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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wine Tasting

In my opinion, there is one essential thing that is needed when doing a day of wine tasting. You absolutely need to have a designated driver. I am not saying that is essential that you drink so much that you resemble a drunken sailor but we all know that even after four tastings you might be over the legal driving limit. So find someone who (for some bazaar reason doesn’t drink) and head off to nearest cluster of wine farms.
I would think that twelve o’clock is a good time to start. Make sure you have had a big oily breakfast of bacon and eggs and then get going. I say twelve o’clock because that seems to be the socially acceptable time to start drinking and because then, after a few wine tastings, you can buy a bottle (or two) to share with your friends while enjoying a wonderful lunch at a beautiful vineyard.
There are some wine farms that suggest you spit out the wine after tasting. You first swirl the wine around in your glass, then you take a sniff, then you take a sip and then you spit. After all of this you need say something intelligent like, “I can taste the fruit under-tone and even a hint of lavender” and then the person pouring the wine will nod and smile at your impressive knowledge of wine.
There are many types of wine that you will be trying on your wine tasting excursion. Let’s start with the white wine – Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Gewurtztraminer (never in my life have I heard of that one but it sounds like the hangover might be bad), Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Reisling and Sauvignon Blanc. Personally, I like a good Chardonnay, my favourite being Zonnebloem but I have been known to dabble in a little Sauvignon Blanc once in a while.
Then we get the red wines – Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Zinfandel and Shiraz are the names that sound familiar to me but the following I know nothing about - Cabernet Franc, Chianti, Barolo, Barberesco, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Sangiovese, Malbec, Tempranillo, Grenache, Bordeaux, and Côtes du Rhône. The only red wine I will gladly drink is my dad’s (he has a vineyard at the back of his house and makes only red wine). Generally, red wine’s dry after taste reminds me, for some reason, of chalk on a chalkboard. So unless it is my dad’s Klip Huis Wyn (Shiraz) I am not likely to try it, even at a wine tasting
All in all, I would say that there is quite a lot to learn on a day of wine tasting. You learn about wine, you learn about the area that you are in and about the vineyards. And most importantly, you get to have a great day out with your friends and I am sure that the more you drink, the more you will learn about them too.

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