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2019 Wine Goals: Now THESE are Resolutions I can Keep!

In addition to being timely – which I still clearly need to work on – I made several resolutions for 2019. Not surprisingly, many are wine related. And while these might be more enjoyable to accomplish than my other annual goals (such as running “x” miles by year end, eating more greens, and limiting my screen time) they are by no means a slam dunk.

Find more daily drinkers. I want to find more (enjoyable!) wines in the $20 and under range.  So, this means purchasing less Champagne, Oregon Pinot and Northern Rhône Syrah – and more from undervalued wine regions like the Loire Valley, Chile and Portugal. It also means exploring some obscure varietals that don’t command the prices of many popular, international varieties – so hello Pinotage, Zweigelt, and Godello!

rosso di montalcinoA producer’s entry level or a region’s “second wine” can also be great daily drinker values.  I recently had a Rosso di Montalcino – considered to be the first example of a “second wine” concept in Italy.  The Rosso di Montalcino zone of production is exactly the same as the more prestigious Brunello di Montalcino.  However, Rosso di Montalcino is released earlier – so these wines are more fruit forward, easygoing and approachable than Brunello.  There is also no mandatory oak aging requirement and the price tag is usually much lower.  This one was full of floral and bright red fruit aromas, paired deliciously with lasagna and was under $20.

Stop waiting for special occasions to open up the good stuff! While I don’t have too many “daily drinkers” in my collection at the moment, I do have a number of bottles that I feel warrant some type of major event in order to justify opening them.  By no means am I bottle-bragging – I’ll never have that type of cellar – but bottles like Gramercy Reserve Cabernets and Syrahs, Quilceda Creek, Tignanello, Sassicaia, and wines from our travels to the Rhône and Burgundy have a more special place in my heart.  Oh yeah, and I would probably add to that list the Pol Roger ‘Winston Churchill’ that I might have just ordered.

These wines aren’t something I usually open on a Tuesday night to pair with my comfort food dishes . . . but – why not? Why not make a mundane Tuesday eve (sorry Tuesdays, I honestly don’t mean to pick on you) a little less so? What exactly am I waiting for?  I plan to change this in the coming year and open some of these “special occasion” wines when it is in fact NOT a special occasion.  Because as Maya said to Miles in the movie Sideways: the day you open a ‘61 Cheval Blanc… that’s the special occasion.

Keep up the Studying.  As I’ve said before, I’m not pursuing wine certifications so that I can end up having an alphabet soup of letters after my name.  I simply love learning about wine and am more disciplined about it if I have some structure .  Otherwise, I tend to dive deep into a series of rabbit holes that I struggle to get out of – such as trying to figure out the 65 soil types of the Ancient Lakes AVA and who are the 80+ owners of Vougeot.  You know, important need-to-know shit.

wset logo
I love that the WSET logo is a female!

In 2019, I’m hoping to obtain my Italian Wine Scholar certification (results expected in February!), get through at least 4 of the 6 Units of the WSET Diploma, and perhaps pursue another Wine Scholar Guild Master Level Course.  I’m leaning towards their Bordeaux course since this region is quickly replacing Italy as my “Achilles’ heel.” (Sidenote: I know that I will be afflicted with this “ailment” throughout my entire wine studying life . . . which is one of the reasons I love doing what I do.  There will ALWAYS be something to learn!)

Improve my tasting notes.  I think of this goal as kind of a “mindful drinking” type of thing. Basically, I need to pay more attention to what’s in my glass.  Sitting down and focusing on a wine’s aromas, structure, and quality helps immensely with the whole study process.  And as I continue to pursue the WSET Diploma, I should get to the level where I’m able to write a tasting note that meets an examiner’s criteria in my sleep.

