We had an engaged and enthusiastic group of students at the July Tasting Blind class at the Morro Bay Wine Seller on Wednesday. As always, there was a theme to the wines, which I always hope students will figure out while they're tasting. This group did not disappoint - and neither did the wines! As always, we had fresh-baked bread from #JDBakes on the tables for palate cleansing and generally tastiness.
Wines of the night. Missing Seven Angels 'Chosen One'
Last month, the Goddess of Wine was challenged to compare Bordeaux to Paso; this month the challenge was the Rhone Valley vs. Paso. It was fun!
The Rhône Valley was created during the last ice age as the Rhône Glacier carved
its way south through what is now France. Today, the Rhône River begins in the
Alps and meanders for 505 miles to the Mediterranean Sea.
THE NORTHERN RHONE is only 40 miles long and is responsible for a tiny 4-5% of all
the wines from the region. The climate is ‘Continental’ – hot summers, cold
winters and precipitation throughout the year. Probably the most notable
feature is the steepness of the hillsides. The vineyards are terraced to keep
the soil from eroding, retain the warmth of the sun and make life a little
easier for the vineyard workers!
The Goddess of Wine was challenged to create a comparison between old and newish wine regions: Bordeaux and Paso Robles. I endeavored to provide a tasty group of wines to demonstrate the best of both worlds. The French region of Bordeaux is the traditional home of meaty, sophisticated, age-worthy reds, whites, and dessert wines. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc, and Semillon thrive. Red Bordeaux can be the epitome of fine wine. The best wines exhibit a wonderful complexity of aromas and flavors, great elegance and refinement and an ability to age gracefully - some for a hundred years.
The Goddess of Wine had the opportunity to lead a group of students through a blind tasting at the Fossil Wine Bar in Atascadero. This is what I told them as we tasted through the 6 wines pre-poured for them.
The world of wine tasting often seems magical and esoteric. It’s not really. And it’s easier than you think to taste wine blind. In fact, you may be already using many of the techniques that so-called experts use. There are four basic steps to tasting wine – and these can be used whether or not you’re tasting blind:
Gosh, the Goddess of Wine just loves Rosé. Every year I anticipate the new releases from all over the world. I just can't wait to taste 'em! And last night, I got to share some of the tastiest with my intrepid group of wine lovers at the Morro Bay Wine Seller. Rosé is a lot different from the sweet and insipid pink wines that were available when I first started drinking wine. Today's Rosé is crisp, dry, fruity, and delicious. Our selections were accompanied by fresh-baked goods from #JDBakes, who presented an Austrian-style "milk bread" and a French-style "biscuit rose de Reims" designed to be dipped in the wine. A #tasty evening, indeed!
The Goddess of Wine and JD had the opportunity to join the San Francisco Wine School for a quick and intense trip to Lodi. Organized by Master Sommelier, David Glancy, and business partner, Kristen Campbell (the workhorse behind the SFWS), this trip covered what was just a small taste of Lodi wine. To make the event more special, our guide to the region was noted wine writer, sommelier, photographer, and all-around expert on Lodi, Randy Caparoso.
What touched me about Lodi, more than the delicious wines and meals our group shared, was the ethos embodied by the community of farmers and winemakers. I discovered that, what I imagined I would find, was very different from the reality of this old California wine region.
The Goddess of Wine is so lucky! I was able to show two different groups of students delicious wines to enhance their Spring festivities. Thanks to Fossil Wine Bar in Atascadero and Morro Bay Wine Seller in Morro Bay for their partnership and willingness to bring in wines for me and my acolytes! Cheers!
The Goddess of Wine had her way with another intrepid group of tasters as she led them through the wild world of blind wine tasting. As always, students were provided with tasting grids and aroma wheels to help them with their discoveries. I provided few clues for the class: None of the wines were from California. A student asked if there was any Zinfandel or Pinot Noir. Nope. I encouraged them to think outside of their comfort zone, to trust what they were smelling and tasting.
The wines - mostly from my own cellar - were all from different regions of Italy. Because I like Italian wines, and I had enough to share. And I enjoy torturing my classes with wines they probably have not encountered. That may sound evil, but my aim is to have the group focus on what they are actually smelling and tasting, and not worry about whether or not they're right or wrong. It's all about trusting your senses and building from there.
The Goddess of Wine led a group of curious wine enthusiasts through a comparison of Old World wines and New World wines at the Fossil Wine Bar in the picturesque town of Atascadero last night. Old World wine refers primarily to wine made in Europe but can also include other regions of the Mediterranean basin with long histories of winemaking such as North Africa and the Near East. The phrase is often used in contrast to New World wine which refers primarily to wines from New World wine regions such as the United States, Australia, South America and South Africa. The terminology is used to describe general differences in viticulture and winemaking philosophies between the Old World regions where tradition and the role of terroir lead versus the New World where science and the role of the winemaker are more often emphasized. In recent times, the globalization of wine and advent of flying winemakers have lessened the distinction between the two terms with winemakers in one region being able to produce wines that can display the traits of the other region—i.e. an "Old World style" wine being produced in a New World wine region like California or Chile, and vice versa. Do Old World wines taste different than New World wines? Yes, they often do. The differences in Old World and New World wines come from winemaking practices (tradition) and from the effect of the land and climate on the grapes (the “terroir”).
Old World wines are often described as tasting lighter, having less alcohol, having higher acidity, and tasting less fruity
New World wines are often described as tasting riper, having higher alcohol, having less acidity, and tasting fruitier
The Goddess of Wine and an enthusiastic group of tasters had some fun at the Morro Bay Wine Seller on March 13th. The idea was to introduce my students to wines with which they were probably not familiar, and that would be fun additions to a beautiful Spring season. So, what wines pair with lighter foods, afternoons on the patio, and tasty grilled
NV Nino Franco
‘Rustico’ Prosecco Superiore, Valdobbiadene, Veneto, Italy
– Prosecco is a sparkling white wine from north-eastern Italy, specifically the
Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia wine regions. It is also the informal name for
the grape variety used to make these wines, which is known officially as Glera. Since July 2009, the name
'Prosecco' has been regulated and protected under DOC law, ensuring that wines
labeled with the name come only from the specified areas of north-eastern