Thursday, March 7, 2013

Living the "wine" life . . .

On Tuesday night I was able to participate in something so fun and right up my alley -- a wine tasting club! The club is hosted through the International Women's Club, so I had several friends there and also got to meet some new faces. Lucky for me, Luciana's house is only 4 kilometers away so I rode my bike there and back (a feat in itself!).

First off, a little about our Wine Connoisseur . . . Luciana is a certificated tester of wines, ambassador of  champagnes, Spanish wines, Friuli, etc., Professor of tasting and wine judging, and the list goes on! She has been tasting and judging wines for 8 years after leaving a career in engineering to have more family time and raise her daughter. You can follow her on twitter @winetalkgroup to see what kinds of tidbits and information she had regarding wine!

Since this was the first meeting, we each brought a bottle of wine and let Luciana lead us through the tasting of each one, plus several others that she provided. The evening started out looking like this . . .

I will take you through each of the wines we tried, though forgive me as my notes seem to get more dim as the night progressed -- I definitely did not spit as much as I should have! As crazy as it sounds we tried wines ranging in price from a few euros a bottle to over 50 euros!

the wines we drank that night, in reverse order
(we started with the champagne on the right and worked towards the ports on the far left)

Wine #1: (was actually a champagne) Drappiere Brut Champagne NV (France)

Initial Reaction: smoky, citrusy, full bodied

Other Notes: delicious! (I love me some champagne)

Wine #2: Sensas Chardonnay 2011 (France)

Initial Reaction: dry, light

Other Notes: good with cheese, salami

Wine #3: Ferlingot Moscato d'Asti 2008, Ternuta Arbiola (Italy)

Initial Reaction: perfumy, aromatic, sweet, bubbly

Other Notes: good with something spicy, or as a dessert wine, honey and pear aftertaste

Wine #4: La Tulipe de la Garde Merlot Bordeaux 2011 (France)

Initial Reaction: sweet smelling but very dry, fruity

Other Notes: young wine ("young" is considered anything 2 years and younger)

Wine #5: Welmoed Pinotage 2011 (south Africa)

Initial Reaction: smells fruity, subtle in taste, but very yummy

Other Notes: wine is deep purple, "pinotage" grapes are a mix of other grapes, from South Africa, low acidity, 13.5% alcohol

Wine #6: Barone Montalto Sangiovese Syrah (Italy)

Initial Reaction: smoky, leathery smell, you can smell the Syrah but taste the Sangiovese

Other Notes: some acidity, but won't last long, interesting mix of grapes as both are strong, leading to a velvety taste

Wine #7: Farnese Sangiovese 2011 (Italy)  (I missed a picture of this one!)
Initial Reaction: smooth, easy to drink
Other Notes: very tannic, mellow, and round, would go well paired with Italian foods

Wine #8: Barolo DOC, Caveli 2007 (Italy)

Initial Reaction: more tannic, leaves you with a dry tongue, very little fruit

Other Notes: brown around the edges, red in the middle (which means it is older when you can see two colors), good acidity

Wine #9: Lohsa Morellino di Scansano 2011 (Italy)

Initial Reaction: smooth, yet dry

Other Notes: super Tuscan wine, expensive in America, comes from a small producer who only makes about 300 bottles

Wine #10: Gulfi Neromaccarj 2007, Gulfi di Catania (Sicily, Italy)

Initial Reaction: very sweet

Other Notes: comes from the volcanic ash of Sicily, tannic, good with steak

Wine #11: Porto Quevedo LBV 2006 (Portugal)

Initial Reaction: sweet

Other Notes: 19.5 % alcohol

Wine #12: Porto Quevedo 20 year old (Portugal)

Initial Reaction: extremely sweet, tasted like alcoholic maple syrup

Other Notes: this is the same port as above but the 20 year old version

For the record, the only time I poured out any wine was the port -- too sweet for my tastebuds after several hours of swallowing lots of wine! By the end of the night, the table looked more like this . . .

Some other info that we all took away from our lesson:

  • if you are selling wine, serve it with cheese because the fat will disguise any impurities and be forgiving of the wine (hence why pubs and bars serve fried, fatty foods to accompany their alcohol) -- but if you are buying wine, try it with apples because the acidity will clear the palette and allow you to taste all the flavors
  • the "legs" on a wine glass (the film that falls after swirling your glass) indicate alcohol content . . . "lazy legs" = more alcohol
  • Luciana compared acidity to being like a good bra: the more acidic, the longer the wine will last
  • Tannins in wine are like a good bone structure (it was also said that evening that if you want to know what tannins are, put a teabag in your mouth . . . take with that what you will . . . )
  • Wines can have one smell but a completely different taste -- everything from leather shoes, gym socks, and cat urine has been used to describe wines, right along with citrus, fruit, and perfume!
  • There are 120 wineries in The Netherlands!

our group, minus Sam, the photographer, and Brandi (preggo, but came for a little while to have some social time!)

SO  . . . I hope you enjoyed reading about my new favorite club! I can't wait until next month! 


1 comment:

  1. Wow! Awesome overview! You took way better notes than I did. Boy did I feel funny though. I agree, I should have spit more :( I vowed to not drink wine for a month! But it was great!