Friday, April 18, 2008

Wine Tasting Aboard the Queen Victoria

Wine tasting seminars with Chief Sommelier Michael Standen are pretty sweet. First of all, you get to sample six different wines and pair them with nibbles like fruit, cheese & meat. He’ll also arm you with an informative booklet featuring wine aroma and mouth-feel wheels to help you hone your sense of smell and taste. But admittedly, the wheels are also useful for crafting pretentious phrases like “I detect vegetative notes of cut grass.” The buzz words you learn in this seminar (terroir, palate, tannins) while useful for wine tasting, can alternatively be used to pick-up women or also, to impress your boss at company dinners.

We sampled Champagne, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Chateuneuf-du-Pape, Pinotage and a Bordeux Blend. My favorite was the 2004 Chateau Mont-Redon Chateauneuf-du-Pape that smells of black currant and pepper. (See how good I’m getting with my wine aroma wheel? Ha.) I can just imagine pairing it with some lamb, stew or even ribs. But even if you just pop it open with some cheddar cheese and crackers, like I’m apt to do on a Friday evening, it’d still be delish.

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