leave your inhibitions at the door
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:
These are the ones that came from the cellar:
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…
Looks like I might need to buy some more wine:
Looks like I DEFINITELY need to buy a new chair.