Saturday, December 15, 2012

Saturday Afternoon Wine Tasting

Today was a beautiful day.  April and I spent the morning on some small repair jobs around her family farm and when we finished early I thought, we should pay a visit to Grove Winery.  We don't get out their way much so it was a real treat. Grove wines are more of a European style and stand out in a great way among the more traditional California styles.

I am so glad we stopped in. John was a great host as always.  I really get a sense of the wines from his descriptions even before tasting them.  We were treated to some new releases not even labeled yet.  The 2010 Cab Franc is awesome and I can't wait for it to be available for sale next year.  We were also treated to the new 2011 Tempranillo.  This one will be limited due to a dismal 2012 Temprnillo harvest.

If you are looking for a fresh take on Merlot, Grove has it.  They do an outstanding job bringing out the fruitiness of this grape balanced with just enough oak.  Hard to pick a favorite but at the top of the list is their Nebbiolo.  I love a full bodied wine and this Italian grape works well for them.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Is your wine tasting being diluted?

Water is not your friend when it comes to wine tastings.  I still remember the time at one of my favorite wineries in North Georgia, Wolf Mountain, when the attendant refused to allow me to rinse my glass with water. I almost felt scolded but he taught me a valuable lesson.  After we finished the whites he poured a few drops of the next wine, a red, for us to  rinse with.  This was some years ago and the practice does not seem to have caught on, at least not here in North Carolina.  Maybe it has to do with the perceived lose of revenue or just plain not knowing better.  I was glad when I saw this article today from another blogger on the topic with the same opinion as I.  You can check it out here:

Water is rarely added at all during the production process, why would you want to add it during a tasting?  Tasting samples are so small that a few drops of water can have huge impact on the flavor profile of any wine far more so that a bit of white wine in the glass.

I suggest you either rinse with a red or don't rinse at all and try to remove as much of the previous white wine as possible.  I will sometimes run a napkin in the glass if I have one handy.