Welcome back to Tasting Notes Radio, today we are going to cover a number of subjects. First off we are going to go back to wine tasting 101 and talk about how to taste wine. Then we are going to look at the differences between Champagne and Sparkling wines. Finally we are going to talk about two fantastic Sparkling Wines from J Vineyard and Winery out of Healdsburg California.
There are two ways to taste wine, and in my opinion both are correct. And both have their place out there. Let’s start with the more complex style.
- Pour the wine into a wine glass. Now for you who have trouble with this, this means no Styrofoam, plastic, or mason jars. This is a glass shaped like a bowl, and in most cases has a stem running off the bottom. Fill the glass about 1/3 of the way up.
- Place it to your nose and smell the aromas
- Now swirl the glass in your hand. It is not uncommon for someone to swirl it by placing the base on a table top and moving it in a circular motion. Also be very very careful doing this while next to someone you’re trying to impress or wearing white.
- Bring the glass again to your nose and smell the aromas that have opened up. Really get your nose into the glass
- Now drink a little, holding it in your mouth
- Swirl it around so all your taste buds experience it.
- Now with the wine still in your mouth suck a little air in over the top of your mouth. This will help you get the full flavor. It also can give you an idea of how much alcohol is in the wine by the intensity of the heat
- Now if you’re drinking is the time to swallow it. If you taste a large number of wines, you might want to spit it out into a container. This is a very acceptable practice at tasting rooms and wineries around the world
Now the less complex way to taste wine
- Again pour about 1/3 of a glass with wine in it.
- Now take the mouthful you want
- Let’s face it sometimes we just get too fancy and forget, it’s just grape juice.
Be as complex as you really want to be. However if you start doing the more complex style too much, before long you will find yourself doing it with everything in a glass. I caught myself once swirling a glass of Coke, and even a beer or two. Trust me …weird looks from people.
Enjoy the wine, that’s the most important part of it all.
Before we get started let’s talk about the term Champagne and Sparkling Wine. Simply put all Champagne is Sparkling Wine. However all Sparkling Wine is not Champagne. The simple difference is Champagne, must come from the Champagne region which is about 90 miles outside of Paris. Most wineries acknowledge this and call their wine by the accurate title. In the United States this is something that is not enforced and you will see wines called Chablis, Champagne, and Burgundy and so on. It is perfectly legal, though in my opinion not ethical, to name an American Wine after a foreign location. The next time you order Chianti, is it really from Tuscany, or is it from the Central Valley of California.
So let’s talk about wine. Today I am going to talk to you about “J” sparkling wine. Now as we approach the holidays, New Year’s Eve, College Bowl Game Wins, and the Super Bowl; this is a great time to enjoy sparkling wine. However any time is a great time for sparkling. Today younger people are drinking more Sparkling Wine that their parents. In fact 36 % of Gen Xers drink Sparkling Wine more frequently than Baby Boomers at 22%.
Let’s talk about two exceptional Sparkling Wines today. The first wine is the J Brut Rose NV which comes from the Russian River Valley. This is a fantastic wine at $38.00. The Brut Rose is a light red color, with a lovely floral bouquet. Plenty of Cherries and Strawberries overtones in this well balanced wine. The finish is amazing as it lingers for an amazing time. The J Brut Rose is a blend of hand harvested grapes; 66% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay and 1% Pinot Meunier.
BLEND: 66% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay and 1% Pinot Meunier.
APPELLATION: Russian River Valley
HARVEST DATE: NV
WINE ALCOHOL: 12.53% by volume
WINE ACID: 9.3 g/L
WINE PH: 3.12
RESIDUAL SUGAR: 1.15%
CASES PRODUCED: 10,000
RELEASE DATE: July 2013
The second wine from “J” is the J Cuvee 20 Brut which comes from Sonoma County. This wine has a suggested retail price of $28.00 and is worth every penny. This wine has a beautiful clear color. The Cuvee 20 is extremely fresh and full body with tons of citrus flavors such as grapefruit and lemons. Like the Brut Rose these grapes were all hand harvested. It has a blend of 54% Chardonnay, 44% Pinot Noir and 2% Pinot Meunier. This is an outstanding sparkling wine at an amazing price point for the quality. Don’t miss out on the J Cuvee 20 Brut.
BLEND: 54% Chardonnay, 44% Pinot Noir and 2% Pinot Meunier
HARVEST DATE: NV
WINE ALCOHOL: 12.53% by volume
WINE ACID: 8.9 g/L
WINE PH: 3.23
RESIDUAL SUGAR: 1.40 %
CASES PRODUCED: 30,000
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