Last night I went to a wine tasting. Such is the state of where I live that the wine tasting was held at the supermarket. Now before you get all snotty and superior, let me tell you that this particular Raley's is a ginormous market with its very own drugstore, post office, and organic/natural foods department. (It is the latter that actually, I believe, spelled doom to the Elk Grove Natural Food Co-op. It is so much more convenient if you can buy your organic produce and your Twinkies at the same place, isn't it.)
The wine tastings are from 5:30 to 7:30. I got there at 5. Not that I was eager for the wine, but more than I had to get out of the house (the night before I went to see Shrek, but that is another story). I bought myself some sushi and the latest issue of US magazine and settled down at a table to nourish my mind and my body. I was only half way through my tuna and a few pages into US when the tasting began.
The wines were Kendall-Jackson. I have no idea whether that is good or not, because I know jack about wines. Which is why I went to the wine tasting in the first place. I want to learn about wines. I want to develop a palate. I want to see if I have a palate in the first place. Thus, I am putting myself forward at every opportunity as a wine weenie, and asking--nay, begging--for help.
Last night that help came in the form of a cheat sheet the winery had at the ready, spelling out in black and white exactly what notes and tones and other foo-fah descriptors ascribed to the particular wine. The first wine I tasted was a Syrah, "heavy-bodied and chewy with black cherry, currant, jammy, spice and tobacco tones." It tasted nice. I liked it.
The second wine I had was the Merlot, "medium-to-heavy-bodied, smooth-finishing with black cherry, plum, raspberry and chocolate notes." It was not so nice. I didn't like it much. It made my mouth pucker at the end.
The third wine was a Zinfandel, "medium-to heavy-bodied with blackberry, raspberry, black pepper and smoke tones with a spicy finish." I got the smoke tones. I think.
Then I had another Syrah, to see how it compared after the Merlot and Zin, but this time it didn't seem so nice. I didn't like it. Perhaps it's a one-glass wine, you know, like a one-date guy. Or maybe one isn't supposed to be mixing all those wines at one sitting. But then, why would they have wine tastings in the first place???
Then I moved to the whites. There were two chardonnays, one by K-J, and the other by an all female winery. No cheat sheets accompanied these, but--hallelujah!--I could taste the fruit in the KJ chardonnay. Peaches, I think. Or maybe apricot. I've never been a white wine person, but maybe I secretly am. Perhaps my palate is a white wine palate. The other chardonnay, what I refer to as the feminist chardonnay (LaCrema, I think) was not, I regret to tell you so nice. I got no notes or tones, just a massive mouth pucker. That made me sad, as I so wanted to be supportive.
Then I went home. With a nice buzz on.