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@barefootwine ‘s Shiraz

@barefootwine 's Shiraz

What are you guys drinking tonight? I’m trying out I’m trying @BareFootwine ‘s Shiraz for the first time. Keep an eye next week for my review.
(Don’t mind my very full kitchen island ;))
For my Montreal readers, with the snowstorm, stay safe tonight!
Cheers AND happy weekend!! ❤

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Saturday Wine Night – Let’s Get Technical

Getting down to the nitty-gritty – time to start tasting these bad boys.

Tasting Flight is probably what you are going to partake in – normally a tasting of three to eight wines, but the hardcore Sommelier types it can go up to 50 different types of wine!

A Vertical Tasting will reference sampling of a variety of vintages of the same wine distributed by the same winery –> this let’s you discover the differences between these vintages.  

Whereas a Horizontal Tasting will be wines from the same vintage but disributed by different wineries –> this will help you distinguish the differences between winery styles.

Serving temperatures will affect the wine. Lower temps will bring out acidity and tannings while keeping the aroma low-key. Whreas a higher temp will deminish acidity and tannings and increase aroma. Helpful table from Wikipedia

Wine type Examples Temperature (Celsius) Temperature (Fahrenheit)
Light bodied sweet dessert wines Trockenbeerenauslese, Sauternes 6–10°C 43–50°F
White sparkling wines Champagne 6–10°C 43–50°F
Aromatic, light bodied white Riesling, Sauvignon blanc 8–12°C 46–54°F
Red sparkling wines Sparkling Shiraz, some frizzante Lambrusco 10–12°C 50–54°F
Medium bodied whites Chablis, Semillon 10–12°C 50–54°F
Full bodied dessert wines Oloroso Sherry, Madeira 8–12°C 46–54°F
Light bodied red wines Beaujolais, Provence rosé 10–12°C 50–54°F
Full bodied white wines Oaked Chardonnay, Rhone whites 12–16°C 54–61°F
Medium bodied red wines Grand Cru Burgundy, Sangiovese 14–17°C 57–63°F
Full bodied red wines Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo based wines 15–18°C 59–64°F

The right glassware will help you maximize what the wine your tasting has to tell you. Normally it’s recommended to have a glass with a wider bottom and narrow top –> think of the shape of a tulip or a egg.

Wines should be blind tasted (as mentioned in the Saturday Wine Prep page)

The Five Ss

See: First observing the wine in its glass. Angle the glass over a white surface – is the colour dark or light? Are there different hues to it?

Swirl: In a circular motion swirl the wine in your glass. Are there tannins? Is the wine thick? Does it drip down the inside of the glass?

Sniff: Close your eyes… stick your nose in the glass, inhale deeply. What do you smell? Oak? Sweetness? Vanilla? Fruits? Citrus?

Sip: (the good part) Close your eyes, take a sip, swirl in your mouth – what do you taste? The oak, the grapes? Is it smooth? Does it burn?

Savour: Take a another sip – are the same aromas and flavours prelevant? Are there more?

At which point each of your guests will be able to determine their owns views on the complexity or character; the potential (is better to age or to drink); and its possible anomalies. Or for the rest of us…. your preception of the flavours, of the wine’s aromas and its different characteristics.

Here are some helpful tables & graphs from Wikipedia:

