Thursday, July 31, 2008

oliver winery - bloomington

i am fairly inept at wine tasting. there are several reasons.
1) i drink quickly.
2) i make a wildly inappropriate faces when i taste a wine not pleasurable to my particular palate.
3) swirl, sniff, taste or sniff, swirl, taste? i can never quite remember.
4) i don't believe in wasting. nothing gets poured or spit out.
5) i describe things as 'pretty good' or 'like church wine', ignoring relative sentiments involving tannin, body, acidity, etc. you get the idea.
6) i drink quickly.

my ineptitude was readily apparent when amy, jessie and i went wine tasting at oliver winery in bloomington. we arrived about 45 minutes before closing, so unfortunately we only had time for tasting and no time to enjoy a bottle on their porch, drinking in the...scenery.

the wine list suggested we 'enjoy responsibly by selecting 6-8 varieties for tasting'. i selected 10. luckily, our....whatever the $4 word is for the guy who pours the wine....had a good sense of humor and poured away. he was also very knowledgeable and able to offer helpful tidbits, like that a wine had been fermented in a steel barrel under cold temperatures, that screwcaps are coming back in vogue, and that the best way to win a chicken wing eating contest was to not have the spiciest sauce. he was also very patient in teaching me to pronounce gewurztraminer, which i love but never order because of my embarrassing mangling of german.

here's the line-up:
valdiguie 2007: this was the winner of the malapropos grimace.
chambourcin 2007: estate bottled
shiraz 2007
zinfandel 2006: a favorite
gewurztraminer 2007: another favorite
traminette 2007: estate bottled. i liked the gewurztraminer better.
muscat canelli 2007: a great summertime wine
sky dog rose: one of their new wines that i actually saw just last week at the country fresh market in western hills. a blend of muscat, french colombard, and concord. as our pourer said, it's not complex. i thought it was a little boring.
catawba 2007: estate bottled. i bought a bottle for my dad, as it is his favorite wine. he's very manly.
port: yummy!! dare i say, robust? i don't know if i want to chance a fancy wine-word.

so there you have it. we did keep the poor folks a little late, because we needed to buy some bottles to go. (yes, i'm that asshole) the bottles were ardently enjoyed with cheese (a two-year old cheddar amy recommended and some havarti), processed meat, and pretzel crackers, while in our pajamas watching movies. slumber parties sure have changed.

1 comment:

Natalie said...

Oliver is our favorite winery. Unfortunately it's a hike to get there, especially with high gas prices now!

They NEVER follow the rule about how many tastes you get. :)

You can get their 3 soft wines at any local grocery store (Soft Red, Rose and White), as well as the Camelot Mead.

Try their Marachel Foch Nouveau this fall if you get the chance (it's usually released right around Thanksgiving). My husband and family love it. I'm a sweet wine fan myself. Love all of their fruit wines, Riesling, & Gewurtztraminer.