A couple of weeks ago, the Wine Me Dine Me Dakine Me crew ventured all the way to the other side of the island – all of 30minutes away, to The Wine Corner in Paia.
We are so spoiled for choices in our southern enclave of Maui, that it’s quite the venture to get out.
The Wine Corner is well worth the trip for a delicious experience of wine tasting. Next to the main shop, they have Da Vine Art which is a wine bar venue designed for special events, in particular ……“libation education”. They cover wine, spirits, beer, coffee, olive oil, Hawaiian grown foods, etc. It’s all about learning and tasting.
We had the bar to ourselves on a Saturday late afternoon of tasting and Steven had the bright idea of testing our taste buds with blind-tasting. He chose 4 wines and asked Eddie, the bartender, to fill 4 tasting glasses with one of each of the wines. For this to work, Eddie needed to know which glass contained which wine, and then we had him place the glass on a numbered napkin.
We got to know them as Wine 1, 2, 3 and 4, plus Steven told us which 4 wines they could be:
I started with Wine 3 and was immediately struck by an unusual coconut flavor. I got a few snickers from my fellow tasters, (especially my husband) and whether I created a bias or not, they also detected the hints of coconut. It was delicious, combined with a hint of chocolate and raspberry, and old oak. I even got a toasted aroma, and I since then I have read a wine described as ‘toasted oak’ so I’m guessing that is what I tasted.
My guess was that this wine was the Cabernet Sauvignon.
I next tried Wine 4 which was dry and sweet. My initial guess was that this was the Pinot.
Wine 1 was dry, smooth and delicious tastes of cherry, chocolate and tobacco. My guess – The Velvet Devil Merlot.
Wine 2 was very dry, peppery and also hints of tobacco. I first marked this as the Clos Du Val Merlot, and then changed my mind, thinking it was a little too dry for a Merlot.
Before ‘submitting’ my guesses, I switched my wine’s 2 and 4. Silly me, my initial guesses were all correct, but due to my change, I was left with a score of 2 out of 4 – same as my fellow wine friends. The competitive gal in me was just a little annoyed.
We were unanimous with our preference for The Velvet Devil and the Ladera Cabernet Sauvignon, and ordered 2 full glasses of each for the four of us to enjoy. A bottle of The Velvet Devil also found a way home with us.
It’s a fun way to taste wine, especially if you are like us and developing your palate.
During April, Da Vine Art is featuring Spanish wines, pairing 5 wines with pupus (or Tapas, as they would call them in Spain). You can learn more at http://mauiwinecorner.com/php/da-vine-art.php
The main store features a beautiful walk-in wine cellar, which is insulated to maintain a constant ideal climate for the wines. They also sell spirits, champagnes and hard-to-find micro beers…. So next time you are in Paia, stop by The Wine Corner (it’s across from Charley’s), say hi to Rich and tell them the Wine Me Dine Me Dakine Me crew sent you.
Annette, Sherry, Steven & Billy