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Wine Not?

Friday I attended a wine tasting at Vintage Spirits in Herkimer, NY.

And here is my usual disclaimer that this is not a wine blog and I am far from a knowledgeable oenophile (I pronounce it oh-nee-oh-file). But I did take notes, and I thought it might be fun to write about what I tried.

Tastings at Vintage Spirits are always fun, because Bronson IS a knowledgeable oenophile and can tell you all about what you’re tasting. I also like to interact with the other customers who are tasting, comparing opinions and making silly jokes.

I started out with the Cesari Rose Bardolino Chiaretto Classico 2013. I’m not really familiar with roses. Sometimes if I’m switching from red wine to white of an evening, I suggest not rinsing the glass and making it be rose. That is a silly joke, of course, but it relates to what I learned about rose on Friday. In Europe, to call a wine rose, it must be made in the classic method: red grapes are used with the skins on from 20 minutes to two hours, then the skins are removed. They do NOT blend red and white wine together, as is allowed in the United States (yeah, we’re rebels in this country).

The Cesari is a classic European rose. I found it had a little sweetness to it and thought it a good summer wine. Another lady there found it too dry, but I think my tastes run very dry.

Next I tried the Rock Brook Chardonnay 2011, which I declared yummy (regular readers may recall that this is my ultimate accolade). I find I have been liking more Chardonnays in recent years. In general I prefer those aged in stainless to the ones aged in oak (my one bit of real oh-nee-oh-file knowledge) (ooh, but now I know the rose thing). This one was lightly oaked, I think. It was also an excellent price, so I purchased a bottle.

Next up was the Stone Fruit Reisling 2012 from the Pfatlz region of Germany. I found it sweet for me. I thought I might like it as a spritzer, which I make with seltzer water and fresh lemon. Chat de Manissey cotes du Rhone 2012 grew on me. I wasn’t too impressed with the first sip, then it got better. I’ll have to buy a bottle some time to check the effects of a full pour (and if I don’t like it, I can always cook with it).

My other favorite of the day was the Sarmento Irreverente 2010 from the Dao Region of Portugal. This is made from four different Touriga grape varieties, which is the local grape in Portugal. As usual, I love a good blend.

I also liked the Dreaming Tree crush 2011, which is 66% Merlot and 33% Zinfandel. I thought, what’s not to like? I finished my tastings with Naked Grape Pinot Noir, an unoaked wine. I figure with a name that includes the word “naked” this will be a fun wine to serve at a party.

I do enjoy tasting wines and mean to try to expand my wine-describing vocabulary beyond “yummy.” And if I learn a little bit more each time, perhaps one day I will be a knowledgeable oenophile.

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