Red grape variety Common sensory descriptors
Cabernet Franc tobacco, green bell pepper, raspberry, freshly mown grass
Cabernet Sauvignon blackcurrants, eucalyptus, chocolate, tobacco
Gamay pomegranate, strawberry,
Grenache smoky, pepper, raspberry
Malbec violet, plums, tart red fruit, earthy minerality
Merlot black cherry, plums, tomato
Mourvèdre thyme, clove, cinnamon, black pepper, violet, blackberry
Nebbiolo leather, tar, stewed prunes, chocolate, liquorice, roses
Norton red fruit, elderberries
Petite Sirah (Durif) earthy, black pepper, dark fruits
Petit Verdot violets (later), pencil shavings
Pinot Noir raspberry, cherry, violets, “farmyard” (with age), truffles
Pinotage bramble fruits
Sangiovese herbs, black cherry, leathery, earthy
Syrah (Shiraz) tobacco, black/white pepper, blackberry, smoke
Tempranillo vanilla, strawberry, tobacco
Teroldego spices, chocolate, red fruits
Zinfandel black cherry, pepper, mixed spices, mint
White grape variety Common sensory descriptors
Albariño lemon, minerals
Breidecker apple, pear
Chardonnay butter, melon, apple, pineapple, vanilla (if oaked, e.g. vinified or aged in new oak aging barrels)
Chenin Blanc wet wool, beeswax, honey, apple, almond
Gewürztraminer rose petals, lychee, spice
Grüner Veltliner green apple, citrus
Marsanne almond, honeysuckle, marzipan
Melon de Bourgogne lime, salt, green apple
Muscato honey, grapes, lime
Palomino honeydew, citrus, raw nuts
Pinot Gris (Pinot Grigio) white peach, pear, apricot
Prosecco apple, honey, musk, citrus
Riesling citrus fruits, peach, honey, petrol
Sauvignon Blanc gooseberry, lime, asparagus, cut grass, bell pepper (capsicum), grapefruit, passionfruit, cat pee (tasters’ term for guava)
Sémillon honey, orange, lime
Trebbiano (Ugni Blanc) lime, herbs
Verdicchio apple, minerals, citrus
Vermentino pear, cream, green fruits
Viognier peach, pear, nutmeg, apricot

The Aroma Wheel

A section of the Aroma Wheel invented by Ann C. Noble detailing the fruity aromas that are most commonly encountered in table wines. Used with permission from Ann Noble.

The Aroma Wheel provides a visual graphic of the different categories and aroma components that one can encounter in wine. The terminology used is standardized for use by both professionals and amateur wine tasters. The aroma wheel does not contain terms to describe texture or mouthfeel, however these are listed in the Australian “Mouthfeel Wheel”. A separate Aroma Wheel has also been created for sparkling wine. The wheel breaks down wine aromas into 12 basic categories and then further sub-divided into different aromas that can fall into those main categories.[1]

Saturday Wine Night – Prep

My goal is to maximize what your glass of wine has to offer you. The following set-up will help you not only benefit from the buzz, but the different aromas, flavours and colours –> and what they all mean in the scheme of things.

If you’re planning a wine tasting night – make sure everyone has a safe way home or have enough inflatable mattresses or couches to have your friends over. DRINKING AND DRIVING IS NOT COOL OR SAFE!!

A few things you might want to pick up before starting your night.

Make sure to have a pitcher of water and every guest should have a full glass of water – this helps cleanse your palate between wines. You might want to cut up a baguette/loaf of crusty bread – that helps as well.

If you don’t own a billion wine glasses, have some napkins or paper towels on hand for each guest. Once you’re done tasting a wine, you can quickly sop up any remaining wine at the bottom of the glass.

I like having either a white plate or white napkin/paper towel on hand – when you’re observing the different wine hues tilting your glass and turning it over the white plate or napkin enbales you to truly appreciate the richness of the colour.

You’re technically supposed to a ‘spit bucket’ for every guest – you’re supposed to be sampling the wine, not getting drunk off of it. However, where’s the fun in drinking wine and not getting tipsy 😉 who knows, with a little Dutch Courage you might discover you have quite a few seasoned Sommeliers in your social circle.

Always start tasting wines white to red, less alchol content to most.

Cover the wine bottles and labels – it adds to the mystery.

You should give your guests at least a sheet of paper and a pen – so that they can record their tasting notes –> their different finds about each wine. Once the wine is unweiled, they might want to jot down the name as well.

The most important thing is to experiment and have fun with different wines. You’ll discover that there are some great finds that are relatively inexpensive.

Cheers!