01 January 2008

Tasting Notes

It's New Year's Eve -- ah, well, technically it's New Year's Day now...Happy 2008, all.

I'm drinking wine for the occasion, a very respectable Clos du Caillou from 2004, an almost Châteauneuf-du-Pape estate in the Côtes-du-Rhône that's every bit as good as a proper Châteauneuf, but slightly cheaper. (Thanks, Bill!) This brought back memories from a wine tasting back in November.

NOTE: no laws (state, federal, religious or otherwise) were broken during the filming of this event.

First, we savor the wine's appearance: color, swirl. I wasn't brave enough to teach her to swirl. Yet.

Next, the bouquet. She was all about this stage.

Next: the lick. This is a stage in the tasting process that was novel to me, and I'm now firmly convinced that even the most highly regarded oenologists may have overlooked its importance. Trust me, it's a powerful new way to regard a wine.

Of course, the toast. Cheers!! Trinh loves this part. This was actually fairly tricky: see, we've given her a cheap glass, but mine isn't so cheap. She got a little rambunctious with the clinking. Let's just say that I've never heard the glass ring quite like that.

Finally, we savor. My beloved daughter is a fine sommelier in the making. Only 19 more years to go before she can do it with something better than grape juice.

PS: an alert reader and hardcore wine geek pointed out that while I've described my wine, nothing has been said about what Trinh is drinking. I've just chased down the details:
  • Estate: Chateaux Welch
  • Varietal: 100% Concord (although we probably cut it with water -- heresy, I know)
  • Vintage: expiration 14th July 2008
I found the nose somewhat bland and the taste overly sweet, so I was grateful for the water; but those attributes are to be expected given the relative alcohol and tannin content. Trinh didn't have a strong opinion about it.

Some might consider it rather pedestrian, but one of the virtues of the Welch estate is their ability to deliver consistency. One bottle is predictably identical to the next.

PSS: Oh, and a word of caution about the licking -- it's more complex than it appears. For instance, if you have bad dishwashers, you might discover a slight hint of the Cascade, or perhaps a fresh scent of Dawn. It opens a startling new dimension of the wines you know and love.

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