Archive for the ‘Tasting Notes Series’ Category

TNS #3

Another example of how loquaciousness would get the best of me if I wrote tasting notes.


I lay in a field of lilacs. The coolness of a spring breeze lightly brushes over my skin as it wisps across the prairie.  A butterfly anointed with yellow and blue flutters by as I raise another bit of fruit to my lips; tasting, lingering over the lusciousness of it.  The day moves slowly laying under these few wraiths of clouds painted onto the benevolent sky.  Life moves like a glacier.

The simplicity is what is astounding. Seemingly, there should be layers of complexity, webs of mathematics beneath the displayed elegance before me, but alas, I can see none.  The purity of the flowered air is only impugned by a hint of baking spices in the near distance.  And this, yes this mere whisper of spice is enough to arouse my appetite once more.  “The day is young.” I declare to the butterfly and with that I rise to my feet in pursuit of more substance.


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TNS #2

Another example of how loquaciousness would get the best of me if I wrote tasting notes.

It was mid-morning by the time we set out on horseback with the smoke of the morning fire still tussling our clothes. Open plains were spreading before us, rising into the mountain range beyond as the sun began to beat down through the painted clouds that dotted the sky. The day wasn’t particularly hot though as the fall of the autumn leaves was approaching; just enough to warm your back and easily fight off the overnight chill. With the sizzle of a match, one of the caballeros lit a rich cigar. The aromas encapsulated my entire olfactory experience briefly before giving way to the more delicate scents of the dark fruited berries and wild thyme lining the path. In the dryness, the horses’ hooves kicked up the earth, casting a gritty and somewhat muted tone on our surroundings.

The group was quiet, as if contemplating the finer intricacies of life’s greater mysteries. Therefore, the only sounds to be had were that of our equine companions trotting along and the soft breeze rustling through trees. If I had been a simpler man, I may have let the rhythm of the journey lull me into a blissful sleep, but I have seen just enough of the world that my mind stayed on alert, casually scanning the horizons for anything with less-than-noble intentions. Fortunately, our band remained untroubled by any potential interlopers and my mind soon began drifting through the rich history of the land that lay before me. A certain nostalgia crept in, but lacking the bitter-sweetness of yearning for yesterdays gone by. Instead it was a feeling of completeness with the greater world. An emotion of being connected and impossible to describe with mere words any further. To do so would diminish the grandeur of the moment.

A great wine is one that not only connects you to a place, but to a moment. The rise of emotions, regardless of what they are, is the mark of a wine well crafted. This wine has achieved that in spades.

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How about something new and exciting?  As you all know, I tend to look down upon tasting notes.  Mainly because they are subjective and also because wine critics tend to be a little flamboyant in their descriptions.  One might also notice that negative reviews are also rarely published, which hardly creates a ‘Consumer Reports’ type guide for the casual drinker (Even CR failed miserably at doing this too).  My great fear in critiquing wines besides being accused of playing favorites with wine makers is that I may end up being TOO flamboyant with my descriptions.  But, like every other wine drinker out there, I feel the need to express my opinion sometimes.  Therefore, a compromise between my principles and my penchant for writing ludicrous descriptions through run-on sentences must be reached.  For the sake of the wine maker, I will not list the wine I am tasting (even if it is outstandingly good), but be rest-assured these are all based on actual experiences.  The astute will probably at least be able to pick out the varietal and where it comes from.  With that, I give you The Tasting Notes Series (TNS for short). And because I’m sure you’re all jazzed up about this now, here is the first one:


The Tasting Notes Series: #1


Drinking this wine I am reminded of a foot race I used to run in the middle of February across a frozen Chequamegon Bay in northern Wisconsin.  As the sun would slip down past the horizon, the winter chill took over bringing the temperatures to hover around zero or below.  No matter how many times one is exposed to the steely frigidness of the Northlands, it will always take the breath away the next time it settles in and finds the cracks between the layers that have put on.  The race was of course at night and the scene was reminiscent of thousands of Nordic warriors lining up for a battle in full armor, battle cries and all.  Pyres ten feet high marked each kilometer, and for the locals they sparked courage for only they seemed confident that the licking flames would not settle down through the packed snow and ice that separated the brave souls from an icy grave at the bottom of the bay.  The course was also marked with ice lanterns, beautifully flickering through the night off their imperfect walls adorned with ice crystals. Upon initial glance one may be fooled into thinking this was a rite of passage into some Viking society and only the strong would survive, but the festiveness of it all was enough evidence to convince one that people actually do this for fun.  The wind was enough to make one grind their teeth until the enamel was burnt away leaving a crisp, yet slightly acrid taste in the mouth.  Each footstep was uncertain in its placement on treacherous terrain, but the dedicated pressed on with hope of a brightly lit finish line in the distance.  In the end one expected fireworks, but they never went off at the right time and the feeling of landing the final step would quickly diminish as it was realized that the building climax to this journey turned out to be rather anti-climactic.  The reward was merely accomplishing the feat and never having to do it again.

…That is to say that this wine should be served almost intolerably chilled and enjoyed for its simple, raw pleasures while being quickly consumed.  It would certainly best be had in the high heat of a steamy summer day in order to take the edge off.

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