Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New York Vintners

For my birthday (October 18th, ya'll!) Eli gave me a wine-tasting! I'm not a big drinker but ever since I went to Jadis and had an amazing Pinot Noir, I've been more interested in wine. I've actually never done a wine tasting where I tasted wines side by side so I was super excited to figure out finally what I like and don't like. When I do order wine, it's usually just what whoever I'm with is ordering so I never really think about what I'm drinking.

A class at New York Vintners was exactly what I needed!

When we first walked in, we were handed a rose. I wasn't crazy about it...

We sat down to this pretty sight...

From left to right:
  • riesling
  • sauvignon blanc
  • chardonnay
  • pinot noir
  • grenache
  • cabernet sauvignon
Look at the color of the Sauvignon Blanc! It's practically clear!

As far as the white wines go, I really enjoyed the Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc and I also LOVED Pinot Noir and Grenache.

I've never had a Grenache before. It has a medium to full body and it's flavors include: Kirsch liqueur, cherries, raspberries, licorice, pepper, herbs and has low tannins (which is key for me). Tannins are what dries your mouth out. It can be harsh and abrasive and that's why wineries have to age wines. Pinot Noirs have moderate tannins and Cabernet Sauvignon have high tannins. Needless to say, I did NOT enjoy the Cab.

I think the Grenache was my favorite. Unfortunately, our instructor didn't really know what exactly we were drinking so I can't tell you what year or region our wine was from. I do know that the Grenache, at least, was from Rhone, France.

Here are some things I learned:

-body: light to medium (body is what our instructor likened to skim milk vs. whole milk. The lighter the body, the more like skim milk)
-character: fresh, delicate; usually possesses residual sugar and high acidity
-flavors: citrus, grapefruit, green apples
-Where it's best: Germany; Australia; Austria; France - Alsace

Sauvignon Blanc
-body: light to medium
-character: flexible with an assortment of foods; extremely zesty and vibrant
-flavors: pungent green beans, grass, grapefruit, melons, figs
-where it's best: France - Loire Valley (Sancerre, Pouilly-Fume); USA - California; New Zealand

-body: light to full
-character: dry, creamy, oaky, rich
-flavors: diverse, lemons, apples, pears, peaches, tropical fruits, oranges, pineapples, honeysuckle
-where it's best: USA - California; Australia; France - Burgundy, Champagne

Pinot Noir
-body: light to medium, occasionally full
-character: cherries, forest floor, strawberries, fresh mushrooms, herbs
-where it's best: France-Burgundy; USA - California (Sonoma Coast, Santa Barbara), Oregon (!!!); France - Champagne

-body: medium to full
-character: silky and voluptuous
-where it's best: France - Rhone; Spain

Cabernet Sauvignon
-body: medium to full
-character: tannic, muscular, wines with gravitas
-flavors: black currants, cedar wood, cigar tobacco, licorice, smoke
-where it's best: Bordeaux (Medoc), California (Napa Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains), Argentina, Chile, Australia (Barossa, McLaren Vale, Margaret River)

I think the moral of this story is that Shion needs to move to California or France. Or at least visit wineries!

It was such a great birthday present because now I don't have to waste my money and calories on wine I don't really like. Note to self - look for Grenache on the wine list! Thanks, Eli!!!

1 comment:

  1. I drank Reisling all through Germany & Austria - love it!!! I've never had a Grenache...maybe next ABC Club we'll have to see if they have it!!!