A few weeks ago, I was invited to a wine-tasting event. I don't have a lot of knowledge about it, but I learned a lot about wines—and not the run-of-the-mill Merlot and Chardonnay.
We were introduced to Spanish wines that evening. Before I talk to you about the wine, let's start with the wine-tasting basics.
What I learned is that wine-tasting is not the same as drinking it. To experince the flavor you need to slow down and smell and taste. Never hold your wine glass by the bulb, but rather at the stem. Pour a little wine in the glass—about an inch or so. Look at your wine in the light. What do you see?
Swirl the wine around to aerate it. As the wine coats the glass, it should release a bouquet. Watch as the wine rolls down the glass; this helps determine the body of the wine. Sniff and take a sip. What do you taste? Sweetness, acidity, or the taste of tannin, which almost feels mouth-drying?
At some point you are supposed to spit the wine out instead of swallowing it. By all accounts, that night I don't remember spitting anything out—hmm. After this you are to sip some water or eat a cracker to cleanse your palate, and move on to the next wine.
I also was told when you open a bottle of red wine you need to let it breath awhile before serving the wine. Five glasses of wine is about what you get out of a bottle.
Many wine shops and liquor stores hold wine-tastings. Check the Internet; they should have a schedule for their wine-tastings. There is a local winery in Roselle that I believe also has a bed and breakfast.
Finally, I wanted to offer my opinion on some of the Spanish wines I tasted. These wines were amazing, and the prices started around $5.98 and went up to $14 at the top end.
Shaya Old Vines Vedejo, I was told, was the rock star. It's great to have first off in the evening. It has the aroma of baking spices, spring flowers and peach. It's a dry aromatic white wine.
Another one I like was Garnacha de Fuego. This is a great barbeque wine. It's spicy, which I never experienced before, with a touch of pepper, black raspberry, black cherry and plum.
They also had a wonderful dessert wine, Jorge Ordonez Mustcatel. With hints of melon, peach and floral honey, this one is yummy.
I hope this helped some of you who are not that knowledgeable about wines (like me). It was fun to go beyond the barriers of the basic Merlots and Chardonnay. So go out and try some. But remember to save a few bottles for me!
Starting in August, we will be providing home wine-tasting parties and food pairings for groups of 10 or more. For more info log onto www.barbaraseleganttouchstaffing.com