I just arrived from Paris yesterday. It was an interesting trip and you’ll sure hear more about it soon. At first I want to share my first professional wine tasting experience. It was on Tuesday 5th of April in Paris. The company hosting it was called “Wine Tasting in Paris”.
Both the host and the group of ten of us were all great. For my surprise there was only 3 Europeans and the rest were from USA. The host was French man who knew a lot about wines and had an amazing presentation.
The wine tasting was about two hours and included history, wine areas and general information about French wine, basics of tasting wine, blind smelling of different aromas that can be found from wine and of course tasting six (plus one) different French wines. In addition we went through different winemaking processes for different wines.
I learned a lot about wine and I can recommend this kind of experience! Just make sure you’re choosing a good one. We used Tripadvisor website to find reviews and choose the best of Paris region. It was definitely worth it!
INTERESTING THINGS I LEARNED…
– Colors and tannins of wine come from skins of grapes
– In wine making process wines are tasted after (and during) every step
– Good wine comes from poor soil (not too much minerals, etc.)
– The most expensive wine is Romane Conti, there is a waitlist of 7 years and the bottle has to be bought with 11 other not too good wines, one bottle can cost thousands
– Lighter wines are good to be drank itself
– Full-bodied wines should be paired with food
… About Champagne:
– You can only call it champagne if it’s made in champagne method in specific area of France, otherwise it’s just sparkling wine
– Champagne is usually a mix of best grapes from different years, that’s why there is usually no year shown
– Year can only be shown if 1) The year was a great year for grapes, then champagne is called vintage (less than 5% of all champagnes) or 2) it’s made of only one kind of grapes from one year (Blanc de blanc)
– Climate affects on taste and quality. Different year is best for different grapes
– Factors affecting to the price of champagne: marketing, winery, wine yards, year…
– The process of making champagne is long and specific. It for example includes two fermentations, of which the second fermentation is from 15months to 10 years
– Of all champagnes about 85% are brut (dry) because less sugar is trendy nowadays
– Cava (Spain) and champagne similar process, Procecco in Italy made in bigger tanks (2. Ferm)
… About Whites & Reds:
How to taste them:
“Legs of wine” amount of alcohol (or sugar)
– Moving & 1st sniff: primary aromas
– 2nd sniff after swirling: secondary aromas
– Aroma families (some from grapes, some from the process and some from aging)
– Recognizing aromas exercise is a good way to learn more!
– Circulate wine in mouth (different parts of tongue are sensitive to different flavors)
– Balanced or not
THE WINES WE TASTED:
– Super good one, if you like brut champagnes (/sparklings) you should try this
- White: Loire Valley: Sancerre from Domaine Bizet, 2014 (Sancerre is always made of 100% Sauvignon Blanc)
– Acidic, a bit bitter and light white. I liked this, good to drink itself or paired
– round and rich chardonnay with cheesy, buttery flavour that could easily be paired with rich fish, creamy sauces or cheese. Not my favorite but okay.
– Super dedicate and complex wine. Has an interesting combination of different tastes from fruits via earthy to spices. Best red wine I have tried so far!
– Very strong tasting red filled with tannins. Should definitely be paired with something strong tasting such as grilled meat, pepper sauce or chocolate.
– Rich, full-bodied wine with a long finish. High in alcohol, so you can feel the heat. Good red wine to be paired with food such as grilled meat, lamb, strong cheese or chocolate.
Ps. There will be more wine related posts during next couple weeks. Those will always be on Thursdays. Make sure you follow if you’re interested! There will be tips and basics and also this kind of experiences and some recommendations. Stay tuned! 🙂