Archive for the ‘Contests’ Category

Through the wine glass…and other tales of wine tasting

August 5, 2010

There is often a lot of discussion controversy about the use of specific wine glasses in wine tasting; does a wine glass make a difference in how a wine tastes?  Does size really matter?  Or in this case, does SHAPE matter more?  Personally, I think that size and shape are critical for discovering the nuances in some of the finer wines, and particularly good Pinot.  Different shaped glasses aim the wine at different points in your mouth, therefore highlighting flavors more strongly than others.  All this with the shape of a glass.

But what do you do when you don’t want to have 17 individual wine glasses?  Is there really ONE glass that you can use for ALL red wine?  Or all white wine?  Not that I drink that much white wine these days… Personally, I have many all purpose wine glasses, but I still ensure that all of my Pinot Noir is served from Pinot specific glasses because I want to make sure that the subtleties of the wine are captured when I take a sip. I have often been in the situation where all wines are served in hotel type glassware, or “occasion” glassware – the kind you get at a wine festival for example, and not enjoying the wines I was recently at a bar having a glass of Pinot that was served in a small Chianti type glass, and it just left something wanting.  I know the wine was better than that.  Enter a different wine glass, and the expereince can dramatically change.  So, fo rthat purpose, I have many generic, mostly Bordeaux shaped glasses that I use for every day, a few different shapes of Pinot glasses, and a lot of event glasses that I avoid except for parties.

Andrea Robinson, wine expert and master sommelier, has developed a new wine glass called “The One” that promises to be the only wine glass you need.  There is one for red wine, and one for white one, and the red glass closely resembles some of the lesser known Pinot glasses I have seen.  To determine if I would be able to use just ONE glass for all of my red wine needed, I selected two control wines:

A Pinot Noir, because that is what I drink most of right now.  A Syrah, because that is the thing I drink when I’m not drinking Pinot Noir or Rose.

To control the taste test, I chose a Pinot Noir that I knew I liked.  I did that because I didn’t want to run the risk of opening a sample or a wine I wasn’t familiar with.  I also selected a Riedel Pinot Noir glass, the large classic Burgundy balloon, and a generic Pinot Glass that I got at Pinot Days last year.

I sipped.  I sniffed.  I tasted.  I sipped some more.

First:  The Riedel, my go to Pinot Glass, actually accentuated to omuch of the bitter spiecde and wood characteristics of the wine.  I was a bit mifed at this since I knew I loved this wine.

Next, I tried the generic Pinot Days glass.  mmmm there was my old friend, the rich spicy juicy raspberry Pinot.  That was more like it.

Finally, I tasted the wine out of Andrea’s glass.  Ok it was good, but the cherry berry cola accents were too strong for my taste.

Ok, let’s let the wine sit for bit.

Same thing.  So, score one for generic, zero for Andrea.

Next, my sample set was a syrah.  Again, a wine I know and love.  This time I selected a generic event glass, with the basic Bordeaux shape, but smaller.  I also selected a Cost Plus Connessieur stem, which is made by Spiegulau, which is now owned by Reidel.  Pretty much the same line up as the Pinot Noir blind sample.

For this wine, The One faired just as well as a generic tasting glass.  The wine was lovely, and the nuances of flavor were showing through.

One thing that I really love about these glasses, all shapes and sizes being said, is that they are tough.  I am really hard on my glasses.  I knock them over (frequently).  I bang them in my sink.  I crash them against

dishes.  The One did NOT break!  For that reason alone, I would buy some for general use.  At $50 for a set of 4, they are reasonable, especially if they last through a party or bashing them around.

The verdict:  If you are a Pinot Noir snob, I’d make sureyou have a couple of specialty glasses on hand for that purpose.  I am picky about my Pinot Noir glasses, and I do believe that different shapes impact how you percieve the flavor of a wine, particularly if you have  a developed palate.  the reason this happens is that different shapes target the wine on different centers of taste buds in your mouth.  There is a lot of controversy abuot these tounge maps, but I find that for me – it’s true.

If you’d like to try The One by Andrea Robinson for yourself, I have a set to give away, 1 white, 1 red.  Just leave a comment and tell me why you need a new wine glass!  I’d love it if you wrote about your opinion as well, but that’s not required.

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It takes a village, a VinVillage!

May 6, 2009

A coVinVillage-Logo_Hi-Res-TL-SMALLuple of great events are coming up in the next couple of months, and the biggest news is you can win free tickets to these events!

VinVillage is a social networking organization for wine and food lovers.  Now, I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking “oh no!  not ANOTHER social network for wine!”.  While it’s certainly true that there are many social networks dedicated to wine, VinVillage is unique in how it connects wineaux with wine lovers in their home cities.

Additionally ,VinVillage has a webcast radio show covering a wide range of topics, as well as a community barrel of wine where VinVillage members can join in the winemaking experience and build a sense of community.

To build on this sense of community, VinVillage sponsors several contests, where you can win tickets to events in local cities.  Two events that are coming up are the Wine Fests of Lodi and LA.

The Lodi ZinFest is on Saturday, May 16th at Lodi lake Park.  Tickets are $35 advance / $45 day of ,but you can win them on VinVillage!

At the Lodi ZinFest, more than 250 wineries from the Lodi area will be poured from 50 wineries, and there will be live music, food, and fun.  There are also cooking demonstrations and arts & crafts.  One of the highlights for wine lovers is the ZinFest Wine School, where you can learn about the latest trends in Lodi wine from the wine experts and local vintners, who will share their wine knowledge in a variety of seminars.

la-wine-fest1

The other event that is coming up is the LA Wine Fest.  For you SoCal folks, this wine festival is on Saturday June 6th and Sunday June 7th in Hollywood.

This event promises to be a great one, and is billed as a consumer wine event with broad appeal.  Tickets for the LA Wine Fest are $55 for each day, with a $10 discount if you buy them through VinVillage.  Once again, however, you can WIN them on VinVillage!

The moral of the story is, you CAN get wine for free, so head on over the to Village and check it out!


mber Bergherm

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