I bear no responsibility for the contents of this post. For my brother’s graduation gift, I’m giving him a wine tasting, and we’re going to transcribe the tasting. Since he HAS to make me play the straight man to his shenanigans, be prepared for an… unusual tasting.
Cast of Characters:
Josh – Heroic host of Wine(Explored). Self-Proclaimed Huguenot (whatever that is).
Zac – Recent graduate. Antagonist to Josh. Master of the French Horn.
Peanut Gallery – (S)He Who Shall Not Be Named
Peanut Gallery 2 – (S)He Who Shall Not Be Named 2
Josh: We’re going to kick things off with a mystery glass.
Zac: *sniff* Well, for starters, it smells like wine.
Zac: *sips exaggeratedly from the glass, pinky in the air, winces* That’s rough.
Josh: That’s because it’s a $12 dollar box of wine. Now finish it off. We got good stuff to get to.
Zac: *finishes the tasting glass* Grimace. It tastes like something I tasted before. I can’t remember what it is, but it’s not good.
Josh: First up for the real tasting: Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava.
Zac: Talk about the classiness of the screw cap.
Josh: Well actually, you bring up a good point. Winemakers are moving towards using screw caps instead of regular corks because the seal is more dependable, and they’re not prone to becoming corked, which is where tainted corks infect the wine with a chemical contaminant.
Zac: Bottom-line. Screw cap? Classy.
Josh: Cheers to your graduation, good sir.
Zac: *sips* I liked it, then I hated it, then I liked it again.
Peanut Gallery: Sounds like your last relationship.
Peanut Gallery 2: Am I peanut gallery, too?
(editor’s note: nuff said)
Zac: *smells* It smells nicer than the last one.
Josh: If I asked you if you detected more orchard fruits, tropical fruits, or citrus fruits… what would you say?
Zac: I know I’m wrong, but I’m going with citrus.
Josh: You’re actually not wrong.
Zac: W’hell yeah.
Josh: Welcome back from Alabama, by the way. I got grapefruit and pineapple, though there’s some apple and vanilla as well.
Zac: *takes a big gulp* You know what would make this extra classy? Strawberries and s***.
Josh: Dear god. Moving on. What about the acidity?
Zac: Oh, it’s very acidic. It’s what lingers.
Josh: That’s the bitterness on the finish. You’re detecting the flavors of the acid after the fruit flavors fade away. Myself, since we do ratings on this blog, I’m going to say that it’s a very well balanced wine with a lingering finish. The flavors are simple but effective. For a $10 to $13 Cava, I’m giving it a 6 out of 10.
Zac: I’m giving it a 7 out of 10. Your 6 is bunk.
Josh: All right, next up is the reason we’re all here. We’re opening a Tokaji. Specifically, Chateau Megyer’s 2003 Tokaji Aszu, 3 puttonyos.
Zac: What? That’s a lot of words.
Josh: Tokaji is a product of Hungary.
Zac: So it’s not Japanese?
Zac: Clarify that it’s my college graduation. I don’t want police showing up at the door.
Josh: I think we’re okay here. Anyway, Tokaji is a heavily concentrated dessert wine. The number of puttonyos represents how sweet it is, as in how much botrytized grape juice has been fermented in it.
Peanut Gallery 2: (interrupts) Pour the wine! *pantomimes pouring something into a glass* Iocane powder!
Josh: Well played. Let’s hope someone gets that reference.
Peanut Gallery: Looks like a trucker bomb.
Zac: Looks like plum wine. I’ve had that, you know.
Peanut Gallery 2: For once, Zac is the classy one. *sniffs* smells like pineapple and patchouli.
Zac: *swirls glass* I’m swirling the glass. I’ve seen that on TV. *sips* I don’t like it.
Peanut Gallery: Give it a couple sips.
Zac: I was expecting it to be more cloying. That’s a real word, you know.
Josh: I know. The acidity is too high for it to be cloying, but yes, that is an issue that sweet wines often have. The flavors are very different compared to the typical wines.
