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Archive for the ‘Wine Clubs’ Category

Written By Yuliya, guest contributor, editor at WineClubGuide.com:

So many wine choices –  this may seem intimidating to an individual not yet versed in the different aspects that the world of wine has to offer. How does a person choose which wine they will love? Wine exploration and discovering should not be intimidating or scary but a great deal of fun. This drink that has been loved throughout the ages should be thought of as a pleasurable treat to indulge in. You can have a blast tasting wine and exploring different flavors and varieties. Learning how to taste wine properly is a simple practice that makes all aspects of wine tasting worth doing. Its also nice to know that in this day and age you can do some research online prior to wine tasting. Websites like the Wine Club Guide will help you understand wine better and make your life easier in choosing which wines you would like to try.

Like most things, it takes time to develop your wine tasting palate. Once you get going though, you will learn to distinguish good wines from poor ones and hopefully discover some great ones along the way. All you really need to do is learn the basics of wine tasting to get started. The wine’s appearance, how it smells and tastes are the fundamentals of any thorough wine tasting.

When pouring a glass of wine for tasting, you should fill the glass a 1/4 full. This gives you enough room to swirl and sniff the wine. After pouring, look at the color of the wine and note its clarity, color and depth. A dessert wine will usually be darker and thicker than a white wine. Once you’ve experienced more wines, you will understand each types viscosity, hue and other characteristics just by looking at it.

Swirl the wine some more and sniff the aroma. Note the scents coming from the fruits. There is no right or wrong when doing this. Each individual has their own way of describing what they smell. A wine can have a bouquet of earthy or woody scents and even smell like chocolate or rubber tires. How awesome is this! Do you enjoy what you’re smelling? Try to pick out any stronger smells that are primarily coming through. Does the aroma provoke your senses enough to want to sip the wine?

Take a small sip and swirl the wine around slowly while sucking in bits of air to create a stronger taste. Does the taste make your lips pucker or is there a subtle sweetness that lingers on your tongue? Each wine will taste completely different as will it’s feeling in the mouth. Some wines will give off a dry sensation while others will feel silky and smooth. Note these differences along with the tastes you discover.

Take notes on all the different types of wines you try, and soon you’ll become the wine tasting expert that everyone comes to when choosing a bottle of great wine.

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Our beloved Leslie Lovo takes the Gold, going 4 for 4 on the blind tasting, during the 2010/2011 inaugural MPA Wine Tasting, this past Saturday. Felicidades Leslie ! (the 5th round was a wash or maybe a slosh describes it better, because people were a little too happy by that point) And thanks to Keith and Kelsey for being such wonderful hosts !

In order of tasting …

2007 Domaine des Roches Neuves (Thierry Germain) “L’Insolite” Saumur
Tasting Notes : 100% chenin blanc, clay-limestone soil, fermentation in oak barrel, aged 12 months in oak, 13% vol. Quite raw, fleshy, fruity and complex on the nose, almost effervescent, with notes of fresh grass and flowers. Full-bodied, balanced, slightly off-dry and a little sour in the mouth. This wine is rich and slightly bitter with flavors of apples, peach and dried raisins.
Rating : 15/20 (13.3/20 MPA average)
Price : 18€00 @ La Grande Epicerie Paris

MPA winos …
Laura, “makes my inner thighs tingle” (14/20)
Jonathan, “dewey Spring morning” (11/20)
Christina, “pineapple, orange blossom” (13/20)
Rajul, “baba au rhum, pear with a hint of fresh paint thinner” (9.6/20)
Sayko, “onion rings with vinegar” (17/20)
Virginie, “swimming pool” (15/20) (more…)

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This past Saturday John and I organized the April MPA Wine Tasting, hosted by Pablo in his lovely apartment in the 16ème arrondissement in Paris. Thanks to Iceland and the volcano, three interested MPA winos unfortunately were unable to make it. Apologies from the volcano are due to Gom, Carolina’s boyfriend, and Pablo’s girlfriend. Nonetheless, in the end we prevailed and the tasting was a big success. This time around I organized a slightly atypical Bourgogne blind tasting, including 2 whites and 3 reds.

