These tips were generously provided by East Bay Vintner Alliance member Charlie Dollbaum, winemaker at Carica Wines
This is the perfect time of year to enjoy some wine from your collection and to make a few discoveries to build on that collection, whether it is years deep or simply a stash in the closet. As experienced wine lovers, you already know plenty about wine tasting and your own preferences, but indulge me from a moment to share a few thoughts of my own.
Tip #1 — Take Tasting Very, Very Seriously, Not.
Enjoying wine, especially with food and friends, has to be one of the most pleasurable pastimes we have. When I first open a bottle, particularly a varietal I haven’t tried for awhile, I like to take my time to appreciate the aroma from the swirl in the glass, and then the flavors all around the mouth. Making a few mental notes about the experience is part of the enjoyment, so maybe my expression looks a little serious, but really I’m having fun. Taste with some attention, but don’t get carried away with the formalities.
Tip #2 — Share and Keep Tasting
Conversation and wine are natural partners, so let the discussion range far and wide. If the topic turns to the wine in your glass, it is hardly necessary to dwell on fancy jargon about wine flavors. Still, I think it’s a good idea to spend a little time finding out what other tasters think about the wine, however they choose to describe it. Tasting with a winemaker and sharing with friends leads to discovering something out of the ordinary.
Tip #3 — Use Your Tasting Experience to Add to Your Cellar
The benefit you gain from having spent a moment thinking about the sensory experience (Tip #1) and discussing the experience, especially at a winemaker’s tasting or when breaking out a cellared bottle (Tip #2), is confidence. Tasting this way helps you find the wines that please you and will delight the people you share wine with.
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Want to test your skills? Check our these upcoming local wine tasting opportunities:
Winemaker Wednesday at Revival Bar+Kitchen, Berkeley, CA
January 28 from 7 to 9 PM
Flights of Carica Wines, with foods to match, are being featured by Revival Bar + Kitchen, located in downtown Berkeley at 2102 Shattuck Avenue, across from the Berkeley Repertory Theater. Revival is launching its meet-the-winemaker evenings with Carica Wines, and I will be there to present some of my favorite current releases. This is a casual, “at the plank” affair where wines will be paired with Revival’s acclaimed nose-to-tail/root-to-shoot cuisine. Carica Wines is delighted to be part of this local focus and is looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones. Doesn’t it sound fun and delicious?
Carica Wine Club pick up day and complimentary tasting
Saturday, February 7 from 2 to 5 PM
Join the Carica Wine Club now–It’s free to join!–and come to the first pick up day of 2015. You will be able to get your first shipment of 4 bottles of wines selected by the winemaker, and enjoy a complimentary tasting of current releases, plus some tasty snacks. The location is the winery Carica is sharing with Urbano Cellars, 2323-B 4th St. (between Bancroft and Channing), Berkeley, CA 94710. For the brochure and application, click here.
Save the Date: Rhone Rangers San Francisco Tasting is March 28.