Oh Wine and Beverages, I already miss you. You gave me a new perspective of the world, making me, for a split second, forget even the tragedies and downfalls of other countries, only to focus my attention on the beautiful grape varietals, the history of culture and progression of excellence that each grape growing region has grasped over the years. The perfection and care that these dedicated individuals put into their grapes and the consideration and strive to make the perfect wine for the consumer is amazing. Pure passion.
If you ever feel you need to know just a little more about wine or wine and food or...just feel like taking a visit to the CIA Greystone, I suggest you take a wine class at our Rudd Center. It was actually mentioned in Food and Wine Magazine in the May 2009 issue on page 110 under "best places to study wine." You can go to ciaprofchef.com/winestudies to get more info. You won't regret it, I promise. I actually am planning on taking a food and wine pairings class within the next year so if you're thinking about it let me know and maybe we can take one together!
One of the most entertaining parts of the class, as my last blog post emphasised, were the comments people made about the smell and taste of different wines we tasted each day. Some of my favorites were:
-cigarettes/ nasty ash tray
-grandmother's old couch
-exotic wood from an import store
-Costco's dried mango's
-a pet store
-red cabbage, braised
And finally, have you ever thought your wine smelled "off?" Here are a few the most common wine odor defects:
1. Oxidized-- will smell stale, tired, sherry-like. This is caused by too much oxygen contact.
2. Volatile Acidity (or acetic acid)-- will smell like vinegar or nail polish. This is cause by bacteria.
3. Sulfides-- will smell like rotten egg or sulfur. You can actually make the smell of this go away by aerating your wine for a little while.
4. Brettanomyces-- smells like band aid/medicinal, OR barnyard/burlap. Caused by spoilage of yeast, usually comes from poor sanitation practices in winery.
5. Corked-- musty, mildew, moldy. Sometimes you'll find a moldy cork which will automatically tell you the wine is "corked."
6. Sulfites--pungent, smell of a freshly lit match. Sulfites are added to the wine after fermentation to prevent defects 1-4, but...sometimes there's too much added.
Here's to wine knowledge!
You should probably come to the Napa Valley and go for some tastings to refine your palate.
Call me if you do.....please.