The Food and Wine Hedonist

leave your inhibitions at the door

Wine Tasting and Epic Wine Cellar Cleaning

A month or two ago, there was Groupon for an in-home wine tasting by Wines for Humanity.  For $59, a wine expert comes to you home and  offer guides a seven-bottle tasting for up to 16 people.  Let’s see – great deal, seven bottles of wine, and a chance to live it up with 16 friends?   HECK YEAH!!

Guests have the opportunity to purchase bottles of the wine with a portion of the proceeds going to charity – hence the “Humanity” in their name.  According to their website:

As of January 1st, 2012, we have helped raise over $230,000 for the prevention of homelessness in families with children as well as over $835,000 for other charities for a total of over $1,065,000.

As hosts of the event, we got to designate a charity and we chose Young Peoples Theater, the not-for-profit group in Ann Arbor that we’re active in.

If you have an opportunity to hire them out, it’s still worth it at the full price.  They do a great job with set-up and food suggestions and the tasting leader was very amiable.  Even though he butchered some pronunciations.

Of course, a 2-hour tasting where you sip a couple of ounces of each wine is a complete tease.  So after the tasting was over, we cleaned out the ol’ wine cellar.  Every time this happens, I have the very best of intentions to provide detailed tasting notes but my low tolerance always gets the best of me.  If I actually did go through and write notes, there’s no guarantee I’d have any clue what I wrote down.  Here’s a page from my notes :

And this was at the beginning of the night.  Can you imagine what it’d look like after all that wine?

What we drank

These are the wines that came with the tasting:

  • 2009 Blue Creek Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma County)
  • 2010 Terre Antiche Cortese (Piemonte)
  • 2010 Furst Tibor Muskat-Ottonel (Hungary)
  • NV Prinz Ludwig Sekt Sparkling (Germany)
  • 2010 Burg Layer Schloskapelle Spatlese (Spatlese)
  • 2010 Duca Bortini di Montebello Vaporello (Italy)
  • 2009 Lagun Malbec (Mendoza)

These are the ones that came from the cellar:

  • 2010 Les Belle Cotes (Sancerre) – Two of these
  • 1999 Domaine Amiot Guy et Fils “La Comme Dessus” (Santenay)
  • 2003 Chateau de Cruzeau (Pessac-Leognan)
  • 2009 Edna Valley “Paragon” Chardonnay (San Luis Obispo County)
  • 1997 Fattoria Valtellina “Convivio” (Tuscany)
  • 2009 Joel Gott Zinfandel (California) – Not from the cellar.  Someone brought it.
  • 2002 Grgich Hills Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)
  • 2005 Silverado Merlot (Napa Valley)
  • 2007 Le Clos Jordanne Claystone Terrace Pinot Noir (Niagara)
  • 2005 Paul Hobbs Hyde Vineyard Pinot Noir (Carneros)
  • 2002 Summerland Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinoit Noir (Santa Maria Valley)
  • 1987 Rosemount Estate Chardonnay Roxburgh (Hunter Valley, Australia)

And there were a bunch of gin and tonics flying around.

The best of the bunch: 2002 Summerland.  This one I remember clearly.  Very soft and supple with aromas of strawberry and plum.  Unlike other California Pinots, this was restrained with a touch of earthiness, yet was more velvety than any from Burgundy.

The worst of the bunch: Easily had to be the Vaporello that came from the tasting.  It was a sweet red wine – as in sugary sweet, not awesome sweet.  Need I say more?

Most intriguing: 1987 Rosemount.  Unless it’s a premier cru from Burgundy, Chardonnay is not supposed to last more than 10 years.  Botha gave me a half-dozen Chardonnays from the 1980s and I’ve popped open a bunch on occasion.  Surprisingly, none of them turned to vinegar.  At best, they were fruity and still alive for about ten minutes before dropping off and becoming flavorless. At worst, they were heavily oxidized and took on a lot of sherry notes.  The Rosemount was had a nice nose, fresh acids, and rich oak flavor.  Unfortunately, it was also heavily oxidized.  Hey, I said it was intriguing, not good.

What we ate

A lot.  We had a ton of cheeses and charcuterie to go with the wine.  Other items:

The Architect brought this beef dish.  The sauce was a lot like a chimichurri but feature Thai flavors of fish sauce and cilantro.  Terrific stuff.

The Sicilian made Shrimp Escabeche with blood orange mojo.

I made Mustard microgreens with an Asian vinaigrette and duck breast bacon.  That’ll be in a separate post…

The Aftermath

Looks like I might need to buy some more wine:

And there are two bottles missing from this pic.

Looks like I DEFINITELY need to buy a new chair.

About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

10 comments on “Wine Tasting and Epic Wine Cellar Cleaning

  1. Yinzerella
    April 17, 2012

    I am so frickin’ jealous that I can’t even put it into words. That party was indeed epic. I wish I had friends like you who will let me come over and drink multiple bottles of wine that is not $6 Herding Cats.

  2. thefoodandwinehedonist
    April 17, 2012

    I wish I had friends like that, too. 😉

    Although, I’d argue you’d have a better time with a case of Herding Cats than one $72 bottle.

    Thanks for commenting!

  3. gojulesgo
    April 17, 2012

    Ha! I need to get serious about this Groupon action. That is awesome! I love your notes. (Mine would probably just say, “Me want more.”)

    And I need to steal your friends. Mine don’t make anything.

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      April 17, 2012

      I didn’t write “Me want more” because I was too busy slurring it. And I’m sure I can rent out a few of them to you.

  4. Megan @ MegGoesNomNom
    April 17, 2012

    Groupon is the best. What an awesome deal!

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      April 17, 2012

      Yeah, that was one of the better ones. I wonder if I could sell a Groupon for an opportunity to write a guest post? For $20 you can write what you want…. I’d be rolling in cash and wouldn’t have to blog for a year!

  5. Socialkenny
    April 18, 2012

    At least WH’s earnings goes to a decent-charitable cause opposed to some fraudulent-Christian organization looking to scam $$.

    BTW bro’,if you’re on twitter,let’s follow each other

  6. Pingback: Farmers’ Market Adventures – Mustard Microgreens « The Food and Wine Hedonist

  7. moncler ダウン
    September 15, 2013

    ニューエラ キャップ moncler ダウン

  8. Carla England
    July 14, 2019

    Any chance I can get the recipe from “The Architect brought this beef dish. The sauce was a lot like a chimichurri but feature Thai flavors of fish sauce and cilantro.”

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This entry was posted on April 17, 2012 by in Ann Arbor, Drinking and tagged , , , , , , , .
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