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See if You Can Decipher This Wine Taster’s Language — 9 Comments

  1. Great descriptions. When I asked a waiter recently what a new offering of white wine tasted like, he described it as “somewhat like slate”. I could only stare at him in wonder. Why would I want to drink wine stored with or strained through pulverized rock?

  2. Well, only a trained palette can pick up the subtle character of wine, although if I drink a fine pinot noir you can get the hints of plums or blackberry, with a good sauvignon blanc, grassy hints. But with the affordable swill (by box) you can only pick up the subtle hints of cheap…

  3. Hi Ralph. That’s cool, I can understand plums or blackberry, but oak, grass, slate? One of the guys said the wine had a leather bouquet – and that was good! I guess as long as you wine guys understand…

  4. Ben and I once sat next to a girl and her date at a white wine tasting when we heard her say “It’s got a nose like Barbie feet!” And she was absolutely right — that wine smelled exactly like the rubber feet of Barbie dolls, an indelible sense memory from my childhood.

    Compared to that, leather is pretty tame. If you want a nice leathery red, try some Cabernet Franc — almost impossible to find, even in California, but well worth it.

  5. Hi Hippie.
    I think I could identify Barbie feet, but I would feel stupid saying it. What red do you guys like? (other than Cabernet Franc)

  6. Oh! I’m so glad you asked! Up in California’s Central Coast area (Santa Barbara to San Luis Obispo), they make some wonderful zinfandels. (I’m not talking about white zinfandel; I mean real zinfandel.) The really good ones are often described as “fruit bombs” and as a bonus, they tend to have really high alcohol content, sometimes over 16 percent — not that the object is to get schnockered (although it doesn’t hurt!) but a high alcohol content is a good indication that a zin is a real monster with big big flavor. We aren’t so fond of cabs and merlots, as they tend to be more on the minerally and woody side than fruity. We do like syrah/shiraz though, and Ben is partial to Sangiovese.

    BTW, Ben has been wine tasting all his life and is a real wine expert. His mom has an awesome wine cellar. In fact, our first date was a wine tasting. See what wine can lead to? Ten years and three kids later . . .

  7. Wow! Sorry if I offended Ben. That’s cool to be that much into ANY hobby/avocation.
    We like fruit bombs! Around here if you served a red zin people would look funny at you. White zin is all most restaurants carry/recommend.
    Can you recommend a specific red zinfandel? It would be fun to try one recommended by a real oenophile (sp) keep the price around $20???
    Thanks!

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