Draper Valley Vineyard Early Muscat

My Experience:

My wife got this (and a Gewerztraminer
) from Draper Valley Vineyards for fathers day. We are finally getting to them! We had it with minestrone.

It's a light golden color, not quite as translucent as some of the Chardonnay we've had. It has medium legs, not holding on long but fairly weighty. It has a tangy, floral scent that is very pleasing that reminded me of Citrus blossoms.

The taste is floral also, and from the scent I was expecting a strong, sour taste but it's milder, not weak, but still with a unique identifiable taste. I also didn't catch the citrus I was expecting, nor the acid. It is heavy bodied, bordering on thick, but
doesn't leave a strong syrupy residue in your mouth the way cheap white grape juice from concentrate does. It does have a very long finish, however.

I found it went well with the Minestrone, it was just strong enough to balance well with it. However, the long finish made me want another bite of Minestrone every time, which is why I'd say it's not a great pallet cleanser.

Works as a Wine Alternative: I think so.

Did I Like it: 8 out if 10

Would I Recommend it: Yes

Who Might Like it: I think this is a pretty straightforward entry into gourmet juices.

Chefs and Non-alcholic Pairings

I just found this great NYTimes article about how some high-end chefs are mixing it up by pairing beverages other than wine with their tasting menus.

Kristian Regále Sparkling Lingonberry

My Experience:

Same great carbonation as always from kristian regale. Red raspberry color, but almost with a touch of orange, and smells very different from any other juice I've had, must be the lingonberry, and I can get just a touch of the apple, a bit of a tart smell. A bit of a musky, dusty rose scent. It's a bit more strongly carbonated on the tongue, the fizz completely evaporates. Only a hit of the apple gets through the very powerful lingonberry. As typical, it's not as sweet as most juices, but also has a slightly bitter finish, and medium acidity. It had some noticeable dregs at the end.

As for paring I'd drink it with something that you'd normally have with a fruity drink, maybe mexican food like fajitas or burritos.

Works as a Wine Alternative: I think with the right paring, yeah.

Did I Like it: Not as much as Kristian Regále's Pomegranate offering, but it's still a unique drink worth trying. 6/10

Would I Recommend it: Yep!

Who Might Like it: In terms of acidity, its a lot like raspberry juice, though the taste itself is different.

Kristian Regále Sparkling Pear

My Experience:

This will be short one, as most of Kristian Regále stuff is (delightfully!) similar.

After finding a hidden cache of Kristian Regále we've been pounding through them, and I actually went back get another set!

My wife made "My Dream Greek Pasta" (which was quite yummy) when we decided to try this. The color is similar to a light apple juice or some of the more translucent Chardonnays we've tried, with small bubbles just slowly trickling up. I noted both pear and apple on the nose.

My first impression was positive. The pear taste is not as strong as the RW Knudsen's sparkling pear, and the carbonation is on par with the other Kristian Regále drinks I've tried, though it's a bit more mild than the Pomegranate, and much more mild than the Lingonberry. It's light bodied and the citrus acid gives it just a tiny acidic kick. Comparing only the taste, and not the carbonation, it's terribly dissimilar from Martinelli's.

The mild, yet pleasant taste makes this easy to pair with. It'd go with many, many different foods, though especially with cold, light foods, like salads, pitas and hummus, or cheeses.

Works as a Wine Alternative: Yes

Did I Like it: Yes, 7 out of 10. It will be a regular (or table drink) in our house now.

Would I Recommend it: Yes, same as all the Kristian Regále stuff.

Who Might Like it: If you like to try new Sodas, you'd like to try this. It's light and refreshing, it's not overwhelming, and it's easy to pair with, all of which makes it a great introduction to something beyond your typical lunch-time juice.