This group of wine bibbers I’ve fallen in with is serious about wine and very knowledgeable. Yikes! I like wine — it’s fun and the more I know, the more I like — and also the more I can appreciate my choices. But I am blown away and chagrined by what I don’t know!
A few years ago I took three wine courses — two here at the university (UNLV) and one at the (then) Community College. Of the three, the Community College was more in-depth. The first two were fun and interesting and I learned a lot. The third one was scholarly and sort of a prep for the Court of Master Sommeliers test which I never got around to taking.
So last Saturday I joined 25 other people at a beautiful home in Northwest Las Vegas for a blind tasting. We tasted 12 wines side-by-side over the course of 3 hours, and they were each paired with the perfect food.
The Chardonnays with which we started were paired with harvest salad — a delicous lightly dressed salad with baby spinach, nuts and dried cranberries. I lapped up every scrap and had to admit that the second Chardonnay — the Miner Wild Yeast Chardonnay — complimented it very nicely. This wine is fermented using only indigenous or “wild” yeast cultures found on the grapes themselves, hence the name.
The next wine sounds like it should be sweet. It was an Italian Dolcetto. It wasn’t. Both the wines were tart with high tannins. The tasting notes explain that it’s called “Dolcetto” (little sweet one) due to its tendency to ripen early and it’s relatively low acidity.