It’s no secret that online wine tasting is becoming increasingly popular, particularly with global events such as days dedicated to a particular grape type, wine style, or region. I’ve been asked why I participate in such events when I could just participate in local tasting events. I do participate in local events but since it’s impossible to taste along with people all around the world if I keep it local, I enjoy the global wine tasting days.
Recently I’ve been participating in monthly #eTaste events with North of 9 Fine Wine/The Virtual Taste, a great source for all kinds of wine information in great detail. Last month I covered the Masi Amarone that we tasted via Twitter. This month we tasted the 2010 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand. Cloudy Bay is perhaps the best Sauvignon Blanc I’ve tasted from a region outside of France, and it really does reflect its New World style, particularly that of New Zealand. Bright and lovely, it’s a pale straw color with medium viscosity in the glass. The characteristics are those of some citrus, including lime, grapefruit, and a bit of sweet orange, orchard fruits including soft peach and a hint of pear, and lots of tropical fruit, particularly mango and papaya - and of course the wine showed the very much expected gooseberry characteristic. Other characteristics included herb, fresh cut grass, blossoms of fruit trees, and white stony mineral. The wine feels cool and has nice acidity with a bright, crisp, clean texture and a long finish. It was paired with shrimp and spaghetti in a creamy sauce with herbs. The acidity cut through the creamy sauce and the grassy characteristics paralleled the herbs in the dish.
|2010 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc - Marlborough, NZ|
Yesterday was #LanguedocDay, where we all tweeted about wines from France’s Languedoc-Roussillon region. I still remain a bit skeptical of those wines, as I’ve had plenty of good Languedocs but have also tasted my share of unappealing ones. To be sure I tasted some unique, good quality wines, however, I made sure to go to the right wine shop - Lake Side Emotions Wine Boutique at the nearby Stony Brook Village Center. It’s a fantastic wine shop for sure, with an excellent selection of both domestic but mostly foreign wines, generally less common and still great quality (not to mention just how beautiful and tastefully done the wine shop is).
The first wine of the evening was the 2007 Domaine Philippe Chesnelong Les Creisses Vin de Pays d’Oc, a really fun Languedoc red consisting of Syrah, Grenache, and Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s a fairly dark ruby color with a lighter rim turning slightly brickish indicating just a bit of age, and medium viscosity that stains the glass. Characteristics were many and included both red and dark fruit, wild berry and cherry, dark chocolate, spice and woodiness, a bit of pepper, dry flower petals, a strong note of saddle leather, dry earthy characteristics, a hint of that “animal” characteristic, some fresh tobacco, and an overall “outdoorsy” feel. The wine is very unpretentious and smooth and easy to enjoy, and I’d say it would be quite food friendly, particularly with cheeses and meats. It’s properly balanced, with nice acidity and soft tannins, and a long smooth finish. I loved this wine and would go for it again in a heartbeat.
|2007 Domaine Philippe Chesnelong Les Creisses Vin de Pays d’Oc|
The second wine of the evening was the 2004 Domaine Philippe Chesnelong Les Brunes Vin de Pays d’Oc, a more serious wine than the first. It’s a blend of Cabernet Sauvgnon, Syrah, and Mourvedre, and is very dark in color with a brickish color setting in, both on the rim and throughout, very viscous and stains the glass quite a bit. Characteristics include lots of plum, a bit of raisin, dark cherry skin, a bit of dark chocolate, a hint of herb, and lots of wood and spice including anise which stood out a lot to me. The wood characteristics are more noticeable than earthiness. The wine is really well balanced with enough acidity for food pairing but bigger tannins than the first wine, and I believe this wine would continue to age gracefully. It’s really dry on the palate, feels warm, and has a very long finish.
|2004 Domaine Philippe Chesnelong Les Brunes Vin de Pays d’Oc|
Some of the virtues of online tasting events, for me at least, include being able to compare tasting notes and opinions on specified topics with wine friends and acquaintances all around the world. While they do not replace real tastings where we all taste from the same bottle and make a more literal analysis of tasting a wine, online and virtual tasting have become lots of fun for me and I look forward to more online tasting events. Next week I will feature some tasting notes of the upcoming online event for Beaujolais Nouveau Day.