Tasting and Describing Wine

Monday, November 14th, 2011

This past Tuesday’s class on Tasting and Describing wine was atypical and pleasantly unorthodox.  Led by author of the 2011 Food & Wine Magazine Guide to Wine, Marry Burnham had the class blindly taste through 8 different wines from both Old World and New World regions.  From French Chablis to Napa Valley Riesling, the list of wines truly allowed Mary to blindly expose the class to a wide array of wine styles.

During the class it was discovered that not only was the class blindly evaluating wines, but we snuck in a few fastballs at Mary to show the class what true wine evaluation is.  With her prepared list of the wines tasted, we made a couple of switches to the wines without informing Mary.  Sneaky as it was, the class was thrilled to see Mary in action as she called out the discrepancies to the wines listed.  Using the expertise of her palate, Mary quickly discovered that certain wines were not as they were listed and led the class through her conclusions as to what they were.

As unconventional as this tactic of ours might have been, the students were more than delighted for the chance to witness the utter capability of a wine expert like Mary to blindly evaluate wines as if they were a puzzle to be solved.

Thanks for being a good sport Mary and for leading an excellent class!

-Julie Albin

Wine List:

1.  Alphonse Mellot Sancerre “La Moussiere” 2009 – Loire Valley, France

2.  William Fevre Chablis Champs Royaux 2009 – Chablis, France

3.  Stony Hill Napa Valley White Riesling 2004 – California

4.  Lucien Albrecht Gewurztraminer Cuvee Marie 2007 – Alsace

5.  Clos de la Tech Domaine Lois Louise Pinot Noir 2006 – Santa Cruz Mts, CA

6.  Vina Real Reserva Rioja 2004 – Rioja, Spain

7.  Chateau La Nerthe Chateauneuf-du-Pape “Cuvee des Cadettes” 2005 – Rhone

8.  Christian Moueix Pomerol 2006 – Bordeaux, France

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