chris' tasting group:

references & resources

Welcome to Chris’ Tasting Group!

Tasting Cain wines with wine grower Chris Howell
Wine Grower Chris Howell opens a bottle for a tasting

Thank you for joining our tasting group! Below are references you might find useful.

Tasting Mat PDF

Introduction to Wine Tasting PDF

How to Host a Wine Tasting PDF

Tasting Topics and Components PDF

Wine Tasting is not about liking the wine—it’s about exploring the wine and our perceptions of it...

Cain Tasting Mat
The Cain Tasting Mat - click for PDF

...And this is best done in the company of people with whom we have shared experiences, shared memories, and shared vocabulary.

Using an Ah-So Cork Puller

The Ah-So is our favorite tool to open older bottles of wine. In this video our Wine-Grower Chris Howell will show you how to use it.

Chris' Tasting Group shipment 1:

2007 Cain Five & 2007 Cain Concept – Mountain & Valley

Writing by Wine Grower Chris Howell

Notes from Chris: A Celebration of Cain Concept

CTG #1 Mountain and Valley

Video from Chris’ Tasting Group #1 on Thursday, May 11:  Explore tasting the 2007 Cain Five and 2007 Cain Concept wine with Wine Grower Chris Howell and Director of Sales and Marketing and Co-General Manager Katie Lazar.

Chris' Tasting Group shipment 2:

2006 Cain Five & 2011 Cain Five – The difficult vintages

In this video from Chris’ Tasting Group #2 on Friday, June 16th,  Wine Grower Chris Howell and Director of Sales and Marketing and Co-General Manager Katie Lazar explore tasting the 2006 & 2011 Cain Five.

Chris' Tasting Group shipment 3:

NV11, NV12, and NV13 Cain Cuvée – The paradox of blending

Recipes to Pair with the Cain Cuvee:

For this quarter we asked our own Chef Matt Bennett to create delicious recipes to pair with the three vintages of Cain Cuvée included in your shipment. Take a look at the recipes Chef Matt created for your enjoyment:

  • Spreads – White Bean Spread with Preserved Lemon and Fresh Herbs, Muhammara, and Eggplant and Miso Dip
  • Flatbreads – Smoked Salmon, Roasted Potatoes, Capers, & Crème Fraiche, Goat Cheese and Summer Squash with Sun Dried Tomato Puree, and Trumpet Mushroom and Bacon
  • Turnovers – Curried Vegetable Hand Pies, Picadillo Empanadas, and Caramelized Onion and Gruyère Turnovers
  • Compound Butters – Smoked Paprika, Garlic, and Lemon Butter, Salsa Verde Butter, and Porcini Parmesan Butter

Chef Matt has been cooking for the wine industry in the Napa Valley for almost 20 years. Be it an intricate food and wine pairing meal, a walk around wine release party, or cooking lunch for hungry workers during harvest time, Matt thrives on the power wine and food have to bring people together. When he’s not cooking, you’ll find Matt enjoying time with his wife and daughters at their home in rural Napa County, or perhaps exploring a new fishing destination.

Additional References

NV12 Blending Chart

CTG #3 On Blending: Cain Cuvée NV11, NV12 & NV13

In this video from Chris’ Tasting Group #3 on Friday, September 29th, Chris, Katie, Ashley, Mandy, and Chef Matt Bennett, together with CTG members, explore dimensions of blending with these three vintages of Cain Cuvée, with special attention to blending with food, via recipes developed by Chef Matt Bennett.

CTG #3 Food & Wine with Chef Matt Bennett

In this video from Chris’ Tasting Group #3 on Thursday, October 19th, 2023, Chris, Katie, Matt, and Brooke talk with Chef Matt Bennett about food and wine.

Chris' Tasting Group shipment 4:

2013, 2014, and 2015 Cain Five – Wine transcends fruit

In this video from Chris’ Tasting Group #4 on Friday, January 19th, 2024, Chris, Matt, Brooke, Mandy, and Ashley, together with CTG members, explore sensory perception and the concept of wine beyond fruit.