You add air in that there wine?!

Hello all winos out there! Don’t be shy, as you are within the presence of two fellow wine enthusiasts. It all started one year ago in a land far far away…called Gainesville. We were customers of a small shop called Patel’s…or at least that was the name we called it, buying cheapo bottles of Moscato wine for $3.99. Deal yes? College students can’t complain with that type of bargain!

Living in the Columbia area, a dear friend of mine informed me of a site called MeetUp, an online community-based groupings of sorts..spanning the globe. You basically find a club near you that has a group interest, such as night life, recreation/outdoors, etc. And no, we did not join the local AA ;),but rather one for our lovely pooches, called Pooch Pals. Quaint, yes?

Any who, our first meeting with the group was this evening at a prompt six o’clock at the headmaster’s residence. It was a formal but rather casual wine tasting event for the group members of Pooch Pals, with about eight people present, not the total amount of group members. Canines were not allowed at the festivities… don’t want fido gettin’ tipsy on us now! More wine for us I say hoorah!

Eric and I dressed up looking all spiffy and whatnot and were able to taste a total of six different wines, in decent sized tasting portions at about a third of a glass each round…now, if I could only remember what happened after..

The interesting part of it all is that there was a mini-educational segment during each “round” of tasting (good thing they weren’t shots!) You may know these facts, though we did not. We found it entirely interesting. Have YOU ever aerated your wine, whilst pouring it into a globe?

1. Red wines, not white wines, come from red grapes that have reservatol in their skin, and hence red wine only has the anti-aging effects, not all wines.

2. Wines become sweeter after you “Gently Swiiiiiiish” them. I have never liked a deep red wine, one that was more sultry let’s say instead of sweet. But when she handed the cabernet sauvignon over after it was aerated and then swished. Magical. Like velvet on the tongue, and amazing with chocolate dipped strawberries. Any wine, after being swished and hence aerated, becomes vividly sweeter and smoother to the taste. I’ve never considered myself to be a psychic but I certainly foresee future date nights to come..

But to think, most Americans only believe people swirl their wine as a cultural influence, more of a “ah James, Lady Gilmore needs more of her merlot, chop chop!”, as she effortlessly fondles the swishing glass in jeweled hand nestled in the parlor. No, the 99% can swish too! This swish is actually of importance, and in doing so, gives one a more pleasant and overall preferable wine tasting experience.

3.  Using a decanter will aerate more wine and to a better extent. It shouldn’t take more than an hour or so, depending on the wine, with the more bolder red wines taking more time.  Ever seen a decanter?  It looks like a oblong shaped glass beaker (shown in the picture at the right)….if only all of my past science experiences involved wine! There are also bigger wine glasses, or goblet shaped glasses, to better aerate a glass of wine.

4. Wine “aromas”, one must note, not flavors, are just that. What we smell. One man in the group declared Moscato to smell like pungent feet. Likely not the smell most people receive after smelling Moscato but to each their own. I, being a wine beginner to say, always thought it was weird some dark red wines had flavors of oak, leather, smoke. Who would want to taste leather? Not I, and I don’t smoke so that wouldn’t sound appealing. But after the wine tasting, my intellect was heightened. The ‘flavors’, or aromas as they are officially termed, are not added into the fermentation process or the wines themselves because they are already in the grapes before the fermentation begins. Confused? We were. Do they add vanilla extract to the water of the grape vines or something to make that vanilla aroma? Certainly not. What actually makes the difference in the aromas and tastes is the location of harvest, season harvested, and type of grape. The weather can even effect the taste. So maybe it’s not vanilla extract, but it’s still peculiar how the amount of rain or the elevation of the hill the grape vines are harvested can play such a role. Not to mention how many types of grapes there actually are. Every ‘type’ of wine, say Merlot, Pinot Grigio, etc. is not only a name of wine, but a specific type of grape. Makes sense right?

The wine tasting was a complete success, though due to the high prices we did not end up purchasing one of the lovely bottles they had to offer. We were able to however mingle for quite some time with the lovely group members there to meet, and found out about some great places in Columbia to check out. For instance, there’s an “Underground Columbia.” Sounds secretive, yes? If only I was Nancy Drew, I’d have found the next clue!  There’s also many downtown restaurants that are, as termed, hole in the walls, with marvelous food. Such as a restaurant called, The Wig, that Eric and I had seen previously but had believed to be a wig shop, instead of a taco joint with the best Taco Tuesdays in town.

It’s never boring what you find after conversing over a glass of wine. After all, when wine sinks, words swim.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Eric Stephenson
    Jul 15, 2012 @ 03:10:54

    That was so informative! Now…OFF TO GET WINE!


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