Saturday, February 12, 2011

Five Days of Wine Fidelity: A Homage to Valentine's Day

Friends Forever (Day 3)  — Host a party at your home amongst friends. Olfactory conundrums unveiled. Stimulate your friends with a “nez du vin” challenge. At one time or another we have all pondered, “I know that smell, but can’t quite put my finger on it.” Unmask the aroma to immediately unleash the moment of revelation. How often do you think wine descriptors are complete bull? The wine descriptor guru, Gary Vaynerchuk, says it well with zany quotes, “asparagus wrapped in gym socks,” or smells like “rhino fart.” Yum. Well, my friends, a sensory exercise is long overdue! This Valentine’s invite your friends for a Nez du Vin tasting. Four simple instructions follow with Pinot Noir as the selected wine style. Feel free to break loose with different ideas, or ask me personally for more custom ideas.
·         Pick the type of wine you wish to drink. Explore descriptors classically associated with the grapes used to make your wines. Great ideas can be found on Gary Vaynerchuk’s Wine Library TV. Watch a recent show on Beaune (Pinot Noir) for example sake. Check out the link
·         Select 10 different ingredients and individually place them in large wine glasses from which your guests will smell. For Pinot Noir organize the following ingredients: sliced mushrooms, soy sauce, sauerkraut, crushed cranberries, pulverized cherries, sliced strawberries, cooked radish or beets, cracked black pepper, squashed raspberries, flat Coca-Cola (stir all the carbonation out).
·         Have everyone bring a bottle of Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara, California; Willamette Valley, Oregon; Russian River, California; Burgundy, France; Marlborough or Otago, New Zealand
·         Pour the wines and smell. Don’t drink anything until all the ingredients have been sniffed, and I advise to take BIG sniffy-sniffs. Then continue to taste and sniff. Educate your palate. Train your nose!