The first of hopefully many Kitchen Wine Tastings occurred in my kitchen (where else!) last evening. In my effort to become a more educated wine drinker I’ve decided to do personal wine tastings. It’s just me, my Sweetie, a bottle of wine and the “Wine Tasting Notebook” by Delong. The notebook has wine pages and a helpful guide on how to take a wine tasting note and wine tasting terms. The bottle of wine depends on either a recommendation or pure whim. I love to be adventurous.
For our first tasting, I brought home a Joel Gott 815 Cabernet Sauvignon 2012. This wine is reasonably priced.
Being suddenly serious minded about this endeavor, I googled the winemaker. It’s website (www.gottwine.com) contains videos about each wine produced and tips on how to enjoy it. (Click here to watch the video.) Also, simple food pairings which I love. I was even able to print an information sheet that listed the varietal, appellation, barrel, tasting notes,wine growing notes, and wine making notes. I chose to read the winemaker notes after I’d done my own tasting to see if I was anywhere near what was named.
About an hour before tasting time, I decanted some of the wine into a glass water pitcher because the Gott video said it will enhance the flavors. (I know for most this seems like a no-brainer but bare with me! I’m still a wine novice. However, I’m learning more all the time! And having a heck of a good time doing it.)
And so we began . . .
We went slowly and carefully through the wine tasting note guide.
1. Background Information: When, where, name, producer, region, grape varieties, vintage, alcohol, and price. It’s from California and 13.9% alcohol.
2. Color Depth: I picked deep. (I got a white piece of paper as suggested for background)
Color Hue: Ruby (it was really pretty)
Now the harder part:
3.Aroma intensity, Development and Aromas.
I thought it was aromatic, youthful and smelled delicious! Because of finally decanting (duh), there were these toasted, toffee, floral, cola smells going on. Now can I say how wonderful it smelled? I got hung up on swirl and sniff.
Yes, finally to the actual tasting!
4. Identify: Dry/sweet, Body, Acidity, Tannins, Balance, and Flavor Intensity.
I have always confused Body and Tannins. I erroneously thought the tannin produced the weight on your tongue as well as that acid sensation. I know they give the raspy, drying sensation and sometimes “chewy” texture but not the actual Body of a wine. I marked this lovely Cabernet as dry, medium, fresh, with round tannins. The balance was great and intensity was flavorful. The finish I thought was long.
Then we got stumped with the hardest part: FLAVORS. What am I actually tasting???
Some type of fruit and cola and maybe a flower but not a sweet one.
My sweetie and I got so focused on this part that when our teen daughter came bopping into the kitchen banging through the pantry for a study snack and singing loudly to her I-Pod we yelled in unison, “KEEP IT DOWN! This is SERIOUS!”
I looked at my husband and burst out laughing. He said, “I feel like I’m taking a test!”
We decided it’s ok if we can’t quite identify something specific. We forgot we’re beginners. So we mellowed out, had a good laugh at ourselves and got back to just enjoying a delightful bottle.
Later, I got to thinking about the movie “HouseGuest” with Sinbad where he impersonates a Dentist and has to pretend to be an oenophile. Phil Hartman’s character asks him to comment on the wine at his welcome party and Sinbad is shown up by another stuffy wine guy. Sinbad says wine is for drinking and taunts the “real” wine expert to drink directly from the bottle. Someday, I’d like to be more of an expert about wine. But not that guy! I want to be in the middle of the two characters: one, drink to enjoy and the other, recognize why I’m enjoying it. Like a nice Balanced wine.
And this concludes the first Kitchen Wine Tasting. Thank you Mr.Gott for making a lovely wine.
I can’t wait to do another personal wine tasting again! Blessings and Cheers.