I’m not a huge fan of publishing tasting notes – I think they’re boring and ubiquitous, so I won’t be doing that (did I just hear a collective sigh of relief?).  But I do have a beautiful tasting notebook for me to keep track of my thoughts.  I just need to bring it out more often – at least a couple times a week.

tasting notebooks
My tasting notebooks over the years

Have FUN with wine.  If I allow it to, studying wine can dominate my life.  It’s currently the focus of my school, upcoming travels, and honestly, quite a bit of my social activity.  I don’t want to get so caught up in the study of wine that I forget to enjoy it. Sometimes, I need to just have a glass and drink it – not analyze it (fortunately, this is Hubs’ strong suit!).

So on THAT note, I’m going to sign off, finish that daily drinker bottle of Rosso di Montalcino and binge watch last season’s Better Call Saul!

Cheers to a delicious 2019!!

 

 

 

 

My Wine “Best Of” 2018 – With Nary a Bottle in Sight

As 2018 comes to an end, many wine enthusiasts/geeks/bloggers put together their “Top Bottles I Drank this Year” lists.  While I do enjoy reading these posts, when I personally think back to my year in wine what comes to mind first isn’t the bottles that I drank, but my wine experiences: the places I’ve traveled, people I’ve met, events I’ve attended.  To me, these are more memorable then the wine I’ve consumed – and that includes the (purported) DRC.  I suppose this train of thought is keeping in line with me attributing my wine “a-ha” moment to a person as opposed to a bottle. 🙂

So without further ado, and in no particular order, here are my top 10 wine experiences of 2018:

My First Sabrage.  This “top moment” wasn’t so much about the actual sabering itself, but the fact that it occurred at my work goodbye party just before moving down to Southern California.  I’d been an employee of Capri Cellars for almost four years – it was my first job in the wine industry and will always hold a special place in my heart.  As a going away present, the owner and staff gave me a gorgeous saber and a bottle of Blanquette de Limoux (a sign perhaps?) to try it out on.  For my first attempt – I think I did quite well!

Starting the WSET Diploma.  Shortly after moving down to Southern California, I started my WSET Diploma studies at Neptune School of Wine.  (Oddly enough, even if we hadn’t moved here I was still planning on taking my classes at Neptune since there wasn’t anywhere in the Pacific Northwest that taught Diploma).  Over the past several months, I feel like I’ve become exponentially more well versed in Viticulture, Winemaking and Sparkling Wines having taken and passed Unit 2 (with distinction) and taken (and hopefully passed!) Unit 5.  I’ve likely got a couple more years before completing the entire program, and after that . . . who knows?

Joining The Vintner Project.  I discovered The Vintner Project (TVP) after seeing their post highlighting a winemaking couple in my hometown.  It’s not too often that something crosses my Instagram feed with the hashtag #Richland, so needless to say I was intrigued.  The goal of TVP is to focus on the stories and people behind the wine as opposed to scores or ubiquitous tasting notes.  Since these are the types of stories that I’d like to focus on myself, in May I joined The Vintner Project as a contributing writer.

Meeting Online Wine Peeps – In Person.  This was definitely a highlight of 2018 – and one I hope to add more names to in 2019!  I met several online wine people face-to-face this year, but two in particular stand out for me:

I followed Winetravel on Instagram for quite awhile before realizing that she lived in Orange County (where I was moving to) and was originally from my beloved Washington state (where I was moving from).  Since relocating, we’ve gotten together several times and have become fast friends – bonding over wine and travel (her online name obviously suits her).  We live close enough to one another that I could probably walk to her house in an hour . . . less if I knew she was opening a bottle of wine from her recent trip to Italy.

I can’t recall the first time I came across Spitbucket – it might’ve been the “60 Second Wine Review” she did on one of my favorite Washington wines: Gramercy Cellars’ Picpoul.  In any case, we discovered that we’d both been students at Northwest Wine Academy, and although we knew many of the same people, our paths hadn’t crossed yet.  I finally met her at the Wine Bloggers Conference in October and immediately knew we were members of the same wine tribe – she is equally as passionate and geeky about wine as I am!  Even though we’re not within walking distance, I’m hoping that our paths continue to cross – because she’s pretty damn awesome.

