Archive for February, 2010

28
Feb
10

Cedarville Petite Sirah – from the wine virgin

The last wine was a favorite of almost everyone at the event. Cedarville Petite Sirah was a lot more flavorful than the previous Petite Sirah. The flavor was still muted somewhat, but the way in which it is presented to one’s taste buds is quite intriguing. Tastes of plum and blackberry are evident, but it explodes in the mouth in tiny bits and not all at once.

It was almost as if this wine likes to “tease” you. It was an interesting end to the night. Starting with really flavorful and deep, rich Shiraz wines and ending with this wine that kind of danced on your tongue was a fun experience. The differences in the same type of grape was quite enjoyable to smell and taste. Tasting the same grape, but from different regions, is always a fun experience. That’s why last Friday’s Blind Zinfandel Tasting was also a great event. Check back next week for a discussion on all of the Zinfandels we tried. Thanks for reading!

27
Feb
10

Pets Petite Sirah – from the wine virgin

Pets Petite Sirah was the first Petite Sirah I have ever tried – that I know of. I could definitely see why this was called “petite.” Compared to the other wines, it didn’t taste as bold or peppery. I wonder if tasting all of these bold and flavorful syrahs before this one led my taste buds to believe it was not as complex.

I don’t like to say it was watered down, but that is kind of what it tasted like. It was still very drinkable though. Chris told me that it is because I have an “immature palate.” This means that I’m able to pick out the big and bold tastes of wine, but am not that great at picking out subtle flavors yet. This made sense and I can see why I would view this one as “watery” or “airy.” The next Petite Sirah was still not as bold, but extremely nice in flavor and balance.

26
Feb
10

echeverria and napa cellars syrah – from the wine virgin

The next wine of the evening is one I have tried previously. It’s called Echeverria Syrah (Chile), and it is one of my absolute favorite Syrahs, and wines period. I have really liked this wine in the past because I feel like the balance between pepper, spice, and sweet is almost perfect. It consists of the plum smell and taste, but with a hint of spice.

What was strange about this evening was that the Echeverria tasted almost too spicy when compared to the other wines, particularly the Napa Cellars Syrah.  This was a wine that was featured last week, and you can read last week’s blog post here. I think possibly the orzo salad could have brought out the spice more in the Echeverria. It is a Syrah from Chile, so it is known for it’s spice. I think spice can be enjoyed, but not if it’s overwhelming. And I honestly do think it was either just me, or the food. I’ve had this wine 2 previous times and loved it – and several people bought the wine after the event. So I definitely would recommend this syrah, as well as the Napa Cellars.

25
Feb
10

Hope Shiraz – from the wine virgin

The Hope Shiraz from Australia was poured with the Tortoise Creek Shiraz, so it was inevitable to compare them. The Hope Shiraz had a lot of the same blackberry/plum smells and tastes that the Tortoise Creek had, but they were expressed almost as undertones. It didn’t taste nearly as complex or explosive as the previous wine. It may not be correct to say this, but it also didn’t seem as “thick” – it seemed a lot lighter.

Nevertheless, the orzo salad did bring out a bit of spice in this one as well. But in the end, the Hope Shiraz didn’t finish like the Tortoise Creek. On another note, if someone is looking for a Shiraz with not a lot of kick and spice, this could be for them. It reminded me of some of the Petite Sirahs I will discuss later in the week.

24
Feb
10

tortoise creek shiraz – from the wine virgin

Tortoise Creek Shiraz was probably one of my favorites of the night. The smell was exquisite. I told someone at the table that “I don’t want to stop smelling this wine.” The smell was incredibly deep, rich and sweet. It was a deep plum or blackberry smell. I’ve had some other Syrah/Shiraz from France and they also seem to have a deep, rich smell.

This smell followed through in the taste, but the taste did not quite match the scent in terms of how good it was – I could smell this wine all day. The spicy orzo salad made the flavors explode on the tongue. It was quite an enjoyable sensation. But there was something unique about this wine in the way that it finished. Even though the flavors were jumping around, it all pulled back together at the end – with or without the orzo salad. This wine was very enjoyable, and I hope to be purchasing a bottle in the future.

23
Feb
10

Pazo De Monterrey – from the wine virgin

Even though Pazo De Monterrey was not intended for the Syrah tasting, I think it well-deserves a blog post. This wine is a white Spanish blend called Monterrei. One of the first things said of this wine was the price point – it is $4.00. When I first heard this, I thought that this wine couldn’t be good. However, like the event we did called “Great Wines that won’t Break the Budget,” I was pleasantly surprised.

It was an extremely interesting white wine. In my opinion, in wasn’t that acidic at all. The smell was sweet of honey, yet sour of musk. I was a little nervous to taste it judging off the smell. But the taste was amazing. For there to be this many scents (and flavors), I felt like the Monterrei was very smooth tasting. Because of the great price point, I even bought a bottle for myself.

23
Feb
10

I never even heard of tiger wine before, now I wish I hadn’t

A very disturbing article – and quite unsustainable in it’s practice at this rate.
Exposed: Dark secret of the farm where tigers’ bodies are plundered to make £185 wine | Mail Online

For here, 1,500 captive tigers – around half as many as there are thought to be remaining in the wild – live out miserable lives in squalid conditions.  Each tiger costs around £6 a day to feed, and it is easy to see that the small clusters of visitors paying £7.50 each to wander around the cages and watch bizarre animal shows cannot possibly cover even the cost of food for the vast park.One of the emaciated tigers in a cage at the Xiongshen Tiger and Bear Mountain Village in Guilin, China

The reason is the tigers, mostly Siberian, are far more valuable dead than alive.

For a 55lb pile of bones from a single tiger can be worth up to £225,000. There is a hugely lucrative trade in the skeletons at the Guilin park.

<snip>

Tiger bone wine, made by steeping tiger bones in huge vats of potent 38 per cent-proof rice wine, has for more than 2,000 years been one of the most expensive and sought-after Chinese traditional medicines, believed to bestow the tiger’s power and strength upon the taker.

It is popular among wealthy middle-aged men including, reportedly, some of the Communist Party’s senior officials and is said to have been used by modern China’s founder Chairman Mao Tse-Tung himself, in the superstitious belief that it counters the effects of ageing and boosts flagging sex drive.

Because of the scarcity of tigers, a single bottle of tiger bone wine from a rare vintage year can sell for £600 or more. As well as a supposed medical remedy, it is a prestigious drink sometimes shared between men at high-level political or business meetings, or drunk at lavish parties.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1252500/Exposed-Dark-secret-farm-tigers-bodies-plundered-make-185-wine.html#ixzz0gMILIxHo




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