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
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!