img_2660They say anyone can whistle, but it takes an orchestra to play a Symphony!


Yeah, I have no idea where I was going with that either, but today’s wine is called Beeline, but the story is the varietal, it’s Symphony.

Nope, I’d never heard of it either. It’s a creation of Dr. Harold Olmo of UC Davis. Sometimes called the “Indiana Jones of viticulture” because of his overseas travels in search of wild and unknown grape vines and a little bit of a Frankenstein for having created over 30 new grape varieties to help support the California wine industry.   Dr. Olmo was a remarkable character, wines with names like Ruby Cabernet, Rubired, Emerald Riesling, Carnelian, Centurion, Flora, Royalty, and Symphony were all his creations over a 50 year career.  The reason you haven’t heard of these varietals is they are mostly used as blending wines to added color or tartness to more familiar wines.  They were also created to grow well in California’s Central valley.  Today they are found around the world in hot Continental climates like Australia, Argentina, Chile, Israel and South Africa.

Dr. Olmo began working on Symphony in 1948.  The grape is a crossing of Muscat of Alexandria and Grenache gris.  It took the good doctor 30 years to get it right.  It was introduced as a blending grape in 1981 and was patented in 1983.  Almost all of Symphony is grown in Lodi California. After tasting the wine, I can’t understand why more people are not working with the grape.  Maybe I’m overly enthusiastic because of my ABC affliction (Anything But Chardonnay), or possibly I’m attracted to any grape varietal I haven’t heard of before, but I thought this wine was great.

Beeline is a blend of 77% Symphony, 15% Chardonnay, and 8% French Colombard.  Color in the glass was a bright yellow straw.  Nose of flowers, peaches, or oranges.  Taste was rich and full, tart, spicy like ginger and peach.  Sweet, which usually I don’t like, but this was not syrup sweet, this was fresh pop sweet. Thankfully not a hint of oak.  This wine was paired with horseradish cheddar cheese and let me tell you it was good!

This reminded me of another sweet wine I love Liebestropfchen.  I wish you luck pronouncing and it sounds like a sneeze so God bless you.  In German it means “little love drops” and according to it’s maker Johnson Winery in New York the wine tastes like French Sauternes.  Now,since most French Sauternes and I don’t believe there is any other kind, are all north of $50 a bottle, I can’t afford French Sauternes so I’ll take their word on it, if anyone would like to donate a bottle, I’ll be glad to let you know if they are right.

So, we have an unknown varitel that tastes great, pairs well with cheese, spicy Hors d’oeuvres  or Chicken, Pork or Fish entrees, or makes a great sipping wine all by itself. Varsidal, interesting, great tasting and under $20.  I suggest you give it a try.  


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