Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sonoma vintners wine tasting - the whites

(Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay is good! Ha! How's that for descriptive?!)

Wine tastings are always a fun event. It gives me an opportunity to broaden my horizons in the 'vino-sphere'; an area where I don't nearly often enough get much exposure. I love wine, like any other self respecting bartender, but since its behind my first and second loves (spirits and beer) I sometimes give it the shaft.

The basics of wine knowledge for new servers

Terminal City Club played host to a Sonoma vintners wine tasting this past Wednesday, and so I attended with two coworkers. I recognized many a familiar Somm face, and began gathering brochures, pamphlets, business cards and photo ops at points of interest.

(The man behind the counter at Kendall-Jackson gave a nice story about his own experience with their Chard, in Portland.)
The first round about the room gave me the chance to taste most of the whites. The first table was Davis Bynum, whose attendee I recognizes from the Four Seasons tasting last fall. I tasted their crisp and lightly acidic Chard with great pleasure; always a good sign when the first sample is a hit.

Moving on to Ferrari-Carano, I tasted yet another winner - and snapped a bad resolution photo, to boot. Their 2012 Chardonnay sported more acidic flavors, including apples and citrus, with the familiar oak notes that are all too common among Chardonnays.

Industry wine tasting at Four Seasons

Four Seasons wine tasting continued

We towed over to Kendall-Jackson, where the sales rep explained that the 2011 Chard was a common sight on menus in the states, and he himself had gone for walks recently in Portland, taking note of it's appearance on wine lists. He recommended it be drank as a warming wine, meant to distract you from winter's chilling atmosphere. The 2012 vintage provided tropical flavors, and was pleasant to the palette. The 2011 Grand Reserve vintage, on the other hand, was even better; featuring the flavors of perhaps more mature fruit. A fair blend of sweetness, acidity and spice.

(Flights are back, and not just at school's of cuisine!)
Wine flights were on the menu tonight, and it didn't take long before I was riding a four sample flight of Chardonnay. The wine bottles were tilted with bases facing a steamed, dried, and stained slab of oak, featuring four stemless glasses each filled with their own tasting notes; pleasant aromas that you could find in your samples above.

Flights are all the rage, again. Perhaps a side-effect or revitalization caused by the craft revolution - whatever it is, the event coordinators capitalized to great effect by providing several grape specific flights with the rustic aesthetic of aromatics on wood.

Stay tuned in the coming days for the "reds" portion of the wine tasting.

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