*Pictured above is an aroma kit. Each vile is labeled with a number to identify the aroma.
If you ever get the chance to do a wine tasting, do it! Not only is it fun but you'll learn so much.
Today, I attended my first wine tasting! It was more of a how to sell this wine but it also helped me build my wine foundations. Kevin, the guy hosting the tasting, was knowledgeable and taught us some cool tricks on how to tell acidic the wine is and how tannin-y a wine might be. He is working on getting his Masters of Wine so he is the real deal. He brought in his aroma set. No, not the one you use for your diffuser. This aroma set is specifically for those trying to make their senses stronger. It helps you by being able to identify aromas in wines. These things aren’t cheap. Kevin’s aroma set probably cost around $400.
First, we tried a Sauvignon Blanc, St. Supery, from Napa. The winery is owned by Coco Chanel, believe it or not. It has hints of guava, banana, citrus flavors. Very acidic. He told us that you want to pair like with like. So, with this acidic wine, you would want to pair an acidic salad, or a light fish with lemon. Kevin had us bite down on a lemon and then taste the wine again. Surprisingly, the wine was sweet. Because our acidic taste buds were maxed out from the lemon, it brought forth other sweet notes like the guava and banana.
Up next was Epiritgassier aka the porch pounder. This Rosé comes from the region of Cote de Province of France. Hence the name porch pounder, on a hot summer day you could pound this chilled rosé all day on the porch. Light and crisp. More dry than sweet. Just how I like my rosé.
Now on to red wines!
First, we tried Caparzo. A dry red wine that was berried- fruit driven that gave it it’s tartness. It also was had tannins and leather aromas. This would pair excellent with braised meat or steak.
Second, was Grgich Hills, a cabernet sauvignon, from Napa. This was my favorite out of all. As Kevin described it, it’s the girl next door. Beautiful with no make-up. It’s simple yet complex.
Last, was the Darioush. Now this was your kind of “Look at me” wine. Compared to the Grgich, the Darioush is the girl with all the make-up and diamonds. Marilyn Monroe, if you will. It’s a full-bodied wine with a high alcohol percentage of 14.8. The tannins were soft and velvety and had aromas of dark chocolate.
*Usually, to indicate if a wine has tannins in it, it is usually described as dry. If you take a swig of the Grgich or any “dry” red wine and splash it around your mouth like mouth wash, then swallow. Next, take your tongue and run it around the inside of your mouth. You’ll be able to feel your tongue almost stick to the inside of your mouth depending how tannin-y the wine is. Tannins is wine chemically stick to your salvia and strip it away from your mouth. Science! Very cool. Kevin did an awesome job explaining why we taste what we taste.
For my second wine review, I tried Reserva Casillero del Dialblo Pinot Noir. To clarify my blog post title Casillero del Diablo translates to the devil's locker. I had never tried this wine before so props to my boyfriend for picking it up for our romantic picnic. We went up HWY 14 following the Poudre River and hiked to the hill tops that over looked Mummy Range. It was so romantic. Sorry for the mushiness.
Anyways, back to the wine. My first thought to tasting the wine was that it was sweet. It was a fruit packed wine with notes of chocolate and coffee. Essentially desert in a bottle. Mmmm. Easy to drink. This wine in made in Chile and is from the Concha and Toro Vineyard. More than 100 years ago, mysteriously wines kept disappearing from the cell that were under lock and key. The owner decided to make up a rumor to put an end to the thefts. He spread the rumor that the devil lived in his cellar. The rumor spread like wild fire and before long everyone trembled with fear.
Not only did I enjoy this wine and would recommend it but I really enjoy the backstory that came with it. On the bottle, there is an icon of the devil and it made me curious. I knew diablo translated to devil but didn't understand why they would openly use a taboo to sell their wine. Make sense now that I know the backstory.
Until next time, drink wine and be merry!
Ever be in a situation where you're super excited to drink wine and then realize you don't have a corkscrew!? Worst feeling ever! Seriously, I've been there many of times. So many that I've learned to carry a portable corkscrew with me. You can get them at any liquor store for $2 or less! It's totally worth it.
1. To get yourself out of this horrid dilemma, find yourself a knife. Serrated works best. Stick the knife into the cork at a slight angle and twist knife. As you twist, pull up, and the cork will start to rise. Once the cork is half way out, stab the cork on the side and turn until it's completely out.
No knife? No problem.
2. Turn the bottle upside down and with the palm of your hand, hit the bottle. This will apply a force to the cork. With enough hits to the bottle, the cork will eventually ease its way out. Make sure not to hit it too many times that the cork comes out all the way. Because if it does, all that hard work comes spilling out.
Just in case it does come splashing out...
3. If you drink wine, you're bond to spill it. It's like when you wear your brand new white shirt, your bond to miss your mouth. It's just how it goes. So for my third tip, always have club soda around the house. It'll save your carpet or your white shirt. Open the can and pour it on the spill. The sooner you can get to it the better. No club soda laying around? Put on a pot of water. Once it's boiling, pour it on the spill. Dab it with a towel an repeat until it's diluted out.
My first wine review! After all the research I did, I now feel confident that I can share my opinion with you. The wine I chose was a Cabernet Sauvignon by the winery Murphy Goode. Murphy Goode is located in Sonoma County, California in the Alexander Valley. In 1985, partners Tim Murphy, Dale Goode, and Dave Ready decided to join the world of wine making and I'm glad they did!
