“As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.” ― Ernest Hemingway,
Tonight a group of friends and myself continued a tradition we began last year. Barrel tasting in the Walla Walla wine country takes place during the first weekend in December. At this time, we round up a carload full and head out to taste what Walla Walla has to offer. Some of us walk away with a cellar full of new additions to our wine racks, while others simply taste all day and enjoy the experience,.
Either way, it began last year that the participants who attended the barrel tasting would have a wine tasting party toward the end of December after our families had gone home after the holidays and our lives were somewhat back to normal to taste the array of wines that everyone had collected. This year we tweaked the recipe just a bit and decided to do a blind tasting. (Emily, brilliant idea!!!!) Score cards were laid out on the table, along with appetizers ranging from pears and apples to deviled eggs, meatballs and bruschetta with mozzarella, basil and roma tomatoes, as well as the ever perfect pairing of cheeses.
It was quite the educational night, and I was quickly humbled by my most undiscerning palette when it came to the many varietals of reds brought to the table. We quickly decided that in order to improve our success rate we must do this on a regular basis, so we decided to have our next blind tasting in two months time, but the next gathering would focus on one varietal at time to give our taste buds a change to catch up.
A perfectly enjoyable evening that allowed you to walk away learning about one or more wines that you didn’t know you enjoyed. With the six bottles tasted, the top two on everyone’s score sheets were Gifford Hirlinger’s Stateline Red 2005 which was a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and Basel Cellars’ 2007 Carmenere.
And now I am going to drift off into a peaceful wine induced sleep. Cheers!