The Second Floor Wine Tasting Group

June 27, 2004

We gathered at Jeff & Stever's and tasted a variety of "summer" wines.

The Wines

  1. NV "Casal Garcia" (Vinho Verde, Portugal) by Aveleda - $6
  2. 2002 Pinot Blanc (Alsace, France) by Sipp Mack - $10
  3. 2002 Gewürztraminer Spätlese (Bechtheimer Stein, Rheinhessen, Germany) by Machmer - $10
  4. 2001 Riesling Kabinett (Piesporter Goldtröpfchen, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany) by Jacobus - $14
  5. 2002 Rioja (Spain) by Muga - $11 [Rosé]
  6. 2003 Minervois (Languedoc, France) by Julien - $11 [Rosé]
  7. NV "Lou Lou" (Clairette de Die, Rhone, France) by Union de Producteurs - $10
  8. 2003 "Viticoltori Dell'Acquese" (Brachetto D'Acqui, Piedmont, Italy) by Cantina - $15 [Red]

The People

Jason, Helen, Greg, Jeff, Peter, Sunny, Gaia, Jerome, Christine, Stever, Rosanna, Aaron, and Beth


Greg brought eight wines for us to try: more than we've ever had before! Fortunately, they were all relatively low alcohol, so we didn't have anyone falling off the roof-deck porch due to drunkenness. We tried them in pairs, which was fun---we had something to directly compare against every step of the way, but it seemed more manageable than the three-at-a-time routine we tried last tasting.

Wines #1 and #2 presented quite a contrast. #1 was comparable to champagne---dry, but with less effervescence and a cleaner taste. #2 was a still, somewhat sweet wine. It exhibited various fruit flavors (including exotics) and good balance (enough acidity to balance the sweetness). Many of us thought #1 would go great as an apertif; perfect for a "suburban BBQ for women," Christine said. Jeff found hints of many interesting fruits: nectarine, star fruit and mango. Gaia called it "the perfect summer wine." Aaron had a different opinion; he called it the "perfect wine for getting drunk." #2 had the character of a good German Riesling: nectar and honey flavors, a smooth texture and enough acidity to balance the sweetness (but no more). Jeff called it "round," "soft," and "creamy." Helen found banana and waffle flavors. Greg noticed honey, alcohol and a mineral flavor. Rosanna didn't have a good opinion of the wine; she said it tasted like a "house wine"---"nothing I would want." Stever had a creative vision of the wine: "gym socks running through a field of powdered sugar."

Wines #3 and #4 were both German wines but showed the differences that are possible in two of the most important German grapes---Riesling and Gewürztraminer. #3 had honey and nectarine flavors, was on the sweet side and exhibited a slight effervescence. #4 was a still wine with a bit more acidity and unusual chemical-like flavors. Gaia called #3 "refreshing, sweet, round, warm and fresh"; she'd pay "anything" for it. Fortunately for her, it retails for a mere $10. Greg compared it to "grapefruit with sugar" and said it was "not overdone." Sunny thought it "velvety"; she compared it to a "white-chocolate covered cherry." Christine said it went great by itself and was almost a desert wine. Beth thought it was toooo sweet with a strong, bitter aftertaste. Jerome nailed the grape: Gewürztraminer. Jeff found it "sweet, rich and fizzy" with peach, syrup and tangerine flavors. #4 got a wide variety of comments. Helen compared it to the smells of a Midas shop: chemical, gasoline and oil. Gaia found cardboard and dishwasher soap. Greg enjoyed it: floral aroma with a methol taste. Sunny "could drink it for days." Stever called it a "trust-fund liberal": "rebellious when convenient." Jeff said it was angular at first, then became more rounded. He noted a distinct "wallpaper paste" flavor.

Wines #5 and #6 were Rosés. For whatever reason, they were not well liked. No one liked #5. Even Greg said that it was "not what [he] remember[ed]." It elicited cries of "yech," "I hate it," "rough," "prickly," and "bitter." Stever compared it to "battery acid grease." Jeff thought it interesting, but not good---"beautiful color" with chemical flavors that reminded him of a camp fire, bug spray and citronella candles. Gaia caught a eucalyptus flavor and found it acidy. Sunny said it had a "back-of-pallette roughness." Most people had better things to say about #6, though Jerome "hated it even more." It was dry and slightly effervescent with pleasant smells, but an off taste. Jason compared the smell to "strawberry shortcake" and the taste to "cigarette smoke." Aaron found it left a "skunk" smell in an empty glass. Sunny enjoyed the smell, but called the back-of-throat feel "nasty." The smell reminded Gaia of summer and an ocean, but the taste was disappointing: "sweet and bitter", like Nyquil. Peter compared #6 to flavored vodka.

Wines #7 and #8 were both unusual, low-alcohol wines. #7 had significant effervescence, like #1, but was sweeter, with stronger flavors. Greg called #7 "fizzy" with peach, tangerine and citrus flavors. Rosanna thought #7 would go great with roast chicken w/ rosemary. Gaia called it a "winner," "I love it." Jerome said it was a "champagne imitation"---"a bit sweet" and "soapy." Peter said it was "interesting" and "offbeat." Jeff would take #7 to a "bridal shower." Helen called it "refreshing," "bubbly," "sweet" and "nice." #8 was the only red wine of the afternoon; it tasted grape-y and somewhat flat. Sunny called #8 a "fruit spritzer." Greg compared it to "cherry soda." Gaiay noted a "rotten fruit smell," but liked it nonetheless. #8 reminded Peter of sparkling grape juice. Jeff correctly guessed its origin; he was fond of the wine. Helen called it a "sweet," "easy drinking," "good casual wine."

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Last modified: Sun Dec 5 12:15:43 2004