What does the improbably awesome, awesomely improbable Giants victory over the Patriots have to do with wine? Not much – aside from the fact that I watched Sunday’s game with my very cool wine tasting group. It was a very long, very exciting afternoon into evening, as shown by my 6 pages of detailed, occasionally cryptic notes. DON’T SAY TOAST! I scrawled across one page. It was actually a reminder not to use the word “toast” in a tasting note to describe that nicely grilled aroma oak sometimes imparts on the wine. Apparently the WSET – ie, the folks who will be grading my exam – say that “toast” can only be used to describe that aroma in sparkling wines, where it’s created not by aging in oak, but by autolysis, which according to Jancis is “the destruction of cells by their own enzymes.” Whatever, we don’t need to know sparkling for the Unit 3 exam. (For the record, in a still wine, we’re supposed to say “toasted oak.”)

Yesterday was a review of Bordeaux and a prelude to Tuesday’s class on the Rhône. (I posted a review of last week’s Bordeaux class here.) I’ll deal with the Rhône wines in a separate posting as I want to do them justice. For now, I’ll just cover the Bordeaux, which we tasted blind. I am not a big fan of blind tasting, mostly because it’s hard. Plus it’s tempting to get too caught up in the guessing and overlook what’s actually in the glass. We ended up tasting a Christian Moueix Médoc, which left me feeling pretty indifferent, as well as a 2000 Ferrand-Lartigue, a St. Emilion Grand Cru that was plush and supple, which is a word I don’t love to use to describe wine, but it’s the best I can do. (Please, someone shoot me if I start describing wines as “hedonistic.”) The real shocker of the tasting though was a delicious wine from Chateaux les Maurins, a Bordeaux AC.* Here is my note for the wine, written more or less in official WSET style:

The wine is medium garnet fading to a pale garnet rim. The nose is clean, with medium intensity notes of earth, leather, pencil lead, and licorice and shows some development. The wine is dry, with medium plus body, medium plus alcohol, medium plus acidity, medium plus ripe tannins, and with notes of blackcurrant, tobacco and smoke. The wine’s long finish and impressive structure point to a very good quality wine.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the difficulty of finding a reasonably priced, well-made Bordeaux for every day drinking. The good news is, I found one. The bad news is, we have no idea where the wine came from – our hosts just pulled it randomly out of their cellar, and we can’t find much about it online, although it probably retails for around 10 bucks, at least in the Netherlands.

OK, because I started out on a football note, I feel I must end on one too. If you were one of the 97+ million people in the U.S. watching the game, presumably you saw Gisele in the Tom Brady luxury box drinking wine. What do you think she was drinking? I tried to do some creative Googling but wasn’t able to find anything out. Any guesses?


3 Responses to “18-1.”

  1. Hi. Marisa D’Vari here from http://www.AWineStory.com. I came upon your blog and figure since today is Tuesday and we are indeed studying the Rhone for WSET, you are in my class! Great blog.

  2. 2 sashygirl

    Thanks! Yes, get excited for some Syrah and Grenache action.

  3. check this website: http://www.wijnvandedag.nl/aanbiedingoud.php?ID=83 which might lead you to the wine! It is in dutch, sorry!

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