Taste wine like a Burgundian

This is the best advice I have read, seen or heard on tasting wine. A quick exercise in wine tasting was given to me by wine educator and sommelier, Pascal Wagner. Pascal has been living in Burgundy for the past 18 years. Janelle and I are visiting France along with Vintage Wine Taster Ray and his wife. We are visiting the Burgundy wine region and the Loire Valley for one week each, followed by a few days in Paris before heading home. In Burgundy, we are renting a home in the village of Puligny Montrachet. The owner of the home recommended Pascal Wagner as a tour guide. We hired Pascal for one day to give us a complete introduction to the wines of Burgundy. This man lives and breathes Burgundy. In the caves of the Domaine Patriarche, we are presented with ten wines from Burgundy to taste and explore. The wines are mostly Premier Cru and Grand Cru wines. Before we begin, we learn from the master on how to taste wine.

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A quick guide to tasting wine like a Burgundian

A few points on wine tasting mentioned by Pascal

  • Chew the wine as you would chew food
  • Breathe while you taste wine, opening your nose and mouth
  • Take only three seconds to taste the wine in your mouth
  • Swallow a small amount at a time, each second for 3 seconds
  • Let the wine drip down your throat to get the finish of the wine
  • Make sure the wine gets all around your mouth and, after you swallow, continue to chew to get your saliva working on what is left

Catching the Crush in the Napa Valley

I have been very lucky the last couple of trips to the Napa Valley. I was able to watch the harvest at two different vineyards in the Valley. I have also had the chance to see the sorting and crushing of grapes and the tanks filled with the delightful smell of fermenting grapes. To me it is the most exciting time to be in wine country. The harvest has been a couple of weeks early this year because of the mild climate. But harvest will continue into the first couple of weeks of October. There still is time for you to make your way to wine country and witness one of nature’s cool spectacles.

Very cool video of a team of harvest workers

Two Cameron Hughes wines we like now

Balanced Chardonnay from Cameron Hughes

The two vintage years of 2012 and 2013 in California have been excellent both in terms of quality and quantity. Negociants like Cameron Hughes have benefited because growers have more grapes to sell and wineries have extra juice, more than they can … [Continue reading]

Whole Foods Olive Oil Tasting

olive-oils-wfs

I have been a participant in olive oil tastings, but never conducted one myself. The folks that do PR for Whole Foods Stores asked if I would like to do an olive oil tasting of Whole Foods brand of olive oils. I thought sure, why not, it sounds like … [Continue reading]

Highway 12 Sonoma Red Blend 2012

Highway 12 Sonoma Red

Highway 12 Sonoma Red Blend 2012 Costco $12.99 My neighbor a couple of doors away is a red wine drinker and he invited me over to taste a glass of red that he termed "one of the best wine bargains I have found in years." Craig liked the wine so … [Continue reading]

Mas Donis Barrica – a delightful Montsant wine bargain

mas donis barrica

Mas Donis Barrica - a delightful Montsant wine bargain From the Capcanes Cellars in the D.O. Montsant in Spain, this is a fantastic wine bargain. It is $12.99 at the Spanish Table. Both KL Wines and Wine.com are sold out and will not be able to … [Continue reading]