Getting serious about wine tasting

I spend a significant amount of time on my wine passions.

I spend a significant amount of time on my wine passions.

Keeping a wine diary, evaluating the wines I drink, writing about wine and growing a show piece cellar that is stocked full of fabulous bottles to share with all the people I love. One of the most interesting things that I have noticed recently is that I am spending more and more of my time applying the same skills to all my culinary adventures.

My nose works overtime these days; hypersensitive to seemingly everything around. Honestly – it’s making me much better at tasting wine, detecting and identifying smells in all that I encounter, and just enjoying life. Not to get too deep, but if you aren’t smelling and soaking in all the beautiful smells that surround us in life – you are truly missing out. I certainly haven’t paid much attention to this for a great deal of my life and it was to my own detriment.

I have had a few moments in my past that have opened my eyes and my nose to the experience. I find it quite interesting how a particular smell can actually trigger a memory and bring you back to a place that you might not have thought about in years. Smells can also be a very powerful appetite builder. Many people know the expression that you eat with your eyes first; but have you ever woken up to the smell of fresh baking bread or walked into the door while dinner is cooking on the stove? Smells can engage us well before we ever actually see the food or meal we are about to eat.

As a fun exercise, for the whole week, close your eyes and take in two deep breaths of the food you plan to eat this week before you take you first bite. While you are breathing in your weeks’ meals think about what you are smelling and try to identify the different components that you have just cooked with or added to your meal. This week I have chosen two wines that I find quite engaging in the nose. Cheers.

Wines of the week

Le Vieux Pin ‘Feenies Blend’ 2009 [British Columbia]

A floral nose with lots of complexity. A sweet clean smell that shows off a little gooseberry and white peach. There is a distinct yeasty quality to the taste of this wine that really plays out in a long finish. Initially the wine hits some sweetness with pineapple and macintosh apple cider. Very enjoyable all on its own due to its sheer depth of character. 94/100

Estancia Chardonnay 2003

Buttered bread, lime and a nice touch of oak that is quite pronounced on this wine. Easy to enjoy, this wine has nice round flavours that compliment both salty and savoury foods well. Medium bodied with a medium finish that leaves the taste of toasted corn. 82/100