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This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register.
Barolo. Just saying the name sounds important. It sounds regal. It sounds strong. When I lived in the Piemonte area in Italy shortly after college, I knew very little, if anything, about wine. But on the table at every meal, I was drinking Dolcetto and Barbera on a daily basis. It was on special occasions that my friends would pull out a bottle of Barolo. I did not have the vocabulary to describe wine. But I knew that this was a special wine.
At Pebble Beach Food and Wine, a panel of sommeliers lead a discussion of Barolo as we sat down for a tasting of the Giacomo Borgogno wines from 1967 to 2010. Founded in 1761, Giacomo Borgogno is the father of Barolo, the original Barolo producer. He was the first to put the local wine into a bottle and commercialize it, beginning the legacy. The Borgogno family managed the estate for 247 years until 2008 when they sold it to the Farinetti family and a new evolution for the winery began.
Barolo has always been a classic wine, considered one of the best. The name implies a big, bold wine, but in the glass, the lack of a deep color contradicted this.
This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register.
Tasting wine uses all our senses. We use our eyes, our nose and our palates. But most of the time, we see the bottle first and conjure up pre-conceived notions of what we will find in the glass.
Too often, we make assumptions about a wine based on everything we have ever tasted, and before we even taste a wine, we jump to conclusions. If it is a sauvignon blanc, we might expect notes of green grass and citrus; if it is a pinot noir, we might expect cranberries, cherries, mushrooms and earth; if it is a cabernet sauvignon, we might expect aromas of dark black fruits, tobacco, chocolate and brown spices.
But what happens if we do not know what is in the glass? What if we just see a white wine or a red wine? Can we make an educated guess as to what is in the glass based on how it looks, smells and tastes?
At Pebble Beach Food and Wine last month, four Master Sommeliers stood in front of a room full of wine enthusiasts as we all tried to guess the eight wines we had in front of us. Master Sommelier Shayn Bjornholm explained that this was not a magic parlor trick, but rather a way to help us be better tasters.
This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register.
Nine o’clock in the morning seems a bit early to start tasting wine, but when World of Pinot Noir offered a vertical tasting of two Grand Crus from Domaine Louis Latour, I was there bright and early.
For wine lovers, is there any better breakfast than vertical flights from of Burgundy? For our vertical flights, we enjoyed the 2014, 2012, 2010, 2005, 2002 and 1999 vintages from both Château Corton-Grancey Grand Cru Domaine Latour and from Romanée-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru Les Quatre Journaux.
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