As much as I’d love to eloquently describe every note, aroma, flavor and intricacy while tasting wine, I’m just not very good at it. Part of it may stem from growing up a picky eater so my frame of reference for certain flavors is limited. And I’m OK with that. I can still enjoy the wine and discover new flavors, even if I can’t identify every nuance.
But what I can do is talk about wine’s tannins, the body, its brightness or acidity. I can easily designate if something is fruit forward, jammy, earthy, dry or sweet. I’ve done a pretty good job in the past at identifying wines my friends will enjoy. And while I have yet to dive into the world of food pairings, I can very easily pair a wine with the mood or occasion (and I’m not just talking bubbles for celebrations.) However, my confidence is still in its infancy. I still worry anytime I’m asked to choose a wine for the table, or I open one of my favorite bottles at home and pour a glass for a friend. Wine is such a personal taste, and can be influenced by so many different things happening in that moment.
In a few weeks, I’m taking a blind tasting class in hopes that it will help provide me with some greater definitions. I’m really excited, and hope by doing so, when I decide to drop off a wine note or two, I can better communicate why I’m so amazed, or disappointed with a particular wine. In turn, maybe it will help me understand my own tastes and preferences a little more.
Last night for example, it was wonderful to be able to not even look at the wine list, and tell the waitress exactly what I was craving (It was warm out, but I wanted a red – something light, but flavorful, something bone dry but with spice and structure and a finish that didn’t fall flat – not once did I suggest a particular fruit or flavor). The wine that arrived was perfect.
So if you’re looking forward to some detailed reviews on particular wines from me, chances are you’re not going to read the most brilliantly written note. But what i will do – as I posted last night – is attempt to tell you why I may have enjoyed that wine, what made it interesting, or how it may have enhanced the mood.