Tasting & Describing Wine with Jordan Mackay – April 12

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Last night our weekly class focused on the senses we employ when we taste wine. We tasted 8 wines blind – 4 whites and 4 reds. First, we observed the color and clarity of the wine; then, we smelled the nose and identified fruit characteristics and other aromas that we often notice in wine, such as spice or vanilla; and finally, we tasted the wine and described what we sensed on the palate, including flavor components, body or weight of the wine, acidity, tannin and the level of alcohol. Students were focused on the sensations of acidity and tannin and how these components can compliment food. It was interesting to notice the different alcohol levels in the wine and how this characteristic was sometimes very obvious, even to a flaw.

Here’s the list of wines we tasted:

  1. Cherrier Pére & Fils Sancerre 2009 – Loire Valley, France
  2. Livio Felluga Pinot Grigio 2009 – Friuli, Italy
  3. Domaine Wachau Gruner Veltliner Terrassen Smaragd 2009 – Austria
  4. Trahan Carneros Chardonnay 2007 – California
  5. Morey Coffinet Chassagne Montrachet Les Chaumes 2009 – Burgundy, France
  6. Fonterutoli Chianti Classico 2007 – Tuscany, Italy
  7. Chateau Langoa Barton 2000 – Saint Julien, Bordeaux, France
  8. Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz 2006 – South Australia

Instructor Jordan Mackay did an excellent job of breaking down the components of wine and how to describe them. He also gave some helpful background on varietals, including where they are grown and how they are labeled in different wine regions. Students were engaged and enjoyed comparing the different wines we tasted.

Thanks to Jordan for a great class and to all the students for attending! If you have any feedback, please feel free to leave a comment.

See you next time…

Melanie Friedman

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