Tasty Bites – Full of flavor, and not just the food

Last Friday’s event was “Tasty Bites,” which paired certain wines with delicious food. The food included cheeses, tapenade, a cheese blintz with a caponata topping, and brie and ginger filled pastry cups. Of course all of these were amazing; however, what I was trying to focus on was wine.

The first wine of the evening was a sparkling white, called Vida Organically Sparkling Chardonnay . White wines obviously have more carbonation, and from what I have noticed with friends and such, this seems like a popular choice among those that don’t know too much about wine. I feel like the carbonation adds more of a drinkability, but loss of flavor. To me, this particular sparkling wine didn’t have much flavor at all – the only flavor I tasted was yeast. And it actually reminded me of the aftertaste of a beer. This wasn’t necessarily a bad wine, but compared to flavor, the other wines were definitely more interesting.

Orobio Rioja was the next wine of the night. This particular wine had a buttery and smooth taste. However, it also was a bit tropical with a hint of raspberries. To me, it seemed to calm down the saltiness of the tapenade very well. Also an easy to drink wine, but without the loss of flavor in my opinion.

When I first started my internship, I steered clear of red wines. I liked the sweetness of whites much more, but I am quickly finding a fondness of reds. The next wine was a Dante Cabernet Sauvignon. This was also a very smooth wine. It was interesting because I felt like the smell was sweet and the taste was spicy. It had a hint of garlic and pepper. So the smell and taste were very interesting paired together.

Papa Godelo was the third white of the night. In relation to the previous white (Orobio), I felt as if this one was tropical as well, but with a duller taste. However, the tropical flavor enhanced with the the caponata. One concern I realized is that I do not eat a lot of fruits, so it seems hard for me to pick out specific flavors. However, when this particular wine was paired with the caponata, the taste of the food was brought out more. A mango taste was even evident. With the ginger pastries, a more sugary and acidy taste was tasted. I definitely felt like this wine went better with the coponata.

The next red was a Jorio Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. This wine was a smoother red wine, but I didn’t feel like it was very flavorful. I only really liked this wine and found any flavor at all when it was paired with food. I was told that Italian wines, unless sparkling, are always in need of food. This seemed to be the case.

The most interesting wine of the night was a La Chini Pinot Grigio. Grigio is one of the wines I have drank before working at Christopher’s Wine & Cheese, but this definitely was the most interesting one I have tasted yet. The taste was honey. It smelled like honey, and tasted like honey. This wasn’t necessarily my favorite wine of the night, but it had the most distinctive flavor.

The last wine of the evening was an Amayla Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon. I felt like this red wine was similar to the Dante. However, the peppery taste was somewhat enhanced. A young woman who was attending said she preferred this one because it didn’t have the peppery taste of the Dante. I felt the complete opposite, which is another indication how everyone has different taste buds. The food could also have effected this as well.

Overall, Friday night was definitely an eye-opening experience. The La Chini was the most interesting because of its honey taste. With a lot of wines, the range of flavors and sources of the wine are so abundant that it could taste like anything. But with this one, it was completely obvious. I believe when I was tasting I compared it to horoscopes. Horoscopes are so vague and open to interpretation that they can always be viewed as correct. It may be a weird comparison, but I feel like a lot of wines are like this as well.

Nevertheless, I am very excited for what other wines have in store. If I tasted this many flavors in one night, I can only imagine what the rest of the semester will be like!


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