I travel on many cruises as you know and although most might be for filming for my tv show, I still love going on cruises for fun. Living in Florida makes it easy to have a quick getaway every now and then, so, when I saw an incredible price for a 3 day sailing I had to just book it.
This cruise was on the very new Regal Princess, a 3000+ person ship. It is quite beautiful with very elegant furnishings and nothing too gaudy. Having lunch the first day I was told there would be a wine tasting of Super Tuscan wines for $40 per person in the ship’s Italian restaurant Sabitini’s. Normally, I don’t pay for the tastings but this one sounded too good to pass up. It was going to be on our final day at sea in the afternoon and what better way to wind down from the trip.
There were about 40 or so people at the tasting and 2 of the ship’s Sommeliers presided. After a welcome toast with a glass of sparkling wine, we were poured 5 selections from the ship’s wine list. Each wine was paired with a small sampling of food that the chef had prepared. It was nice to be among other wine lovers who thoroughly appreciated the quality and nuances of each of the wines we tasted.
First on the list, was Le Volte Dell’Ornellaia 2012 a blend of 50% merlot, 30% Sangiovese and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. After fermentation in steel tanks the wine was aged in small oak barrels for 10 months. The wine was aromatic with spices and dried fruit and felt smooth on the palate. This was paired with a duck that gave a nice smokey taste to the wine.
Next was the Guado al Tasso 2011, 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot, This wine was aged for an additional 6 months in oak barrels after its initial first year in barrel. Fruity and Minty aromas with a very rich flavor and long finish. This wine was paired with a slice of turkey and polenta.
Luce Della Vite 2011 was the next wine a blend of 50% Merlot and 50% Sangiovese and spent 2 years in oak barrels. Very intense color with fruity and herby nose. Nicely fruity with smooth tannins, I really enjoyed this wine. This was paired with the most delicious mushroom lasagna that was a perfect accompaniment.
Number 4 was the Tignanello 2011, the popular Super Tuscan blend of 80% Sangiovese, 5 % Cabernet Franc and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. This spent 14 months in barrels. I loved the plummy fruit, chocolate and licorice aromas and the flavors were rich and balanced. Paired with a peppery slice of beef gave a nice spice toe the finish.
Finally, the 5th wine was Ornellaia 2008, 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. Big dark fruit aromas with oak and leather. Full bodied with a long and lingering finish. A baby lambchop went extremely well with this wine.
Prices for these wines are always better on board a ship than in the stores and I only wished we could have bought some to take home with us. By the way, my favorite wine was the Luce Della Vite that might actually be the least expensive of them all.
This was truly one of the best wine tastings I have been to on board a ship and if you find yourself able to attend one I highly recommend it.