Friday, January 21, 2011

Winter Warmers

My two fellow social colleagues and I often head out for a drink after work on Friday afternoons. When I was looking for some wine tastings, I noticed that there was one today from 5-7 at one of our great little wine stores, and invited them to come along. They were both quite eager to join me!

We ventured out in the "weather bomb" and actually flagged a cab to get to the store, about one kilometer away. Yes, the weather was THAT crappy.

The tasting was labelled "Winter Warmers". We got in, paid our $20, and got our list of wines that we were going to be tasting. I was quite excited to see the lineup with two whites, six reds, and a beer. The nibbles were also quite pleasing. There were three different "nibbles" - apple with a maple balsamic sauce and almond, cucumber with a salsa and a spicy shrimp, and my favorite - a steak "sandwich" which was a toasted bread with gouda, steak, and a red onion chutney. So good!

So, the wines:

1. 2008 Glen Carlou Chardonnay - South Africa $22.25 - oak-y, and what I would describe as light. I liked it.

2. 2009 Sartori Marani - Italy - $22.25 - strong taste, drier than the chardonnay, fruity, with a strong aftertaste. Almost tasted spicy. I wasn't a big fan of this one.

3. 2009 Juan Gil Monastrell - Spain - $18.75 - It was very sweet smelling, which I was told was a "candy nose". It had a maple taste, and was oak-y. I enjoyed this one.

4. 2007 Sella & Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna - Italy - $20.75 - This one smelled kind of like dirt. It was thinner, had a full tannin structure (I was told). I didn't like this one. I actually dumped half of it in the bucket. I don't know if it was one I'd warm up to or not.

5. 2008 Querciabella Mongrana - Italy - $27.00 - Organic Super Tuscan - I didn't really make too many notes on this one, other than that I liked it, but not as much as I thought I would for being a "Super Tuscan".

6. 2008 Finca Sophenia Malbec Reserva - Argentina - $ 23.50 - This one was "tight". I'm not sure what they meant by that. It was oak-y, and definitely fruity. It was really tasty. I liked it.

7. 2008 Neyers Lakeville Syrah - California $49.50 (91pts) - My notes for this one were quite simple - nice, yum, tannins. Haha. Can you tell this was the seventh wine?

8. 2001 Chateau Musar - Lebanon - $57.00 (91pts) - This one tasted aged, and the fruits tasted pretty subdued. It was good, but I don't think I appreciated it for what it was.

So my two favorites were the Neyers Lake Syrah and the Malbec. I was trying to listen to the descriptions of the wines as they poured them, and tried to taste what they described. I could when I knew what I was tasting. Without the description, I would just tend to say either I like it or I don't.

I'm hoping that as I attend more tastings, my descriptions of the wines will be more meaningful! Regardless, it was a great way to spend a Friday evening.

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