Tasting wine can be a wonderful experience that incorporates nearly all of your senses with a wide variety of aromas, flavors, and sensations. However, it can also be an intimidating experience if you’re a wine novice. While learning about all the intricacies of wine tasting can be a time consuming commitment, there are a few basics that you can easily learn and practice making the experience even more enjoyable.
For my 40th birthday I took a much-needed get away to Napa. We visited my friend Jeff Miller and his wife Beryl. Jeff lives in Napa and grows and makes wines in the Suisun Valley AVA under several labels: Seven Artisans, Sly Dog Cellars, and Red Côte.
As we drove slowly around the estate, passing the old 17th Century pigeon house that stood as a portent of what had brought me to Château Lagrézette, I took a good look around me and thought that this was a truly magnificent place: the 16th Century Château, with its four round towers and elegant shape, the woods that surround it, the location, everything was pretty much picture perfect.
“How do you like the wine?” my husband asked me, after pouring a traditionally-styled 2001 Chianti Classico Riserva. “I find it blousy and a bit unfocused,” I replied. “Let’s try it in narrower glass.” Sure enough, the narrower glass reined the wine in, and some concentration became evident.