Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tastes Like Chicken

It kind of tastes like chicken.” 

Instead of my usual verbose, poetic discourse, what if I were to just reply to every inquiry regarding the flavor of a red wine by saying, “Kind of tastes like Merlot…”?  Like the doomed-for-dinner chicken, this just wouldn’t fly. 

We are often familiar enough with basic food flavors that we are not intimidated to experiment, and hunger generally eliminates the need for a pre-consumption verbal seduction.  Wine is different.  A new wine-drinker may be able to understand the inherent difference between a Pinot Noir from a Merlot; but start talking about the distinctions between a velvety chocolate-laced Washington Merlot and brooding spicy Chilean Merlot or a sophisticated floral-graced Bordeaux, and it doesn’t take long for them to throw in the towel and just order a martini.

A lot like understanding a fine work of art (after all, that’s what wine is) advanced wine appreciation calls for an open mind, a willing heart, and a bit of experience for comparison.  To truly understand the narrow nuances of wine you have to taste many different types of a specific wine, ideally side-by-side.  If you have only ever had one type of Pinot Noir, it is hard to understand all the potential in that single grape; it is also tricky to know if you really like Pinot Noir, or if you really just like that Pinot Noir.

That is the purpose of Savvy Cellar’s Sunday Tasting Events: personal palate realization.  Each Sunday features a focused line-up of wines chosen to convey the unique attributes of region, climate, winemaker, grape, etc. Basically we give our customers a palate ‘master class’, to build confidence, strength, and quite frankly, to kill all wine ruts.

If I’ve whet your appetite, make sure to check out the Savvy Cellar website calendar, as all tasting themes for Sundays are posted each month. For those dying to get the dish on the ultimate grape diva, Pinot Noir, pop down to Savvy Cellar this Sunday, August 10th from 3-5pm, when we go Crazy for Pinot!

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