Pouring Wine This past Friday night, a co-worker invited me to come pour with them at the Wine Spectator Grand Tasting. It's the magazine's annual big-to-do about wine and attracts the majority of the stars of the wine world. I've done the event a few times already and learned that the trick is that you want to get there early and hit up the good tables before the public is let in - you basically have two convention hall sized floors to yourself.
That part is awesome.
What I drank
I was pouring a spanish wine and we were situated on the row that I think might be the best one: Spanish reds on one side. Austrian and Hungarian sweet wines on the other side. We traded many glasses with the other attendees.
OK, right. So what I drank and/or adored.
Bouchard's Baby Jesus (AKA Beaune Grèves Vigne De L'Enfant Jésus) This is a delicious and lovely wine, but it's also a great label and story.
"It slips down the throat as easily as the Infant Jesus in velvet pants."
The young woman I was pouring wine with had worked with this producer before and told me I had to try it before we left.
Good golly. This is a Tokaji from Hungary made from botrytized/rotted grapes and is lusciously sweet but like all great dessert wines it has a great amount of acidity so it isn't cloying or syrupy. The nose on this wine was spectacular. Floral. Orange. Grapefruit (is there such thing as candied grapefruit?). Honey honey honey.
The best nose at the show.
The late harvest Austrian wines from Kracher
Yet again another wine that had aromas that were spectacular. Wonderful wines.
Chateau d'Yquem Arguably one of the greatest liquids ever produced by humans. The wine that my lovely wife describes as "what heaven must smell like".
I think they were pouring 1998. Maybe it was a bad idea to have it after the Hungarian and Austrian sweet wines with their powerful aromas, but this wine was downright subdued. I strained to get any aromas from it.
On the palate, it was a bit livelier.
The wine that my boothmate and I disagreed on. This wine is a bordeaux-esque wine produced in Lebanon. Yes, that Lebanon.
I found it mesmerizing on the nose - all sorts of crazyness and depth. Cedar, tobacco, menthol, black fruit, figs... and funk. My boothmate thought it too oxidized. This is a fascinating wine and winery.
Bordeaux My first glass of the evening was a glass of Haut Brion. Then, as the show was winding down and we had run out of wine at our table, we found the Cheval Blanc table and that was lovely (especially since the last bottle of Cheval Blanc I had was bit... weak). And then we had every other property from Bordeaux that was present.
Observations? The further from the first growth wines I got the happier I was. Also, how in the hell did some of these producers still have wine left at the end of the evening?
I don't drink enough wine from Bordeaux.
The whole row of Spanish wines were all pretty fantastic. Bless them.