Have you been skipping Hazlitt’s Red Cat Cellars in Naples when wine touring, because you don’t like sweet wines and that’s what Red Cat is? If so, you have been missing out on some very nice dry wines! We stopped here over the weekend and were greeted and served by Leandra, who was very friendly and able to answer every question we threw at her about the wines! She served our tasting choices -- six choices for $5.00 -- alongside a nice, big bowl of fresh popcorn.
I chose five whites and one red this time:
- 2014 Gruner Veltliner: nice & fruity, but still dry -- 0.35 residual sugar (RS)
- 2016 Pinot Gris: If you are not a fan of Pinot Grigio because of its fruitiness, don’t let that stop you from trying this! It’s very dry & crisp; perfect for summer sipping! Residual sugar is 0.0%. Loved this!
- 2016 Sauvignon Blanc: Hazlitt’s sauv blanc has always been one of my favorites, and this vintage is no exception. Not to everyone’s taste … you either love sauv blanc or you don’t. This reminded me a lot of the New Zealand style. Only 0.1 RS.
- 2014 Gewurztraminer: again, not for everyone. Although it is dry (0.4 RS), it’s very fruity with that lovely floral nose that I love. You would guess that the residual sugar is higher due to the fruitiness … although I don’t get into pairing very often, this would be great with spicy food!
- My one and only red choice today was the Schooner Red, chosen because I love to try red blends. This one is interesting because it’s 30% Argentinian and 70% American. Nice berry notes with just a little tannin, and 0.1% residual sugar.
Now, if you do like sweet wines, Hazlitt offers a complete list of semi-sweet whites, reds, and even a semi-sweet blush. Even though I’m not into the sweet wines, you can’t argue with the many awards that Red Cat has gathered … 10 mentioned on their website! If you like it sweet, Red Cat is a whopping 7.5% sugar! The day we visited, they were offering samples of a mulled wine that was a blend of Red Cat and the Schooner Red, along with the mulling spices. It was actually a very tasty finish to our sampling.
One last perk at Hazlitt Red Cat Cellars … at the end of your tasting you receive a plastic coin worth $3 off any bottle of wine, and if you buy 3 bottles, you get an extra 5% off (or 10% off 6, or 15% off 12). So next time you’re in Naples, be sure to stop in here and see what you think. It’s not all Red Cat! Thank you, Leandra, for taking the time to give us a wonderful tasting experience!
(Note: FYI, their original location, Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, is located on Seneca Lake in Hector, NY, and is also a great place for a tasting. Watch for their review in the future!)
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