Nastl Cuvée Anno 1656 Grüner Veltliner 2014

  Light-Bodied White Wine 2014  AUSTRIA (Niederösterreich)   Grüner Veltliner    11.5% alc.      Serve at 38-45ºF (3-7ºC)   Nastl            Wine-Searcher Back to Wines to Learn To keep in mind You can learn about the true meaning of high quality crispy sensation in wine. As you know, this term is usually associated with fresh, citric wines that come from grapes harvested in the fine line between being ripe and keeping a good acidity. Sometimes it fails, and you get a wine that is too acidic, or green. This is not the case! When this wine is recently opened, you feel little fireworks going off in your mouth: a tickle festival that makes you desire another sip. So, despite being an overused cliché, this wine is the exact expression of the word “crispy”. This is why this wine is surprising because, despite this fresh sensation, you notice that grapes were perfectly ripened, and, magically, the wine is extremely crispy at the same time. This is a highly sought after balance in wine that will keep you wanting more and more. The Nastl Cuvée Anno 1656 has an awesome quality-price ratio. Also, you can learn a good approach to the “Old World wine style”. This is not an intense fruit bomb (in the sense of dense, noticeable flavors), and the aromas are difficult to detect for a wine beginner. Instead, the wine is a superb example of the “physical” sensation of a wine: a cleaning dryness, a mouth watering bitter taste and an evident mineral and lime taste finish. For those training their nose, I recommend you go back and forth between smelling and tasting,...

Wine Tasting Note Template

Wine tasting for learning or assessment requires tracking and analyzing our perceptions. Use this template to save your tasting notes. You can use this form in 2 ways: As a record of your tastings, to remember your sensations with a wine. As a deductive form, if you are trying a blind tasting, to identify the wine. Tasting grid     For a printable version to fill out by hand, click here. The wine tasting form has 4 parts: Wine profile: name, origin, vintage, alcohol, variety, style. Wine description: 3 parts: appearance, nose and palate. Assessment: assign a quality level and drinking recommendations. Identification: when conducting a blind test, a space for your deduction is provided. Tasting grid     For a printable version to fill out by hand, click here. Instructions: Many of the fields offer a drop-down list with options. In the Nose Description, you can begin by identifying the main aromas and then use the blank space to specify more details. For example, you can mark a wine as “Fruit” and “Red fruit” and specify “strawberry”. Some fields offer an extra clue to determine the correct description. For example, “Full body” is described as “high alcohol, tannins and flavor”. So, if you selected these in the alcohol and tannins drop-downs, this is how you should mark the body. To fill Assessment, there are questions you should ask yourself such as “what are the levels of each structural component“ or if the aromas “evolve” in the glass. In the “Readiness for drinking” assessment, you should evaluate which structure the wine has based on the qualities you identified in the check boxes. Tasting grid     For a printable version to fill out by hand, click here. Wine tasting note Tasting...

2014 Aaron Mercer Chardonnay d’Oro

  Full-Bodied White Wine 2014  USA (Cafifornia – North Central Coast – Monterrey County)   Chardonnay    13.9% alc.      Serve at 55-56ºF (13ºC)   Turn Key Wine Brands           Wine-Searcher Back to Wines to Learn To keep in mind You can learn about the body of wine. This is very far from the light, zesty, easy to drink white wines you can pair with every fish dish. This is a bold player. If the first thing you with a wine is to quaff it… Maybe should try something else. This wine is to entertain your palate for a long time. It’s rich, dense, flavorful, creamy. At the end, you can feel the strenght of the sun in this wine. Smell and taste: maybe, the first thing you will notice is the  mineral aroma, similar to the french chardonnays made in cool climate… But, as a real californian there is some ripe fruits too: orchard fruits, the producer says. Peach and lemon? Yes. But what makes this wine interesting is the effect that 6 months in french oak barrel has: a rich aroma of vanilla and nutmeg. Exercise to learn about oaked and unoaked wine: compared it with other californian chardonnay. I think this wine needs food to pair with and be served not too cold. It is ok if you do it, but, in this case you will find it more soft and pleasant around 55ºF. As a full-bodied white, avoid subtle fish: go for lobster, seasoned poultry and creamy pasta or légumes. Baked vegetables pie or pasties? Sure!. Also, look for umami flavored asian dishes or strong cheeses. I have to...

