We continued this wine & food workshop with a flight of 3 red wines. We first tasted the 3 wines, one by one….blind. Again, the intent to help participants better understand what the wine is trying to say & then determine whether they thought it was a good wine or not for their palate.
Wine #4–2010 Ernesto Catena Cabernet Sauvignon “Tahuan”–we decided to start off with a Cabernet, as this would be in most people’s comfort zone. Still, while this wine does have the familiarity of Cabernet qualities in both nose & taste, several participants noted it to be decidedly different from those from California, especially a stony/earthy edge. Most participants recognized this was in fact a Cabernet based red–good intensity/concentration, medium bodied, medium acidity with moderate tannins which flowed on the palate even & seamless & UN-heavy. (We addressed tannins by explaining how it can work with foods & where/how to perceive them on the palate, thereby again helping them for home use selections).
Wine #5–2011 Tedeschi Valpolicella Classico “Lucchine”— Tasters immediately started describing the rustic/earthy nose of this wine & how different it was than what most are used to. Because of our earlier discussions, many of the group now understood this was a wine of the soil rather than just about grapes & oak barrels. The wine had good intensity/concentration (& much better than the previous wine, despite being lighter in body & weight), light to medium body, medium high acidity, light to medium tannins, flowed very evenly & seamlessly from beginning to end (& much better than the previous wine) & finished UN-oaky, UN-bitter & UN-alcoholic. (Judging people’s faces & body English, many of the tasters marvelled at this wine, as it was one that before this tasting, they would not have tried, understood or enjoyed).
Wine #6–DeMedici Ermete Reggiano Lambrusco Secco “Quercioli”–Here is a red wine, which would be a total “out of box” experience for most, if not all, of the participants–a very rustic scented, FIZZY, leaner, fruit driven, higher acid red wine, which we served well chilled. One could see, the wine was initially quite off putting for several of the tasters because of its idiosyncratic profile & style. Most, however, agreed that this wine had good intensity/concentration, light to medium body, medium high acidity, low tannins, flowed evenly from beginning to end on the palate. Still, many people did not dig on the fizziness……that is until one taster noted, how wonderful this wine would be on a hot day with some cheese & charcuterie. Almost immediately, one could see the participants then dive back into the glass after that comment & gradually start to nod their head in agreement. Quite an aha moment for many.
For most of the participants, Wine #4 just did not pair with the salami, nor the salami & cheese together. Many did not mind this pairing, it just wasn’t their favorite. For some, the oak became more evident with the food & made any possible affinity even more disjointed. For many, Wine #5 was the most interesting pairing with the salami. they seemed to work together hand in hand. And, with the pairing no one seemed to notice the wine’s rustic edge, or the higher levels of acidity any more. Many of the tasters also liked Wine #6 with the food too. Some even preferred this wine with the salami AND the cheese together in one bite. (Makes sense as the cheese had a saltiness to it, which most people don’t notice when having the cheese by itself. BUT, Wine #6’s lower tannin & alcohol levels, for my taste works better. AND, the fizziness just freshens the palate between bites).
Just another learning opportunity. Thank you to all of the 3 different sessions for participating!