TIPSY TOURIST: Castlerigg Wine Shop, Carlisle — Wine pairing

Ready for a tasting.

Ready for a tasting at Castlerigg Wine Shop in Carlisle, Pa.

DSCN4056When you think of wine country, you immediately think of Pennsylvania. Sure, we all do.

OK, no I don’t and that’s why a charming little wine shop in Carlisle was a great stop to taste a few of the local wines.

Castlerigg Wine Shop made for an excellent stop after a morning at a cooking demonstration at  The Kitchen Shoppe (See Tuesday’s post). They’ve set up the wine bar in a cozy turn of the 20th Century shop with fireplaces and touches of warm wood. For $15, you can taste eight wines from Seven Mountains or The Vineyard at Grandview, paired with slivers of cheese and chocolate. Wine by itself is always a delight — but the shopkeeper here has done a good job of pairing flavors that might make a wine lover melt faster than the chocolate.

In spite of my hyperbole here, it was a delightful experience. I chose dry wines over sweet. Sometimes I may like a blackberry merlot, moscato or ruby red dripping with concord but usually I prefer my wines drier.

And I’ve got to say I was pretty impressed. I sampled Seven Mountain’s merlot, petite sirah, cabernet franc, chardonnay, riesling, whippoorwill white and pinot grigio and had one Grandview wine, their 2012 reserve cabernet sauvignon.

Little nibbled to pair with each taste of wine.

Little nibbled to pair with each taste of wine.

A note about the wine you'll be tasting....

A note about the wine you’ll be tasting….

The Grandview cab left me speechless. It was deep, dark with a plummy finish. Seven Mountain’s dry riesling really was dry. I tend to shy away from riesling because I often end up with something far sweeter than I really want. This was dry, with no residual sugar, but bright and something I knew I wanted to take home.

The Castlerigg staff presented each wine with a few notes about the grapes and the flavors to expect in the wine. The usual, but it’s always interesting to hear what to expect.

One more thing. Although we tasted eight wines, we really did just taste eight wines. I could still walk a straight line afterwards. And I did, straight into the shop for a bottle to take home.

Besides wine, the shop has a few food and wine related items for sale, including an array of olive oils.

Besides wine, the shop has a few food and wine related items for sale, including an array of olive oils.

© Text and photos Mary K. Tilghman

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