Buty WineryAuction of Washington Wines.  You know that feeling when you come home for Christmas break after your first year away at college?  That’s how I felt attending the Auction of Washington Wines this year four months after moving to California.  I ran into so many familiar faces: my old neighbors, Capri Cellars customers, people Hubs used to work with, my favorite wine photographer, and a couple that I see annually at this event – where we usually end up competing for the same wines!  This year was no different – we all fell in love with a new release from Buty Winery: Rockgarden Estate Grenache.  I left the evening one of the winning bidders on a case of this lovely wine – as did my favorite competing couple.  Who says you can’t go home again?

Trip to the Finger Lakes.  I’d heard a lot about the Finger Lakes wine region (also known as FLX) over the past few years, so I was excited to visit this past summer.  And who better to go with then my Best Galfriend with whom I could have fun in a cardboard box with.  Now, I’m not equating FLX with a cardboard box – but it IS rural (and I’m FROM rural).  So if you’re thinking you’ll catch an Uber to scoot out to dinner – learn from our mistake, and think again.  Nonetheless, the region’s reputation for delicious Rieslings is well founded – FLX is absolutely knocking it out of the park with this variety.  Hubs and I have already plowed through every bottle that I brought home.

Linus and IWSPassing the Italian Wine Scholar Exam – Part 1.  After months of studying, with some major time-outs for moving and WSET, I finally took and passed the first part of my Italian Wine Scholar exam.  For Part 2 (Central & Southern Italy), I’m doing a weekend intensive class next month in Portland (taught by two of my favorite wine instructors!) and am scheduled to take the exam in early February.  Although Italian wines will always be more challenging for me to wrap my brain and palate around than French wines, I’ve learned a ton through this program.  And more importantly, I have a better appreciation for Italian wine.

Becoming a San Diego Chevalier.  Shortly before we moved, I joined the Seattle chapter of La Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin.  This was a fun bunch of Burgundy wine lovers and I was disappointed to be leaving them before I really had a chance to experience what the group had to offer.  Fortunately, I connected with (and joined!) the San Diego Chevaliers chapter and attended a fantastic Paulée earlier this year with my 1998 Vosne-Romanée in tow.  The next Chevaliers event is in a couple of months (it’s white tie – don’t tell Hubs or he’ll find an excuse not to come with me!) so I’ll be sure to post how that event goes.  And maybe with pictures this time. 😉

Learning From a Master of Wine.  It’s often said that in order to become better at something, you need to practice with, and learn from, someone who is much better at that “something” than you are.  A few months ago, I signed up for a series of blind tasting classes with Lindsay Pomeroy – a Master of Wine in San Diego.  In the short amount of time I’ve spent with her, I have learned so much more than I could have studying on my own with my nose in a book (or a glass).  She’s easygoing and friendly, but challenging. After I told her I was studying for the Diploma, she had higher expectations of me in her classes and would put me on the spot more often.  Which is good – because I usually don’t push myself outside of my comfort zone.  She’s giving me a level of confidence that I didn’t have before.

WBC remnantsAttending the Wine Bloggers Conference.  I know I said above that my Top 10 were in no particular order, but the Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla was definitely my wine highlight this year.  It was my first year attending and it was incredible to be surrounded by so many other wine writing enthusiasts – especially in a wine region located just an hour away from where I grew up.  Bonus:  Hubs attended the entire conference with me and provided our wine “quote of the year”.

Next year’s location isn’t quite as close – the conference will be held in Hunter Valley, Australia.  However, it’s recently come to my attention (thanks Hubs!) that this can be my birthday present if I’d like it to be . . . and I think I might go for it. 🙂  And if I do, I have no doubt it will be at the top of my 2019 list!