Originally for me to buy a wine that I want to try, I base my picks on the price and of course the prettiest of labels. Murphy Goode has large lettering so eventually our paths would cross but luckily for me my work carries it by the glass. Shoutout to Sonny Lubick's Steakhouse! Now, I base it off my preference to the grapes I like and one of my faves is Cabernet Savignon. Even better, it was the lowest in prices!
“I’ll take one, please.”
I swirl my wine and see the alcohol legs dribble down the glass. For those of you that don’t know what I’m talking about, you can see the alcohol content by swirling your wine. It basically separates the alcohol from the rest of the drink and in a clear wine- tainted liquid it drips down and around the glass.
First smell, I get a hint of a licorice aroma. First drink. Quite a hit of flavor and it lingers. The first note I taste is fruity then it goes sweet. There’s a hint of licorice in there. Mmmm tasty!
As time goes on the wine gets easier to drink. My mouth must be accustomed to the fruity notes and sweetness with a touch of licorice.
“Can I have another, please.”
Get your bottle here!
Ever spill red wine on your white graduation dress? Or even better, spill red wine all down an off-white dated 90's carpet stair case? Note: it's not even your house but a house you're watching and they are paying you an ungodly amount to take care of it. Or spill red wine on your favorite white upholstered antique chairs? Well, I sure have! Grab the popcorn and enjoy.
The first time I had to get red wine out was on our graduation day. Well into the evening I spilled red wine all over my blinding white dress. I was young and dumb and had no idea how to get it out. Luckily my friend's mom told me she had just the trick. She gave me a change of clothes and told me to take off the dress. She filled her tea pot and put it on the stove until it was whistling. She took the boiling hot water and addressed the wine spot and just like that it was gone! I couldn't believe my eyes. Okay so not too terrible of horror story but if my mom saw the stains lets just say I wouldn't be here to write about it.
Over Thanksgiving break I was given the opportunity to watch this families home while they were gone. Along with their two adorable Golden Retrievers. The last night I was there, I managed to trip over one of the pups that was laying at the top of the stairs. In hand was a glass of red wine that eventually was at the bottom on the stairs. And in between the glass and I was all that red wine dribbled down the stairs. Talk about panic! Immediately I put on a pot of water to boil. Mixed the scorching hot water with some baking soda and poured it all over the stairs. Mind that it took about 2 pots of water, half a box of baking soda, and an 1hr and half of elbow grease to eliminate what looked like a murder scene.
A few Easters ago my family gathered around the table to enjoy Easter dinner. I remember coming back from the kitchen with rolls in hand. As I got to the table my mom passes me the bottle of red wine before I could sit down. The bottle slips through my hands and drops on the white antique covers chairs my mom was obsessed with. I immediately looked at my mom and before I could blink she was at the cupboard and grabbed a can of club soda. Before I could even say sorry, she goes off and says, "This better come out or the price to have these upholstered is coming out of your college account!" Nothing like your mom yelling at you to start off a holiday dinner. Luckily, the club soda worked like a charm just like the boiling water.
Words of advice, don't wear white when drinking red wine. Don't drink red wine around dogs. Ha, yeah right. Always have club soda around the house. Moral of the stories, drink white wine. It may not taste as good but it will sure save you a lot of worry and time.
Barefoot Pinot Noir wine is all about the S's: silky, smooth, and spicy! Dark cherry and wild raspberry get their groove on next to a brown spice aroma in our California Pinot Noir.
Now you may be wondering what does brown spice smell like or how can a wine be silky and spicy?!
Lets break it down to science. In order to taste, your nose receptors are the ones in charge. I'm going to get technical but it will help you understand how you taste the wine. Not only is it cool to learn fun facts about wine, it will help you become more knowledgeable of the tastes you taste correlating with what you smell.
There are several different smell chemical compound categories.
Of course when you're tasting a chardonnay, you're not going to say, "Mmmm I can really taste those terpenes," but rather communicate that those tangy notes are really coming through right when it touches your taste buds.
Not only does this help communicate, it also helps you get familiar with tastes and smells. It's all about being able to identify the flavors and aromas and trust me, this takes time. I determine if I like a wine if it tastes good or not. Not by breaking it down to what aromas and flavors my taste buds prefer. In order to make your taste buds stronger get your nose involved. Go to your local grocery store and and take a minute to stop and smell the roses. No, seriously. Go and grab that green bell pepper and take a nice big whiff. This will help your taste buds and smell identification to get stronger. It's not going to happen over night so keep on keeping on.
PLAIN AND SIMPLE. THERE ARE RED GRAPES AND THERE ARE WHITE GRAPES. EACH VARIETY OF GRAPE MAKES UP IT'S OWN WINE! HERE ARE A LIST OF COMMONLY KNOWN GRAPES. STAY TUNED FOR AN UPDATED LIST FOR WHEN I GO ABROAD!
PINOT NIOR-[PEE-NOH NWAHR]
CABERNET SAUVIGNON-[KA-BEHR-NAY SOH-VEE-NYAWN)]
PINOT GRIGIO-[PEE-NOH GREE-ZO]
SAUVIGNON BLANC-[SOH-VEE-NYAWN BLAHNGK]
*SORRY FELLOW WANNABE WINOS, I'LL BE BACK AFTER THIS TASTE TEST. WISH ME LUCK!