Monday, March 21, 2011

Hi folks, Welcome to my first wine blog. I intend to offer no-nonsense wine reviews. Having spent the best part of 30 years in the restaurant and import wine industry here in Vancouver, the time was right for such a blog. I will try not to use superlatives; I just want to appeal to the wine drinker/beginner. For folks looking for in depth winespeak, please follow the excellent wine reviews by John Szabo - "WineAlign"
O.K. folks a few must-haves. Wine glasses, these should be clear glass with a stem and a not so small bowl, avoid glasses with a heavy rim as this will affect/interrupt the flow of wine from the glass into your mouth.[ A heavy rim will act like a dam suddenly gushing the contents way to quickly into the mouth.[For some people, this may be a good thing LOL]
Now the difficult part, try to swirl the wine around the bowl, it takes a little practice but is necessary. Now you have a fine film of wine around the bowl. Think of it as a slide under a microscope and we can now look at the wine. The colour can now be viewed, now noticeable will be thin streams of alcohol slowly running down the glass, these streams are known as "legs" At this point we sniff, [in the bowl] some of the greatest pleasures come from the aroma [the smell of the basic grape] and the bouquet [the overall smell of the final vivified liquid] The next step can be tricky. Take a small mount of wine into your mouth, place your lips together as if you were going to whistle, now suck air though your mouth and over your tongue [at this point you may be asked to leave the room or worse spit the contents out. Buy the way, there is nothing wrong with spitting when your trying many wine samples at one tasting. Not to worry, practice makes perfect. Once you have followed these simple [fun] steps you are ready to make your assessment - more on that later! I just want to get you started for today.
Today's Wine: 2007. Syrah Reserva. Argentina. $15.50 ALBERTA.
Colour: Super dark. [Typical for this variety]
Alcohol: Yikes-14.7% But not overpowering.
Bouquet: Beautiful, blackberries and figs.
Taste: Extremly well ballanced, packed full of fruit,lovely residual sugar.
Score out of 100 - 87 points. Super value. I'll take a case! thank you.
WHINE of the week: Restaurant wine prices: The hospitality industry says that it's difficult to make money on food - true to a degree. Sadly, many establishments ramp-up wine prices. Initally, this seems reasonable, however, personally I resent being ripped off. If a restaurant purchases a wine for say----$15.00 I'm prepared to spend $30 on that wine not $40.
Wise-up hospitality. Maintain a maxium mark-up of say 100%-120% and guess what? I will buy two bottles at dinner.[maybe three]

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A tastevin is...

A tastevin is a small, very shallow silver cup or sauser traditionally used by winemakers and sommeliers when judging the maturity and taste of a wine.

Starting today, I will be blogging about wines and food that I have tasted. 
All wine tastings will be held blind in order to offer you unbiased opinions.
The wine selections will be international and local to my area.
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave comments/questions below.