:

The #PinotSmackdown takes the concept of the normal 24-hour, global twitter tasting of a single popular varietial and then adds a bit of spice and competition, along with all the smacktalk you can muster.  It has all the makings of a Luchador wrestling throwdown and dispenses with the stance of Swiss neutrality and demystification in the wine world.  When it comes to Pinot Noir, we know you have a favorite, so don’t be afraid to let that freak flag fly. The reigning champion from 2010 is #Oregon and they have already begun the smacktalk about a repeat – see hashtag #PinotSmackdown for this ridiculous banter.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Pinot from Willamette Valley, but where’s the fun in conformity? ; )

You can register for the first Pinot Noir Smackdown twitter tasting here: really all you need is some pinot noir and the right hashtag #PinotSmackdown plus the region:

  • #OR – Oregon
  • #CA – California
  • #WA – Washington
  • #NY – New York
  • #46 – U.S. The “Other 46,” outside of the Big Four
  • #FR – France
  • #IT – Italy
  • #DE – Germany (Deutchland)
  • #EU – Europe, beyond France, Germany, Italy
  • #CN – Canada
  • #NZ – New Zealand
  • #CH – Chile
  • #AR – Argentina
  • #AU – Australia
  • #SA – South Africa
  • #WD – World, as in none previously listed

I may even step on on my first date and slip in some Oregon pinot before the night is over!

My second date is with Croft’s new Pink Port. I love port, give me tawny, ruby, old new, winter, summer, over ice or straight up! Yum! It’s my favorite dessert. While Croft’s website is very pretty and features some nice house music, getting information off it gave me a headache. Fortunately, the Thirsty Girl site offers the following from head Thirsty Girl Leslie Sbrocco:”I’ve always been a huge fan of Port. Whether a 20 Year Old Tawny (my favorite), a late bottled or classic vintage, Ports are beautiful wines. But, it’s often a challenge to get drinkers to discover the joys of sipping one with cheeses, savory dishes, chocolates and simply solo. Enter Croft Pink — a delicious entry point for those wanting to try Port. Garnet-hued and lightly sweet, it’s made with traditional Portuguese grape varieties in a lighter style. Imbibe it alone well-chilled, over ice, or in a cocktail. Welcome to the sweet side of life.

Each of the Thirsty Girl local chapter heads are being sent a bottle of Croft Pink Port to share with their local Thirsty Girls, and we’ve chosen several lucky Twitter tasters who will also receive a bottle of their own to taste and experiment with to create their own cocktails. We’ll all be sharing tasting notes, recipes and food pairings during the chat.

Yes, that’s me–I was chosen to be one of the lucky Twitter tasters! Hopefully, I will receive more info in the mail with my sample!

In the meantime, I am enjoying a glass of Penfold’s Club Tawny (where’s the chocolate?)  and doing a little buzzing around the internet. The reviews are decidedly mixed about Croft Pink Port but I like what Gabriella Opaz over at Catavino had to offer:

So, where did this crazy and insane idea come from? According to Nick Heath, the Marketing Director for The Fladgate Partnership, it came from the head honcho and CEO, Adrian Bridge, “He set the task to our winemaking team – led by David Guimaraens – of producing a premium quality ‘pink’ port. The team subsequently developed a technique to extract fresh, fruity flavours and a delicate pink colour from limited contact with the skins of the classic Port grape varieties.”

Adrian goes on to say that, “The port industry needs innovation to raise awareness of port as a contemporary product which is why, three years ago, I came up with the idea of producing a lighter style of port. This will attract new consumers to the port category and at the same time de-seasonalise consumption. It has been a lot of work for the winemaking team but they have now produced this outstanding new wine.”

While the Croft Pink Port may not be the complex sipper of its darker older siblings, it sounds delightful as a summer quaffer on ice and sounds perfect with some club soda and lime or lemon! On August 18, I will be sure to pick some meyer lemons off my tree and have soda on hand!
So it’s gonna be a pinot/port smackdown August 18, 2011! Hope you’ll show up in the ring or on the sidelines! You have 10 days to prepare!

5 thoughts on “It’s a Croft Pink Port & a Pinot Noir Smackdown Thurs. August 18, 2011

  1. What a great “Date Night”! I visited the Croft vineyards in the Duoro and Adrain Bridge himself led our group. Afterwards we had lunch and were served port cocktails. One with white port the other with pink. It was the first time I had a pink port and I was amazed how refreshing it was. Since my trip to Portugal port cocktails have become a new obsession.


  2. Pingback: #PinotSmackdown: How To Taste Pinot Noir according to Robin Pfeiffer | wine predator

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