The Vintner Project Article – Vincent Carême: A Champion for Chenin

I recently had the opportunity to write another piece for The Vintner Project – a collaborative effort of wine writers from around the world who focus on the stories of wineries, and the people behind them.

As mentioned in my previous post about Chenin Blanc, winemakers Vincent and Tania Carême are incredibly passionate about this grape – splitting time between their estates in the Loire Valley and South Africa . . . which basically means working year-round!

Vincent Carême: A Champion for Chenin

Please click through the link above to read the article at The Vintner Project and learn more about the Carêmes as well as the many differences between their two chosen growing regions.  Hopefully, some of their enthusiasm for Chenin Blanc will rub off on you . . . I know it did for me!

Tania and Vincent

The Downside of Living with a Perpetual Wine Student (by Hubs)

In college I worked in a sorority house as a dishwasher.  In the rare instance that I relay this tidbit of information about my past to someone, without fail they cast a knowing smile, arch an eyebrow, and say something to the effect of “well, that must have been a tough job.”   You know what – it was.   There was absolutely zero Red Shoes Diaries component to my three hour daily shift of cleaning dishes for 100 girls while standing in what was lovingly referred to as “The Pit.”

Over the past few years I’ve once again become the recipient of that same sly reaction – only this time it happens when I tell people that my wife is a wine student.  While I admit it’s better than operating The Pit, there are some legitimate gripes to spending your life with someone who has chosen this particular academic pursuit.

#1 – The Bottles.   Sweet Jesus…they…are…everywhere.   We are now on our fourth wine refrigerator and the bottles just keep stacking up.   It’s like trying to stop springtime. I’ve found them stashed in closets, file drawers, desks, packing boxes, garageIMG_9783[284] cabinets, etc.  I think she has a problem.  Like a wine hoarder or some other  rare affliction we’re going to have to address with an intervention at some point.

This may sound trite – bottles are relatively small and stack easily.  Right?  Well, here’s a snapshot from move-in day to our new house.  To be clear, this is a small house, so you’re looking at approximately 25% of the total square footage.   You know it’s become a problem when the UPS guy is passing judgment!

#2 – Knowledge by Association.  I know very little about wine (true story).   Perhaps slightly more than the average person as a result of being married to a vinophile, but honestly – not much more.  Nonetheless, whenever I’m out with friends or co-workers and the wine list is presented they always give it to me because of Noelle.   Now, there’s really only two ways I can go here:  bullshit my way through it, or try to convince my dining mates that I have no idea what I’m doing.   I’m a guy, so I obviously choose bullshit every time.

Gramercy PicpoulHowever, once you choose bullshit you have to be totally committed to the bullshit process.   Last month I ordered a Picpoul at Gramercy Tavern in New York.  Do I know anything about Picpoul?  Absolutely not.  Do I know it exists only because of Noelle?  You betcha.  It’s kind of like saying Yellow Ledbetter is your favorite Pearl Jam song – everyone is going to pick Jeremy, so you have to pick a deep track in order to try and impress.

Now, when you try to the bullshit the Somm you’re going to get your test results back immediately.   She or he is going to think (but not say) either: “Wow, Picpoul?  Well I read this dude all wrong, that’s a great choice – clearly he knows his wine.” or “This guy has absolutely no fucking clue what he is talking about.  None.  I could serve him apple cider vinegar in a thimble and he wouldn’t say a word.”   My results?   Winner!!  The Somm was incredibly impressed by my choice and we excitedly discussed what paired best with Picpoul with my admiring table guests looking on!  (Of course, I bullshitted my way through that conversation as well.)  Look, it’s a 50/50 proposition at best when they hand you the wine list, but you have to go for it when Noelle isn’t in attendance.

#3 – The Interrogation.   While watching a movie with some friends recently, I asked Noelle to open – and I’m quoting here – “a bottle of white wine.”   What followed was a thirty minute interrogation that made the bar exam look like a true/false question on the back of a cereal box: What alcohol level?   Old world or new world?   Zippy?  Passion fruit?  What are you guys going to eat with it?  Is a little residual sugar ok?   My answer was: I don’t care!!  Any bottle of white will do.  Literally – any bottle.

