Draper Valley Vineyard Riesling

My Experience:

Our second varietal grape juice from Draper Valley Vineyards, their Riesling, was a huge surprise. I'd never had a Riesling of any kind before, and did not know what to expect, but after a downright drab Free Chardonnay and very mild Chardonnay from Draper Valley Vineyards, I certainly wasn't ready for what this White had to offer.

On the nose it smelt like many other white grape juices, but was a bit more earthy in addition to clean fruity scent.

We chilled it a bit more than those other two whites, which might have brought out the sweetness a bit, but the strength of this delightful drink came out in a big way. A fruity white grape juice, of course, but strongly accented with Citrus tastes, specifically Lime, it is quite tangy. This is probably the best wine alternative I've had so far due it's higher acidity, it cuts through food, though it is too sweet to cleanse the palette very well. It is very strong for a white grape juice, which is usually smooth and full, whereas this was sharp and clear.

We are planning on buying more of this soon, and will be trying it with several foods. The first things that come to mind as good pairs are Herb-y Chicken, any Fish you'd serve with lime or lemon, anything Vinegary, like Pickles, maybe bitter green salads, but definitely things with vinaigrettes.

I think this would be great to use when cooking, maybe with chicken or shrimp.

We later did a taste test with all four of the Draper Valley Vineyard drinks we go, one cup straight, another cut with 1 part water 3 parts juice.

I preferred the strength and acid of the Riesling without the water, and it became dull with the water.

Works as a wine Alternative: Yes, though sweeter than wine, I feel it still fills most of the roles of wine in a food pairing, this is a definite contender.

Did I like it: Both my wife and I loved it. 9 out of 10

Would I Recomend it: Yes, this is one I think everyone can try.

Who Might Like it: Those who like citrus drinks or white grape juice.

Draper Valley Vineyard Chardonnay

My Experience:

My wife got me a 4 pack of varietal juices from Draper Valley Vineyards for christmas. I was so excited! We quickly decided what nights to try them in the coming weeks, and for a few of them even planned meals around them. For the Chardonnay, we unfortunately didn't planned a meal around it, which perhaps lead to a less than great experience with it.

It has a weak scent, of apple cider and dried autumn leaves. It's a great white grape juice - very dry for a juice (still very sweet compared to a wine.) Fre Chardonnay tastes like this but watered down 1 to 1. Full bodied, heavy mouth feel. The taste is very mild, and it's very very low on acid. Fruity, tastes of apple. We had it with Panda Express - bad pairing! My wife says it could be a good dessert drink with cherry cobbler and ice cream, we'll have to try it. It's fairly complex for a single ingredient juice, which means it's just barely more than a one note drink.

We haven't given up on Chardonnay, however, we still have the "Award Winning"™ Ariel Chardonnay to try!

Works as a wine Alternative: If it's paired well, I think it could be. It's so very low on acid that it doesn't cut at all, but it's the driest of the juices we've tried so far.

We later did a taste test with all four of the Draper Valley Vineyard drinks we go, one cup straight, another cut with 1 part water 3 parts juice.

The chardonnay, without any food, I liked better cut with water, the apple/grape flavor comes through more with less sweetness. There is a thickness to the uncut Chardonnay, and the water thins it a touch.

Did I like it: Yes, with reservations. I'm starting to think my wife and I are just not Chardonnay people. It deserves a proper pairing, and with the weighty, intense food we usually lean towards it does not pair well. 5 out of 10.

Would I Recomend it: We got a Draper Valley Vineyards 4 pack, they currently have a deal on a 6 pack, one of each of their juices. This is a great way to experiment and learn more about the most popular types of grapes out there. It was a very educational experience, and we found some juices we definitely return to. Recommended!

Who Might Like it: If you're ditching alcohol and want chardonnay, it's worth a shot. It does taste like chardonnay, but very sweet.

(Compare to Sutter Home's Fre Chardonnay)