Greg (our fabulous buyer this month), Jeff, Matthew, Sunny, Xavier (an excellent host), and Deb (a professional wine promoter!)
#1: Overall favorite -- (4 of 6 #1 votes): Sunny (S) called it heady and sweet, yet powerful. Xavier (X) liked it quite a lot and said that it reminded him of a late-harvest Reisling. Matthew (M) said it is best for drinking solo (i.e. without food, not alone!). Jeff (J) loved the golden color and the "all dials up" on the bouquet; also said it would pair well with lemony fish or a Caesar salad. Greg (G) liked its long finish and found everything from vanilla to quince in the bouquet. Deb (D) enjoyed its dessert-wine qualities but noted that it fell flat in the mid-palate region. Still, it was our favorite overall!
#2: Runner-up -- (2 of the #1 votes, and 2 of the #2 votes): S really liked this one as #1 and loved it's deep golden color and ability to pair well with hearty grain crackers because of its rich/full flavor. M found that it blended nicely with the buttery fish and was "just strong enough". J enjoyed the light taste and slight fizz of this "happy" wine. G liked the honey aromas and smooth/rich texture. D called it the "best made wine" of the group for it's nice acid/fruit balance and herbal/citrus aromas. X enjoyed it's pear-scented nose and mineral qualities.
#3: 2nd runner up -- (3 of the #3 votes and 2 of the #2 votes): M found it too sharp for olive oil or fish pairing. J enjoyed it more after it warmed and liked the longer finish. G called it slightly "spicy, yet basic" but did like its citrus and apple scents. D and also X enjoyed the citrus/lime finish well enough to give it their #2 ranking.
And now... tricky, difficult to love ones... the 4th-6th place finishers... notice that there are two $32 bottles among them!
#4: J got a funky/harsh taste and some "new car smell". Both M & S smelled acetone, or nail polish remover -- not so good with food. D said it had an incredible nose, but lacked palate appeal. X also said that he liked the nose, but not the taste; he said it was "off" or too harsh. G admitted it could seem harsh, but said it was still likeable for its "complexity".
#5: Everyone found it too pale, a little sour -- D found a baked onion smell which could indicate an "off" bottle of wine worthy of return to the store. No one was impressed by this one.
#6: Why was it the hardest to drink? Both G & D found petrol/automobile smells in the aroma. It also had very low fruit and lots of harshness to the finish. S noted a burned rubber smell while M got hints of spicy leather. X called it "closed" and harsh while J called it "shrill" and likely over-priced. Bingo!
Deb and Xavier were great additions to the group as both were very knowledgeable and friendly. The food at this gathering was, as always, also excellent. Deb suggested that we see a wine movie playing at the MFA (maybe gone already?) called "Mondo Vino" about Corporate/National wine vs. Small vineyard competition. Honestly, it sounded very interesting at the time -- I just wished I had written more detailed notes about it.
What else did we discuss? The next tasting, of course! It will be a return to Jeff and Stever's patio deck for a Summer Wines tasting (to be supplied by Sunny and Jeff) on June 12th. We're looking for more regulars and a few good new members/returnees, so let's see you there!