And so it goes.  Every single time I open a bottle in our house I’m forced to render a dissertation on Spain’s climate in 2012, why French oak is vastly superior (or is it vastly inferior?),  AVA controversies of the late 1990’s, etc.   Want to know why I chose this particular bottle?  It was the first one I saw when I opened the door to the wine refrigerator.  You want real blasphemy?  I didn’t even look at the goddamn label!  Chardonnay?   Pinot Gris?   No idea – don’t care.  It’s wet and white, so both boxes are checked in order to pair it with this horrific Velveeta grilled cheese on stale bread I’m currently choking down.

At this point I should be clear that the upside to living with a perpetual wine student far outweighs these pedantic observations.  And for the sake of my marriage, I should further say that living with Noelle specifically does the same.   However, the next time someone asks me what my wife does for a living, I may consider telling them her prior career “tax lawyer” in order to avoid what inevitably follows.  Of course, if I do that I just know I’ll get a tax question about the deductibility of insurance premiums or some other scintillating inquiry.   Screw it – I choose wine student.

WSET Diploma Unit 5: That’s a Wrap on Bubbly

Earlier this month I took my second exam in my WSET Diploma pursuit – Sparkling Wines of the World. Now that I’m well past the 48 hour restriction on discussing the exam “using social media or otherwise”, and WSET has actually published the questions asked and revealed the wines poured blind, I think I’m safe to write about my thoughts on Unit 5.

Unit 5 study table

A brief aside before I get started:  On exam day several people (4 or 5) just didn’t show up.  Our instructor waited a few minutes past the 12:30 start time, but no word.  Did they get the time wrong?  Change their mind at the last minute?  Whatever the reason – it’s odd to go that far, pay the course & exam fee, and then not show.  Reminds me of when Hubs took the bar exam 20 years ago and a guy sat down next to him with all his testing materials and asked “how long do we have to take this test?” He then left his stuff at the table next to Hubs, said he was going to the restroom before the start of the exam – and never came back.  We still wonder what the hell happened to that dude.  He’s probably in Congress.

Anyhoo, back to the WSET exam – we were given an hour and five minutes to do both sections: tasting and theory.  We could tackle them in either order, so I opted to do the tasting first – thinking that this would take me less time to get through, therefore leaving me longer for the theory section.  Well, to quote the sage wisdom of former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson: “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

UNIT 5 – TASTING.

The three wines were bagged up and each student was responsible for pouring into his or her own glasses.  (I’m curious as to the reasoning for this . . . maybe so we can’t claim the instructor mixed up the wines?  So we can pour as much or as little as we want?  Any thoughts on this?)  In any case, when wine #2 was poured, and it was red – I think that threw off a lot of students.  I know it threw ME off.  You just don’t expect to get a sparkling red on the exam.

We weren’t required to specifically identify the wines, but rather discuss possible grape varieties and an assessment of quality.  Surprisingly, we also weren’t asked to write about possible production methods.  These were the three wines on my the exam (posted recently on the WSET website):

Wine 1: Prosecco Superiore Extra Dry NV
Wine 2: Barossa Valley 2012 Sparkling Shiraz
Wine 3: Roederer Quartet NV (Note to self: find this wine – it was delicious!)

After seeing the official reveal of the wines, I feel pretty confident about the tasting portion of the exam.  My notes match up fairly well with the wines above, so I don’t believe I missed anything obvious.  However, I got so wrapped up in writing slowly and legibly and nailing my aromas (was this ripe pear?  Or more of a baked pear?) that I took longer on the tasting then I planned – and then panic started to set in . . .

UNIT 5 – THEORY.

