Monday, February 14, 2005

Wine Tasting

From the SO's blog, you already know that we went wine tasting. I always wondered why Eileen and her husband Tom only took us to one winery. After hitting nine wineries, I now know why. Badly made wine. Nasty phenolic wine. Wine that tastes like water. Wine that made me cringe. Wine that made me disgusted. Yup, yup. Eileen and her husband were just showing us the cream of the cream.

At any rate, we were in amador valley which produces wine from Viognier, Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Muerverde, and others. The trip was worth it because it exposed me these other varietals. I am usually more of a Cabernet Sauvignon type. I like the strong flavors which slap your tongue. I want to wake up. I want bold fruit, snappy comebacks and explosions in my mouth. None of this white wine for me. In general, white wine tastes like water.

The first time I heard of Viognier, it came from Chatty's Blog. I thought that she was making up the varietal just to keep her 6 billion (and counting) voyeurs honest. What is it about France and words that are difficult to pronounce? It worries me for the SO and I are planning a trip into the land of twisted tongues and sunken cheeks. VEE-UGH-NEE-YER is how I would have pronounced it. Just like Tagalog. How you pronounce the word is how you spell it. Instead, I must twist and turn my tongue into a priest's jewel.

Back to Viognier, the varietal that only drunks can pronounce. Didn't like it. Big thumbs down on all of the wines produced from this varietal in Amador Valley. No body. No smell. No taste. No structure. The Chatty must be consuming Viognier from some very good wineries. Only great winde makers can make something out of this varietal.

The other varietals like Sangiovese, Zinfandel and Muerverde were also huge, huge disappointments. One location's Muerverde had "cassiss" as a flavor. Now, the dictionary says it is a type of spice that is close to blackberry. As I tasted it, it was phenolic. Nasty, nasty, nasty. Think of cough drops that soother a sore throat. Remember that numbing feeling which was bliss? It was caused by phenolic substances which inhibit some nerve endings. YUCK!

The definite recommendation is Dobra Zmelja which means "Good Earth." The winemaker knows his wine chemistry. Flavors linger. Good structure. Good legs. Excellent zinfandels.

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