|Lynette Astors, right, pours |
Sierra Foothill wines for customers
There are two things that pair well with women and also with men: fine jewelry and fine wine. That’s why I like the concept that Lynette Astors is helping to nurture at Bluestone Jewelry and Wine in downtown Truckee. I’ve known Lynette for many years, and seen her grow in wine knowledge by attending tastings and functions at L'uva Bella Wine Gallery in Reno and helping Rombauer Vineyards grow in recognition by pouring at many of their Tahoe area events. Now she is adding her own sparkle to the wine shop in the back of the Bluestone’s Truckee store, They are becoming local specialists in wines from the Tahoe basin, namely Sierra Foothill wineries.
I decided to sample the Sierra Foothill ports from a variety of wineries, and looked over some nice jewelry pieces at the same time. The ambience of this 1850’s building with exposed brick and reclaimed barnwood floors is conducive to a relaxed afternoon of browsing and tasting. Many locals know this lovely location from its previous incarnation, as “OB's” building.
Narrow Gate Vineyards, located in Placerville, features its Lot '10 Chocolate Splash, El Dorado County, at the store. This Port is made from six classic port varietals and is infused with 1.25% bittersweet, natural chocolate essence . Hold up the glass and you’ll notice the jewel-tones that characterize this and other ports. Chocolate Splash is winery owner Frank Hildebrand's "special blend". 18 percent alcohol. $32/bottle (500 ml).
Grant Eddie’s winery, located in Oregon House, Yuba County, is one of the few California vineyards to establish plantings of a range of grapes from the Douro region of Portugal. Bluestone features the tasty Grant Eddie 2010 Port, which is blended from five different varieties of grapes grown in the Ramey Mountain Vineyard. The blend includes the traditional Douro grapes Touriga Nacional, Tinta Cao, Tinta Amarela, Tinta Madeira, and Sousao, and a touch of Syrah. 19 percent alcohol, $31/bottle.
The Mount Aukum Winery, Somerset, El Dorado County, features its port-style wine, 2008 vintage Ace of Hearts, at Bluestone. This delicate port style wine is really tasty, and is a blend of Tempranillo, Touriga, Tinto Cao, and Souzao grapes. If you are not thinking about blueberries already, you will when you taste this wine. 18.2 percent alcohol. $29/ bottle.
There are many other wines to sample at Bluestone Jewelry and Wine, located at 10046 Donner Pass Road, Ste. 3, Truckee. Hours: everyday 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. 530-582-0429.