Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Wine Tasting Class

Sunday night was the final night of a wine tasting seminar I have been attending. It's a long-standing tradition that the housemasters of my dorm lead this class every January, and it's quite popular - my name was chosen from the lottery to be among the 12 girls who took it this year. It was three nights, six wines each night, and instruction throughout the course.

I loved it. I've always been curious how to appreciate wine, as I'm never sure what I'm supposed to be tasting. And it's expensive to try on your own, because if you get a bottle you don't like, well what then? And if you get a cheap bottle to try and mitigate that possibility, well, then it's just cheap wine.

Plus the people who are wine "snobs" and actually know what they are talking about intimidate me.

But now I feel as if I have expanded my horizons. I know how various wines are made, I know how to read a wine label, I know that the red grape of the Bordeaux region is Cabernet Sauvignon, the red grape of Burgundy is Pinot Noir and the white grape of Burgundy is Chardonnay. I have discovered that I like Riesling and I adore Shiraz, and I know where in Boston I can buy half-bottles (so that it doesn't go bad before I can finish the bottle).

Actually one of my favorite parts of the class was each night at the end - after we tasted all six wines, there was a table set up with food items. Laid out buffet-style were samples of a variety of food - meats (chicken, turkey, steak once with the red wines), several types of cheeses, appetizers, crackers, fruit, nuts, and even chocolate one night. Everybody gets a plate full of samples, and explores tasting the six wines with different combinations of food. It was really cool to see that some foods actually DO taste much better with some wines. And some wines I didn't even like by themselves tasted radically different with seafood, or with cheese (well, they ALL taste better with cheese...). So it's not all just hype by the wine snobs - although everyone does have different tastes, there really is something to the art of wine pairings. 

So, success! I have crossed one more item off of my list of things I'd like to do.

And success, I might add, tastes rich and full - pleasantly fruity on the nose, with notes of spicy blackberry, plum, and pepper.

1 comment:

  1. Hi thanks for the comment on my blog! you asked which UO the sale was at- it's in the Harvard Square location (although it may also be at the back bay too?)