Once a year I decide that I am going to take a bunch of gluten enzyme tablets and taste any wine I want during our annual wine tasting trip…this year to the St Lucia appellation of Monterey County, CA.
My husband had recently had a very good Pinot Noir from Sheid Winery (Monterey County) in a restaurant in Carmel on one of our Friday night dates.
With half a roasted chicken, sweet potato chips, a couple of apples and lots of napkins packed in the trunk, we were off to check out Scheid Winery. After a year of careful eating and very good health, I was feeling a bit cocky… quite sure that a bit of wine tasting would not bother my new, healthy self. After all, a Celiac wine lover can get tired of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, and champagne. “What were the real chances of getting the random wheat molecule from the wheat paste used in the barrel making process?” my self confidence reasoned.
Wow! Did I have fun! I had the two different vintages of estate Pinot Noir; one of which my husband had had in Carmel. I happily worked my way down the six wines in the Reserve Flight. ” Why not go first cabin when splurging?” Aah, the joy of opening the taste buds as the wine slides over the tongue, instead of my usual “Celiac good girl” swirl, smell, and dump. To be able to actually discuss, debate, and laugh over wine words at the first hint of fruit and the complex licorice depths at the end taste of a rich, red wine are a wine lover’s paradise.
I still felt wonderful after the lengthy tasting and after a picnic on the Scheid Winery patio in the February, 67 degree blue-sky weather. Lovely!
On the way home, I felt wonderfully relaxed and drowsy. About 45 minutes into the drive home, I frowned with the thought , “I am REALLY tired, the kind where if I don’t get to lie down soon, I will want to murder anyone who stands between me and a bed.” After fifteen more minutes my stomach started the loud gurgle syndrome. “Uh oh!” It finally dawned on me that I was having a gluten reaction. “Yes, I know, I might be a slow learner or simply unrealistically hopeful.” By the time we pulled into the garage, I grabbed the keys from my husband, ran for the door, and made a mad dash for the bathroom before falling into bed for a long immune-system-compromised nap.
The bottom line to myself and to everyone else out there with true Celiac disease is that this oak-aged wine “thing” is real.
Next year, my husband will definitely have a built-in designated driver! It was just not worth feeling like that, and the enzymes are simply a teaser. Do yourself a favor and heed the wheat contamination validity of oak barrels.
Scheid Winery Review for Gluten Intolerants/Celiacs
2010 Sauvignon Blanc ****
Aged only in stainless steel. Crisp, dry, well balanced…tastes the most similar to a Marlborough Sound, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc of any California Sauvignon Blanc that I have tasted to date. (Believe me, in the last two years of discovering just how treacherous anything but stainless-steel-aged wines are for Celiacs, I have tasted as many Sauvignon Blancs as I can, especially since I don’t really love the other traditionally stainless-steel-aged wines, like Pinot Gris, etc. I find most of the California Sauvignon Blancs a bit too grassy for my taste.)
2009 Sauvignon Blanc Reserve
Some aging in oak. Not okay for Celiacs. I thought the 2010 had a better balance of acid and fruit.
2008 “Isabelle” Sparkling Wine**
An interesting take on sparkling wine, being made from a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes, which gave it a hint of blush and a more deeply varietal taste than traditional types. I liked it. Stainless steel aged only.
Review of the Oak-Aged Wines (Safety of these oak-aged wines questionable for Celiacs)
I tasted these wines using the Gluten-zyme tablets (which did not work for preventing a gluten reaction.)
2007 Pinot Noir Reserve ***
Very good Pinot, which my husband loved.
2008 Pinot Noir Clone 667 Reserve ****
My favorite of the two Pinots tasted, because I thought it had a more complex pallette with that luscious undertone of licorice that I love.
2007 Claret Reserve
Not my cup of tea, but am unable to verbalize why.
2007 Petit Verdot Reserve, Napa Valley
Also not my cup of tea.
The tasting room was a charming little house with a lovely patio filled with tables for picnickers. A bit to the side of the belly-up-to-the-bar tasting area was a wine gifts and accessories area that was not the usual kitchy, cheap souvenir shop. I found gift items I’d really give to my wine loving friends.
The tasting room staff was friendly and open to discussing the gluten issues of the wheat paste used in the barrel making process. They wrote down the name of my gluten enzyme product, because each of them knew someone suffering from Celiac Disease. I hope they read this blog entry, so they find out how the enzymes did NOT work this time. I would hate for anyone else to suffer needlessly in their experimentation, like I just did.
I recommend visiting this lovely Monterey County Winery.
Thumbs way up for Scheid’s 2010 Sauvignon Blanc for those with gluten issues!!!
1972 Hobson Ave.
Greenfield, CA 93927
Tasting room open daily from 11-6.