The Barrel Room with Sabrina and Geoff

The Barrel Room with Sabrina and Geoff 1
The Barrel Room with Sabrina and Geoff 2

We ventured out to the East Bay for a little wine tasting over the weekend. Sabrina and Geoff invited us to try a place near their apartment called The Barrel Room,
http://www.barrelroomoak.com . They change themes on a regular basis so you can keep learning about and trying new wines. The current theme is Italian wines and there was also the option to try some Italian small plates.

We chose a few different flights including the Obscure Italian, Island Reds and Classic Nebbiolo.

Obscure Italian
Castello de verduno
Tavijn ruche
Giusti lacrima

Island reds
Mandragola frappato
Firriato etna rosso
Dolianova cannonau

Classic Nebbiolo
Antoniolo gattinara
Rinaldi Barolo
Le piane mimmo

All four of us tried each wine and noted different characteristics. I had not heard of many of these wines but was excited to continue my journey through Italian wines. I have noticed that two of the common flavors/aromas, I know to look for in Italian wines, are slate and black licorice.

In the Obscure Italian flight, we identified all kinds of flavors including slate, leather, black cherry, grassy forest, menthol, medicinal aromas, tobacco, Turkish spice, vanilla, candied plum, earth, spice, and roses. Guess the wines were pretty complex to have that many characteristics! We all agreed the most interesting one was the Tavijn ruche which reminded Geoff of a Canadian lake cabin.

The Mandragola frappato was definitely the most memorable wine from the Island reds flight. The girls found different ways to describe this wine, such as watermelon and Twizzlers red licorice candy. Sabrina really liked that the flavor and the aroma were the same. Definitely a fun wine! The other 2 wines had noticeable slate flavors, showcasing the terroir of the island.

The wines in the Classic Nebbiolo flight were the most fruit forward. Needless to say, I found my favorite wine in this flight, Rinaldi Barolo, which had strawberry aromas and floral flavors. Neil picked up sweet berries and rhubarb in the Antoniolo gattinara. We were able to find fruit and slate when tasting the Le piane mimmo.

The place was pretty laid back and the staff knowledgeable. Thanks to James, our server, who was only on his second day there, but showed us a great time! While we were there, we found out there is another location in San Francisco. We’ll definitely have to check that one out to see what other wines we can experience.

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