Zac: It still sounds Japanese to me. *tastes again* The fumes linger in the mouth.
Peanut Gallery 2: It reminds me of an apple pie.
Josh: Allspice? It would because it has a basically orchard-fruit and allspice and a syrupy sweet flavor. That’s actually a very good way to put it.
Zac: I’m not a huge fan. I would not spend my money on it.
Peanut Gallery: It’s a very dessert-y wine.
Josh: I’m a big fan of it. It’s very complex and active, even though it’s got such a high sugar content. It has a very countryside kind of flavor to it, floral and fruity, and the alcohol and acidity are potent enough to keep it from collapsing on itself. I’d give a 6 out of 10.
Josh: For the price tag attached, $30, I think that’s pretty fair.
Zac: But you were just talking about how big of a fan you were, and how floral it was and whatnot, and then you give it a 6? Bunk! *pounds fist on table*
Josh: Fair enough. I’ll give it a 7 out of 10.
Zac: Yes SIR. I’ll give it a 5. I have to give it a grade too.
Josh: Next up is the Sant’Evasio 2008 Moscato D’Asti.
Peanut Gallery 2: *sniffs* It smells like Sweden. What? I relate smells to places.
Zac: *sniffs* How the heck does it smell like Sweden? It doesn’t smell like socialism!
Josh: Actually, that’s pretty accurate descriptor. It has the aroma of evergreen and baking spices. It has some kind of a candy kind of smell as well…
Peanut Gallery 2: It smells like Christmas candy.
Josh: Yep, that’s it.
Zac: Still smells like wine, dude.
Josh: Allright… well, have a taste. Wait, Fruity Pebbles! That’s what it smells like.
Zac and Peanut Gallery 2: It does!
Zac: *sips* That doesn’t even taste like wine! That tastes like juice. This is what you think wine tastes like when you’re a child.
Josh: No, you’re absolutely right. It’s unusual for wine, but it has a very grape-y attack.
Peanut Gallery 2: Heh heh, grape-y attack.
Josh: Attack is what you call the first flavors that present themselves in a wine.
Zac: This is my favorite wine I’ve ever had. This is getting 10s, buddy. Wait, we’re not there yet.
Josh: There’s something a little bacterial about the flavor, and mixed with the potent fruit notes and incredible sweetness, it tastes like peach yogurt to me.
Peanut Gallery 2: But I don’t like peach yogurt. Maybe blueberry yogurt? *sips* …it DOES taste like peach yogurt!
Zac: I get the yogurty flavor because it tastes fermented but gently. It tastes like there was care with how that fermented flavor was introduced.
Josh: The acidity is great, especially compared to the considerable sweetness. It carries along on a long peach finish. With the great fruity, bready flavors and nose and fantastic balance, at $20 per bottle, I’m giving it a 7 out of 10.
Zac: 9. Out of 10. And the only reason I’m not giving it a 10 is I want to leave something better to search for.
Josh: Last up is the Shargren NV Sparkling Shiraz. After the two dessert wines and sparkling white, this might be a little jarring.
Zac: *sniffs* I smell red wine, which I’m never a fan of.
Josh: I think you might actually be surprised at the flavor you get from it. I’m smelling a very distinct lingonberry here.
Zac: *sip* Nope! Not a fan.
Peanut Gallery 2: It’s really bland. It smells and tastes like meat.
Josh: I can see where you’d get that. Some Shiraz has a tendency to exhibit a meaty-like aroma. It also has a spicy red wine marinade kind of quality to it. Acidity is a bit high, and it’s got a heavy red-fruit flavor. I actually kind of like it. Real quick. Snap rating?
Zac: For a red? 6… as far as how much I liked it and how much I’d drink it again? 2.
Josh: I’d probably give it a 5 out of 10. It’s fairly bland, I agree, and there’s not too much to the flavor, but for how bad a $10 Shiraz CAN go, it’s got some good character to it. Zac?
–END OF TRANSMISSION– (Zac wandered off, distracted by strawberry pie and Chelsea Hightower on Dancing with the Stars)