10th Annual Lee's Wine Experience

Again I'd like to thank Kenny Lee and Lee's Discount Liquor for allowing me to attend another amazing event of theirs!

For an extremely large wine tasting, the Lee's 10th Annual Wine Experience was quite the event to tackle. It's kind of like going to a theme park and attempting to do every ride in 5 hours. The event was basically laid out exactly like their Beer & Tequila Experience. That's a good thing, because I already knew the layout! The wineries and vendors were all organized in the middle 3/4 of the ballroom with the liquor vendors on the perimeter with two food stations on the left and right and a "pay-for-food" station in the center. Along the back wall of the liquor booths was the stage with the same awesome band from Lee's previous events. The event as a whole was pretty flawless, the only slight issue was the snacks provided were destroyed and gone within the first hour and never replenished (as long as I was there.). 

This particular night, I double booked myself and had a second event to attend directly after Lee's, so I did not make a full tour of the wine tables, but I'd say I got to about 65% of them. Of those, I sampled 24 wines (pictured below). A few blew me away, a few got dumped immediately. Here's my mini reviews of each:

To follow along with the picture, I'll list them from left to right, top to bottom.

Rodney Strong Chardonnay: Out of Sonoma County, very smooth with a light body.

Alexander Crown Cabernet Sauvignon: Also from Rodney Strong, just this is a special line of theirs where all of the grapes used are from the same row of vines (The Alexander region of Sonoma off the crown of the Russian River if I recall). This wine was really good, a hair dry, but damn fine.

Bear Boat Pinot Noir: Bland, bitter, boring.

Arancio Red Blend: An Italian winery with this wine offering a strong red blend with a decent amount of spice on the back end.

Goose Bump Red Blend: Very sweet, decently smooth, you definitely taste the fruity overtone with this one.

Campo Viejo Roja: Out of Spain, this red blend was pretty dry with a good amount of spiciness to it.

Les Charmes White Burgundy: A touch of sweetness, but nothing special here.

Nickel & Nickel Winery Cabernet Sauvignon: A tad dry, amazing aroma. I want to find this one and give it a real review.

Cryptic Red Blend: Very flavorful and easy to drink. I feel most red blends fail and this one trumps most.

If You See Kay Red Blend: Turns out this one has a controversial label. (People are so prude these days!) Other than having a cool label and possibly offensive name, this wine is complex with a great aroma, mouthfeel, flavor, and it left me wanting more. Another one I will hunt down to review.

Aria Cava Estate Brut: An excellent sparkling wine from Spain. It vanishes in your mouth and finishes with a crisp and refreshing tail.

Sofia Coppola Blanc: Bubbly and good, but not as good as expected.

B-Side Cabernet Sauvignon: Absolutely superb. Possibly the best wine I had all day. Look for a full review on this one soon.

Zonin Prosecco: Bubbly and smooth, but nothing really stood out. Pretty bottle, and that's about it…

Smoking Look Chardonnay: Sweet off the bat, but in a nice subtle way. Light body overall and a solid wine.

Gnarly Head White Blend: I love their red blend and was intrigued to see this new option of theirs. This white blend was very smooth with just enough sweetness to it. I'll also be looking for this guy in a store soon.

Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon: Great label, tasty, and pretty good. 

La Merika Chardonnay:  I thought this bottle simply said 'Merica and it caught my attention. Nonetheless, it is a wine from 'Merica in California and it is pretty good. It had a very floral aroma and an almost orange-ish undertone. 

667 Pinot Noir: I may or may not have forgotten to write notes for this one. (By this point I'd sampled 20 wines and a few cocktails :-D )

Ooh La La Pinot Grigio: Very bubbly and fun. Definitely on the sweet side, I could see this as a good wine to bring to a party.

House Wine: I know I put those notes somewhere…

Grotto Red Blend: Another good red blend! Smooth body, complex flavors, and a touch of a dryness that works well.

Twisted River: Umm…

J. Lohr Shiraz: There sure was some bite to this one! It was good, but not too memorable.

Rating out
of 10
8 Location

The LVH ballroom is fine for the size. But it takes forever to walk to and that's not so fun after the event.

10 Wine Selection

More wines than you could possibly try in 5 hours.

10 Price

Partnering again with Groupon, Lee's has made these events very accessable.

10 Entertainment

I really need to learn the name of the band, but they're awesome and play all kinds of music!

9.5 Overall

Once again, a great event put on by Lee's Discount Liquor. They need to do more per year!