Well, here we are again. I got home less than an hour ago from All Corked Up and want to jot down my notes from DiMaggio Washington’s Wine Education class now lest I forget.
Last week I wrote about the things I learned and then gave you the class’s tasting notes. Sounds like a plan for today too.
New for me:
- As French wines can hold their value over time (or Over California) they can command higher prices.
- USA laws allow us to add acid but not sugar to our wines.
- Colder climate countries, like Germany, add sugar.
- Premier wines don’t need to add.
- You can graft any varietal to an existing root stock and, voila, your chosen varietal is born.
- The six different types of Champagne, from Extra Brut to Deux, heighten in the grams of sugar per liter. So Extra Brut will not be as sweet as Brut, then in heightened sweetness comes Extra Dry, Sec, Demi Sec and ends in Deux.
- Sommeliers are sometimes asked to describe a wine in a few seconds or to stretch it out several minutes. When stumped, new descriptors like “wet concrete on a summer day” make their surprise entry.
- In CA 75% of the grape named on the label must be used, 85% if label says “Estate” and 100% CA grapes if label says made in CA. The majority of the USA have almost the same % rules and run between 75-100%.
Hit the read more button to see the class reviews on wines priced at $18.99 and less:
2007 Calina Chardonnay, Valle De Casablanca, Chile: Fruit bowl, sugary nose, more like a Sauvignon Blanc, pear, overripe white peach, honey, neutral oak. 88 Eve pts.
2006 Culley Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand: Sharp, pungent nose popped, cheesy, high acid, citrus, unripe mango, tangy, good to pair with oysters, shrimp and lobster dishes. 85 Eve pts.
2007 Blue Pirate Pinot Noir, Oregon: Light anemic color, dry toast, light strawberry, good for picnic foods or any foods that would pair just as well with a white wine. 84 Eve pts.
2008 Estimulo Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina: The 14.1% alcohol burned our nose hairs, but outstanding berry flavor, and much softened alcohol within 5 minutes in glass, made it a class standout. Good with grilled portabella mushrooms, eggplant or hard cheeses. 95 Eve pts.
2007 Flying Winemaker Zinfandel, Lodi, California: Exceptional Zin nose, perfectly ripe cherry fruit, balanced, taste confirmed nose, black pepper, tobacco, cedar, leather, 14.5% alcohol. 94 Eve pts.
2006 Castle Rock Merlot, Columbia Valley, Washington: Pleasant vegetative nose, softer than CA Merlots, not tannic, very approachable, good with grilled chicken or ham. 89 Eve pts.
2008 Ernst Pinotage: Young, gravel nose, bandaid smell too overwhelming for most, high alcohol. 86 Eve pts.
2007 Jacob’s Creek Shiraz: High alcohol, burnt nose and palate. For less than $9 most class members could appreciate. 86 Eve pts.
(A note on the thumbs: They belong to Susie Q and Bob A. If you hang out at All Corked Up you should know them. If you don’t, go there.) FTC disclosure: I did not pay to attend the class, I attended as press.