Vignoble Dampt Freres Chablis Vieilles Vignes

  Medium-Bodied White Wine 2011  FRANCE (Burgundy – Chablis)   Chardonnay    12.5% alc.      Serve at 48-50ºF (9-10ºC)   Domaine Daniel Dampt et Fils  Wine-Searcher Back to Wines to Learn To keep in mind You can learn about the aromas of wine. One of the first things you will notice with this wine is the intensity of  earthy aromas. You will learn what mineral character means, as the main aroma of this wine is far from the typically fruit-driven ones. One further step in wine education. This is an archetype of Chablis wine, the world famous chardonnays from France.  For me, it smells like chalk, wet gravel. Exercise to learn about Old World style and New World style wines: compared it with a californian chardonnay. Smell and taste: after the main mineral aroma that gives you the sensation that the wine is going to be suculent and heavy: it smells like chalk and wet gravel. After you can find some flowers, but it will need some time to these aromas appear. Also, is noticeable a dry sensation (the opposite to sweet), but very balanced and with a tasty finish (the time the taste stays in your palate after swallowing the wine) that stays quite long. You will get a cleaning sensation after every sip of this wine. If you are sensitive, you can find something similiar to tickles on the tip of your tongue, a quality that defines the zesty taste. This is because its acidity (but very subtile and surprising after the intense earth aroma) and it means that is perfect as aperitif (try simple olives, chips, crackers) or to pair with not very heavy...

Capuchon Fifille 2014

  Full-Bodied White Wine 2014  USA (California, Central Coast, Santa Inez Valley)    Grenache Blanc    15% alc.      Serve at 48-53ºF (9-12ºC)   WINC Back to Wines to Learn To keep in mind You can learn about white wines. For some beginners, the fact that a white wine can be full-bodied may be surprising. This is because of the most common way our taste for wine evolves. First we prefer whites, then, as our palate accustoms to more tannins and higher levels of alcohol, we start to appreciate reds. It happens in a similar way with beer… Usually we do not like the bitter taste at the beginning… And then, we love the hoppy taste more and more.  Thus, this wine is a second step in white wine comprehension. This wine is not especially fruity, nor is it very fresh (or acidic) and it has high alcohol content… So, an unexpected special wine for beginners (and not-so-novice). The mouthfeel is of a full-bodied wine and you can learn about minerality, as the fruitiness is not overwhelming. This is more like a European-style wine (aka Old World Style).  The alcohol also provides a rich and smooth feeling: even after swallowing you still notice the warmth. If you want to “see” the alcohol, pay attention to the “tears” that will appear in the glass after swirling it. The main aromas are grapefruit, melon, sweet lime, honey and slate.  This wine can be a “total meal”. I’m a great fan of drinking wine by itself without any accompaniment, or at least jut taking a couple of sips to concentrate on its flavors. It is not the typical white...

Bodegas Volver Triga

  Full-Bodied Red Wine 2012  SPAIN (Alicante)   Monastrell (aka mourvèdre) 85% –  Cabernet sauvignon 15%    15.5% alc.      Serve at 60-68ºF (16-20ºC)   Bodegas Volver           Wine-Searcher Back to Wines to Learn To keep in mind You can learn about the body of wine. As soon as you have this bottle in your hands, you will notice its body. From the heavy and sturdy bottle to the intense and deep purple color (remember: deep is when you cannot see your finger in the other side of the glass when you tilt it). And then, in your mouth, you will feel what a full-bodied wine is, fulfilling all your sensory spots. Hint: to feel the body, get some wine and make your tongue swim in the liquid. When the wine is full body you get a silky, soft sensation.  Also, you can learn how weather and winemaking affect the wine. 2012 was a hot year, even for this region. As a result, they got a high-alcohol wine, plenty of ripe flavor. On the other hand, this wine was made in stainless steel vats (which makes the wine fresher) and also aged in oak barrel for 20 months, giving to the wine news aromas and tastes. All of this said, this wine seems to have everything: the force of a full-bodied wine really touched by the sun, the fresh fruits and floral aromas altogether with a well-balanced taste between acid, fruits, alcohol and tannins. This wine reached 94 points in Wine Spectator. The main mouthfeel you will get is a dense finish, powerful but velvety tannins (the bitter sensation in wine) and also a...