Before starting the tasting portion of the exam, I took a quick peek at the questions for theory – just to make sure there wasn’t anything completely wackadoodle.  When I saw the three topics: Transfer Method, Climate and Weather in Champagne, and Limoux, I relaxed a bit.  I could at least answer each of those with some semblance of intellect.

Unit 5 handwriting

But after spending too much time on tasting, I felt rushed when I started in on theory.  I got nervous about time constraints and then my hand started shaking (I’m not kidding).  This made my handwriting worse than normal – which on a good day is barely legible (see example at left).  At one point, my pencil lead broke four times and I just about lost my shit.

Post-exam, other students lamented about their handwriting too, so at least I’m not alone in hoping that the examiners are able to decipher my essays.  Seriously though – who the hell handwrites these days?!

There’s no point in stewing about this over the next three months.  The exam is done and over with and there’s nothing I can do about it now – except think about how I’ll take what I learned from this Unit and apply it to my next one.

So, to piggyback off my Unit 2 “Dos and Don’ts” here are a few more:

DO use a variety of study materials.  For Unit 5 I continued to use my trusty Outlines (of course) as well as flashcards – which were particularly handy when I was on the road or running.  Going over the finer points of Champagne trade structures definitely helped take my mind off my aching legs.

Unit 5 study topics
My “practice exam” topics – you’ve got 30 minutes: GO!

I also incorporated practice exams for this round of studying – I highly recommend doing this!  A few weeks prior to the exam I made a list of all the topics that I thought could be asked – everything from various pressing methods to Pol Roger to Chilean sparklers.  I put them in our oversized Gonzaga cup (Go Zags!!), had Hubs draw out three, and then I’d write a brief essay on each for 30 minutes.  This helped me get used to writing for a longer period of time as well as get over that immediate mind blank when you see the subject matter you’re supposed to write on:  “Cava?!  WTF is Cava?” (Or am I the only one that this happens to?)

DO budget your time.  Aim to spend no more than 10 minutes per wine or question on the exam.  Each theory question is weighted equally, so it doesn’t make sense to write a lengthy diatribe on one and only a few sentences on another.  Bring a watch in case the room you’re in doesn’t have a clock.  And you won’t be able to use the clock on your phone.

DO make yourself a roadmap. Before writing out my answers to the theory questions, I sketched out my thoughts on a scratch piece of paper.  So instead of jumping right into writing about the Transfer Method – I essentially recreated a very general outline on it: what it was, how it’s different from Traditional Method, where it’s used, what are the pros and cons of it, etc.  This gave me a roadmap to follow when writing out my answer and helped me stay on track.  In reviewing past WSET Diploma exams, one big issue I’ve noticed is that candidates fail to actually answer the question asked.  Making a roadmap helps prevent detours that will only take up precious time and won’t get you any credit.

and finally . . . DON’T PANIC.  Take some deep breaths.  Sip some water (another DO: bring your own water!)  If you’re not getting any aromas from a wine, don’t keep sniffing and swirling – just move on and come back to it later.  If you don’t know where to start with a theory question, try to at least answer the basics: what is it, where is it, how is it made, etc.

After finishing Unit 5 I asked myself – would I study any differently? And I honestly don’t think I would. Even though a LOT of what I studied wasn’t even on the exam: no producers, hardly anything on Italy (other than wine #1 being Prosecco), no Spain or Germany, and besides wines 2 & 3 – nada from the New World. However, you never know what you’re going to get asked on these exams – so I’m glad I was prepared for anything. Bottom line: learning shouldn’t be just about passing the exam (says the girl who broke four pencils taking said exam).

And just in case you get Limoux as one of your theory questions too 😉  . . . here’s the outline.

 

Vosne Romanee: It Hurt Just a Little

Anyone who has read Bianca Bosker’s “Cork Dork” is undoubtedly familiar with La Paulée.  Or at least, the New York City version of it.  Bosker dedicates almost an entire chapter in her book to “The Orgy” – the nickname she gives to Paulée.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m a member of the La Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin (aka, the “Chevaliers”), and thus far have attended a grand total of two Paulée.  However, neither have reached anywhere near the level of debauchery that she describes – whether this is fortunate or unfortunate, my jury is still out.

