Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Las Rocas 2006 Garnacha (Spain) & Four Vines 2006 Old Vines Cuvee Zinfandel (California)

This was a night of no smell ... not the wine, me. I'm still in Michigan and as of Saturday I have had little sense of smell or taste. The two wines I have done so far I have relied heavily on my sweetheart (with whom I am visiting) to let me know what I think I am smelling - with an elongated nose blowing I can get a slight sense of smell (for about twenty-to-thirty-seconds, max). Tonight was a toughie, we had invited another couple from Canada (they live in Windsor) over for a meet and greet. I decided the wine to serve with dinner was the Las Rocas 2006 Garnacha - a wine I had tasted previously during a Vintages release and enjoyed very much. I remember it having lots of dark fruit and cherries, chocolate and spices ... and here across the border I was able to pick up a few bottles from Dave at Champane's for a mere $8.99 - even with the exchange on the Canadian dollar being what it is that's still a bargain. Everyone around the table loved it, I enjoyed it because I knew what it tasted like, and was able to convince myself I could actually smell and taste it. About an hour into dinner (near the end of the main, when we were all sitting digesting and talking about things before dessert), the question of glassware came up; at the same time the topic of what is this "real Zinfandel" I keep talking about (our guests were convinced it was a pink product). Down into the cellar I went and brought up a bottle of Four Vines Zinfandel (another product of Dave's recommendation). I also produced a array of stemware: a Riesling- and Pinot Noir-style glass by Spiegelau and a Bordeaux by Schott Zwiesel. The game was on.

With no sense of smell, or much of taste for that matter, I told my guests that glassware was very important. I proceeded to pour the wine into the three glasses, placed the stemware in front of them and had them try for themselves. This was an interesting glass tasting in the sense that I had never done it before with Zinfandel. My sweetie looked at me dubiously as I attempted to sniff a glass (with barely the sound of intaking air), she smiled. I guessed at many of the smells I was getting, she confirmed with a head nod. Cherries, sweet red fruit, lots of vanilla and plum - she also told me it came through on the palate with a delightful, almost sweet, smoothness - I'm sure the 14.6% alcohol was also helpful with that. My guests were convinced about the glassware making a difference to the taste and smell of a wine - Hallelujah ... even with my limited senses I was able to persuade and teach the gospel of the glass.

As we bid adieu to our new found friends, waving them down the drive, my darling turned to me and said, "if you are like this tomorrow there is no way we should go over to Dave's for a wine tasting." I looked dejected. She finished her point, "No sense he should waste good wine on someone who can't enjoy it, let alone smell it. Now get to bed," she said kissing me on the cheek, "and keep your germs away from me, no sense in us both being ill." Up the stairs I trudged, knowing full well I would have to cancel a tasting ... bummer.

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