Sunday, April 22, 2012

Anatomy of a Tasting

If you are like me, you probably think it's a pretty cool gig to work at a wine shop. I will tell you, "managing" a wine shop is a lot different than just "working" at a wine shop. I'm sure you already knew that though. I don't need to split hairs with you on those kinds of things, you are super smart and have great table manners.

One of the perks of living working at a wine store is tasting new wines. We have to taste for a variety of reasons: selecting wine for buying for the store, re-tasting ones we haven't had in awhile, just for funsies.

Recently we had to taste wines for an order we are making. We had 15 wines to taste and not much time. Compared to the guys I'm a newbie at tasting wine professionally. I love wine. I love all of the entricacies of the flavor and the smell and the everything. When tasting I typically have less adjectives to use - my typical response is "this wine is good". Not very poetic. Since tasting "professionally" my vocabulary has grown, my "nose" has gotten better and I can pick out flavors that I couldn't before. That being said, it still takes some time for me to form the words - I need to swirl, smell and sip a few times before I can really gather my thoughts. When tasting so many wines in a group with such a small time frame you don't have time to linger on one wine or another, you've got to be quick.

I'm not quick.

I will now give you a little peek into my life and show you my notes from the tasting. You will also see that they deteriorate as the tasting goes on...I tasting 15 wines! What did you expect? Coherency? Don't be silly.

I've put my own comments on my tasting notes below each one, italicized because I'm fancy.

Fiddlehead Cellars - 2009 Sauvignon Blanc
"Great acidity, crispy."
That makes sense. Good job for me.

Grey Wolf Cellars/Barton - 2010 The River
"Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc. Wow. Great white. We need a bigger boat."
One wine in and I'm already throwing in cinema references. I yam what I yam.

Locatelli Vineyards & Winery - 2008 Cabernet Franc
Starts smooth, ends with a bang. Forest floor, moss on the nose."
Wow. That's an amazing tasting note. *pats on back*

Fiddlehead Cellars - 2008 Seven Twenty Eight
"Smells like a hot summer day, smokey, little spice, smooth finish."
"like a hot summer day"...the truest note ever. It did you guys, totally did.

Grey Wolf Cellars - 2009 Alpha Cab
"New car smell. Tannic bastard. Beautiful."
I wax poetic. *finger snaps*

Grey Wolf Cellars - 2010 Big Bad Wolf

Grey Wolf Cellars/Innuendo - 2010 Candyman the Chancellor of Zin
"Sweet, tart. Cough Syrup. Love it. Inky, octopus blood."
I'm back. Inky, octopus blood? I got that one from Jack.

Grey Wolf Cellars - 2010 Jackal
"Like a spoon of grape jelly, long finish."
I'm still holding strong I surprise myself.

Locatelli Vineyards & Winery - 2007 Luna Piena
"Long smokey finish, sweet in the front."
"Sweet in the front, party in the back." I kid.

Kenneth Volk - NV Old Vine Red
"Smooooth, angel sweat, huge flavor profile, dry."
Here I go, adding a million vowels to words and bodily fluids of angels.

Locatelli Vineyards & Winery - 2008 Petit Verdot
Clearly I've given up.

Zenaida Cellars - 2009 Zephyr
"Syrah, Zin, Viognier. Huuuuuge. Big flavor. Finish lasts for hours."
And I'm back again. Lots of vowels added.

Zenaida Cellars - 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
"Fruity, lovely tannins."
Still making sense after all these years.

Kenneth Volk - 2009 Zinfandel
"Sweeet. Short finish, but not in a bad way."
"but not in a bad way" is the "it's not you, it's me" of wine tasting

Locatelli Vineyards & Winery - 2011 Muscat Canelli
"So sweet. Good God. Glass of sugar."
"glass of sugar" better than "glass of dia-beet-us"

Don't drink and drive. Don't drink bad wine.


Amber is the manager of UnWINEd - a boutique wine shoppe. She works there all of the time...unless it's her day off. She loves to give advice on things that you don't care about but should. For that she says, "You're welcome."

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