Props to Katharina, John, Puja, and yours truly for scoring a perfect 5 out of 5 on the blind taste off! Granted it was a very clear cut tasting so our bragging rights should really not be abused. ;-)

Bourgogne 101 …

Côte de Beaune AOC : Today’s wine is 100% Chardonnay, however, the appellation produces reds and whites from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The whites are characteristically well-balanced, strong, acidic, full-bodied, and sometimes oaky. (more…)

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This past Wednesday In Vino Veritas was fortunate enough to taste its way through a broad selection of the wines of Noël Pinguet, the owner and winemaker of Domaine Huet. This very animated, passionate and humble Vouvray winemaker was kind enough to bestow us with his presence. Recognized among the likes of Nicolas Joly, Mr. Pinguet is one of the more outspoken proponents of biodynamic viticulture. His philosophy is that the results speak for themselves, and thus there is no compelling reason to seek concrete scientific proof. This philosophy has guided Noël all throughout his 30-something year career. He is not formally educated in viticulture or oenology and has relied on his passion and persistent trial and error practices, in order to find just the right method to produce the most quality wine possible.

Noël is proud of his biodynamic practices and also of the diversity of his wines throughout the vintages. He explained that Vouvray and Chenin Blanc are respectively some of the most climatically sensitive appellations and varietals. Thus the vintage is very important for Vouvray. Especially since Noël does not use any chemical induction, except for sulfur, the quality and expression can fluctuate significantly year by year. For example in some years the grapes may posses a potential alcohol level of 9% and in subsequent years the potential alcohol level may reach 22%. Noël truly leaves it up to the terroir to decide the production level and selection of wines year in and year out. In some years Domaine Huet produces nothing but sparkling wine—“Petillant”. In some years the domaine produces nothing but sweet wines—“Moelleux”. And in other years, the production is across the board. In the end Domaine Huet produces a magnificent selection of Vouvrays that everyone should get their hands on. The domaine’s acclaimed sweet wine “Cuvée Constance” has even been mistaken for Yquem in blind tastings. (more…)

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On Saturday the 27th of March I attended the “8e salon des Sciences Po producteurs de vin”, an annual wine expo held at Sciences Po Paris. The event is organized by Sciences Po Millésimes, the alumae wine club of Sciences Po. I was quite pleased with the wine selection and especially pleased with my purchase of a 1981 Domaine de Jouanda Bas Armagnac !

Thanks Phil and the rest of the Sciences Po Millésimes wine club for organizing a great event.

Below I’ve listed the wines I tasted (value wines in bold) … (more…)

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This past Wednesday I organized the first wine tasting at the German student residence hall « Maison Heinrich Heine, Cité Universitaire ». The theme was an Introduction to the Art of Wine Tasting vis-à-vis three classic wine regions and 5 classic grape varietals. 27 student residents showed up for the tasting. I hope ya’ll will find it interesting to note that this is definitely the most multilingual post I’ve ever written, so get ready ! It’s a melting pot of sort, mixing in English, Français, and Español.

Before getting into the meat of the post, congratulations are due to our first place winners, Sarah and Sebastien (I hope you enjoy the Champagne !), as well as our 3 second place winners, Frank, Janina, and Mauricio. A job well done ! BTW, at the very bottom of this post, I’ve listed the answers to the 5 questions posed from the « Quiz du Vin ».

Regional / Varietal Overview …

Côtes du Rhône AOC : Peut être le vin le plus vendu en France. Un assemblage de différentes proportions des cépages Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne, Bourboulenc et Viognier. Le Viognier est ample, rond, charnu et acide en bouche; en général aromatique avec des arômes d’abricot frais et sec, poire, amande, violette et minéraux. (more…)

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This past Saturday John and I organized the March MPA Wine Tasting, hosted by Louis-David’s friend, Mari-Ann and boyfriend Alex.  The theme was Alsace, focusing on classic single varietals and a pinot noir… Yes Alsace also produces red wine!  Although caution, this particular pinot noir was certainly no crowd pleaser.  Personally I wasn’t overly impressed with any of the wines. Although I would loosely recommend the Pinot Gris Grand Cru and the Gewürztraminer. An interesting note of reference is that both of these wines were produced by W. Gisselbrecht, whereas the bottom three rankings were produced by Domaines Schlumberger

Regional Overview …

Alsace, in Northeast France just south of Strasbourg, is the only wine region of France represented in the vast majority by only one Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée, the Alsace AOC. Whereas most all other wine regions of France distinguish themselves, including on the label, by the sub-appellations (Eg. Saint-Estèphe and Romanée-Conti), Alsace wines distinguish themselves by the grape variety. This variety-focused approach can be compared to that of the US. (more…)

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