I went to a pretty amazing tasting last week
Some of the major importers and wholesalers in Sydney joined together to open most of their wines on one afternoon
The idea is they invite all their clients to one location and have everything open to taste
Initially this sounds like a “wine nerd’s” nirvana – and there is a large element of truth to this
But as with most things, if there is too much of everything, you don’t appreciate anything!
As much as I enjoyed my two hours at the tasting, I walked away with the impression I had not tasted anything worthwhile.
A ridiculous impression, but it was the one I had.
I joked with a colleague, that I must be getting a bit jaded when a $130 Giaconda Chardonnay was the only wine to give me any level of excitement.
It was a pretty amazing wine though. I have not tried this wine for a while and it was just so damn good and big. It was almost like you were eating the wine, but it had this elegance and class running all the way through it.
There were plenty of high end wines, but because they were so available, I didn’t really give them the credit or the attention they deserved
I did however spend a bit of time looking at some wines from Piedmont in Italy. These are the famous and extremely expensive Barolo’s made from the grape variety Nebbiolo. I have tried these wines on numerous occasions, but as with Burgundy, I cannot get my head around the price quality ratio.
So I stepped up to the table and was whisked through a series of six Barolo’s ranging in price from $80 – $150
Most of these wines were underwhelming, but a few they were exquisite, but in my mind not worth the money
However if these same wines were opened at a dinner party, with a beautiful meal and sensational company and everyone was made aware about the great food and wine matching we were about to experience; then I believe they would be worth every cent.
I was reminded of a saying that you “taste with your eyes”
On reflection this sounds ridiculous, but the more you think about, the more it makes sense and in the end, becomes a cold hard fact
The first impression of a wine – that is the label, will have the biggest affect on how you evaluate a wine
The mind can play a lot of tricks. Which is why most serious tastings are done blind (where you do not know the name of the wine.)
It was an expensive test, but I heard of a tasting with experienced winemakers, who were offered a range of wines between $20 – $500 (blind ). Guess what? In most cases the $500 was the least preferred wine.
Then those same wines were reviewed with the names and prices known and guess what happened – the most expensive wine scored the highest
Not very surprising, but still insightful.
I will still continue to go to these tastings, for let’s be honest, the chance to try all these wines is a great perk.
And I did end up buying a few bottles of that Giaconda Chardonnay
I told you it was pretty good