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. Cheers! - Bethany

Thursday, July 19, 2012

It's called research. Really.

Gotta love it when a big box of cheese arrives at your desk. Especially after a case of wine shows up the week before. Blogging has its perks.

But this isn't just any old wine-n-cheese party. It's serious stuff, tasting and taking notes and comparing which goes best with what for a Twitter tasting (twasting?) with none other than celebrated wine writer Natalie MacLean.

It's very serious. (Okay - mostly serious.)

Hubby and I sat at our kitchen table, glassware at the ready. Six different cheeses, courtesy of Taste of Cheese, were going up against four wines from Jackson-Triggs, Inniskillin and OPEN. This was going to take some work, some serious marathon tasting, but hey - these are the sacrifices I'm willing to bear for my readership. (Hubby doesn't mind, either. Free cheese and wine? Yuuuuuuup.)

Inniskillin 2010 Winemaker's Series Two Vineyards Riesling (Niagara) - A mere whiff of petrol on the nose and palate, which will likely become more pronounced as it ages. The mouthfeel is refreshing, with zippy acidity, punchy flavours of citrus, and a clean finish.

OPEN 2011 Riesling Gewurztraminer (Niagara) - Care for a trip to the tropics? This one's for you, with a sumptuous nose of banana, mango and pineapple. A syrupy, glycerine texture is balanced out by moderate acidity. Definitely a food wine - try it with spicy Thai food.

Jackson-Triggs 2010 Silver Series Chardonnay (Niagara) - The deep gold colour and toasted marshmallow/coconut nose make for a nice start, but this young wine needs a chance to mellow out a bit. It's unbalanced by the overwhelming aromas and flavours of too much oak; thinking a bit of time resting in the cellar will yield a more approachable bouquet.

Jackson-Triggs 2010 Black Series Meritage (Niagara) - Smoky tobacco, oregano and fat blackberry/raspberry aromas smacked me in the face when I went to take a sip. That herbal flavour carried right through to the bitter end (no pun intended), with an undercurrent of green pepper running through it. Again, another wine that might benefit from some sleepy-time in the cellar, or some serious decanting.

We sipped and swirled. We noshed. We noshed and swirled at the same time. We took notes. Our conversation went something like this:

"Oooooo - I like that one."
"I don't like that wine, and I don't like that cheese, but when they're together ... Two wrongs really do make a right!"
"Hey, quit hogging all the Alfred."
"Tastes like grass. Or dirt. Or dirty grass."
"By the third bite, it feels like a Brie."
"It doesn't enhance the wine, but it doesn't kill the cheese, either."
"That last cheese (smoked cheddar) just doesn't go with white wines - they get completely annihilated."
"But can you handle the BACONATOR?? Red wine? Pfffft. Bitch-slapped and kicked to the curb."

Join me on Twitter @2ndferment for all kinds of fun at 8 pm TONIGHT!! Follow #cdncheese.

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