Chevaliers initiation
September 2017 at the Seattle Chevaliers induction dinner

After moving earlier this year, I looked into transferring from the Seattle Chevaliers to a local Southern California chapter.  And luckily, I found a wonderful group not too far from where we lived.

The first SoCal Chevaliers event I attended was Paulée, which I attended solo as Hubs was out of town.  Paulée was traditionally a celebration in Burgundy where Cistercian monks invited their vineyard laborers to a banquet event to culminate the end of harvest.  The modern day Chevaliers’ version is a grand dinner party where guests bring a bottle (or two) from their cellars to share with other members.  Both Paulée I have attended have been hosted in beautiful stately homes, served with delicious Burgundian-inspired cuisine and fabulous once-in-a-lifetime bottles of wine.

As Bosker says in her book: “The golden rule of La Paulée was bring the best you can bring. Whether you’re a hedge fund CEO or an unemployed journalist, it should hurt just a little.”  I’m not going to disclose the amount spent on my bottle for Paulée, mainly because it would be in poor taste.  But also because Hubs edits my posts. 😉  Suffice it to say, it did hurt a little.

My wine was a 1998 Domaine Méo Camuzet Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru ‘Aux Brulées’.  Purchasing a grand cru probably would’ve meant Hubs leaving me, so I opted for premier cru instead – but made sure it was from a top producer.  Plus, founder Étienne Camuzet previously owned the Château du Clos de Vougeot – and was responsible for getting it into the hands of the Confrérie – so that was a fun bit of trivia to share along with the wine.  While my bottle was far from being the most prestigious at Paulée, I am pleased to report that I at least held my own.

Vosne Romanee map

Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos of the extraordinary bottles at  Paulée.  Not because I didn’t want to (believe me!) – but because nobody else did.  And I certainly wasn’t going to be “that person” – especially at my first event at the new chapter.  I do wonder about this though . . . are the other members not as impressed with these wines as I am? Is drinking Corton-Charlemagne a regular occurrence for them? Or, since most of the attendees were of a different generation than me, do they just not have the incessant need to document every single wine that they drink on social media?  I’m guessing its the latter.  And there’s something to be said for that.

 

 

A lack of accompanying photographs notwithstanding, here are some of the highlight bottles from the event…

1990 Joseph Drouhin Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru ‘Les Amoureuses’.  This was served in a magnum and was simply gorgeous in all its gossamer goodness.

1966 Nuits-Saint-Georges – from a producer I was unfamiliar with and now cannot remember. :-/   This reminds me of a quote from Bosker’s book when she refers to her evening at Paulée: “I tasted my favorite wine of the night and I had no idea what it was.” Lesson learned for me though, next time I’ll rush to the loo and write the name down.

1972 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée-Conti.  This wine would cross off two Biggies on my wine bucket list: a DRC itself, and my first birthyear wine. I say “would” cross off because even though I had a small glass of this wine at Paulée- I’m conflicted because the bottle was missing its label.

Now, I’m absolutely certain that the member who purchased it did so at a reputable auction.  Because after master counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan – due diligence has to increase exponentially when it comes to these wines.  Since I’ve never had DRC, I have nothing to compare this wine to, but it truly was beautiful. Layered, complex, earthy and still lively (us ’72s are still kicking!)

However . . . I’m a bit cynical.  And a wine professing to be DRC, but without a label, gives me pause.  So, I’m leaving these boxes on my wine bucket list unchecked.  I’ll get to them someday – even though I know when I do, it will hurt A LOT. 😉

(For those interested – I just put up my outline on Vosne-Romanée. Mind you, this is broad overview of the area. Entire books have been dedicated to this village if you’d like something more in depth).