Welcome to Second Ferment! Wine pairs well with life ... and food, travel, people, work and play. Grab a glass and join me as I explore the wine scene in Ottawa, Canada, and beyond. Love hearing from my readers, so please leave a comment or drop me a line. Cheers! - Bethany

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tasting blind ... literally

Mid-term night in Old World Wines. And you know how much I love to study. Nevertheless, I decided not to wait until an hour before the test to peruse my notes; I actually got a few days' worth of revision in. Enough to do moderately well on the multiple-choice, which I think I did. Maps? Not so much. And the wines? I think that was, quite possibly, my worst blind tasting ever.

I've heard the stories from the pros - the ones gunning for their Master Sommelier certification, whose fine-tuned palates and proboscises can sniff out how the sun was shining on the day the grapes were picked on the Cote de Brouilly. How they walked into a blind tasting and suddenly their senses went completely out of whack.

That was me last night. It was as if my nose had checked out, my tongue took a nap and the CPU that was my brain sent up a few error messages before finally crashing. And no amount of Ctrl+Alt+Delete was going to get it back online.

I couldn't smell anything, I couldn't taste anything. The white smelled white, the reds, red. They were all the same. About the only thing that seemed to work was my sense of tannin, which appeared to be running on overdrive. I wrote what I could, took a stab at guessing the varietal and joined the other students outside. But I didn't stress too much; everyone else was wearing that same deer-in-headlights expression of "what the hell just happened in there?"

Keep you posted on the results. Until then, enjoy this refreshing gewurz from last week's class on Germany: Gewurztraminer 2006 Baden Badischer Winzerkellerei. Complex aromas of perfume, subtle pear and petrol. Lychee, pear and tart citrus to taste, but not overpowering like standard New World gewurz seem to be (guess I need to start drinking more Old World gewurz.) Nice spice and warmth from the alcohol. Medium body, well balanced, with a long-ish tart-fruit finish.

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