Sunday, June 10, 2012

fine wine

Here is a post about things I did a long time ago.

Steve wanted to celebrate something. Either me getting promoted or our 1.5-iversary.

Which meant surprising me, because Steve loves surprises. I generally don’t love surprises but can one really complain about a SPANISH WINE TASTING CLASS?! No. They cannot.

Held in the (stunning) home of the instructor:

DSC00667 DSC00668



Spanish wine is my FAVE. Well, to be more specific, when purchasing wine (as I do 99.99% of the time at Trader Joe’s, ideally spending $7 or less), I say, “I like red wines from countries where they speak Spanish.” Carmeniere, Malbec, Siroc? Sign me up!

Pop! Steve got this class as a Groupon. I think everyone in the class was a little apprehensive as our eyes glazed over at all the wine-making regions of Spain. Like, let us start drinking first! That being said, once everyone got comfortable chatting and talking about food and wine and all that good stuff, the class was a blast and the instructor was great!


We started with white, the only kind of white produced in Spain (do I remember the name? No, no I do not.)

Tip for white: remove from fridge prior to serving. It can be too chilled! She recommended 20 minutes or so.

We were instructed to taste the wine, noting that generally you taste sweeter flavors more on the front of your tongue, acidic on its sides.

First thoughts on this wine: bo-ring! I said as much.


I was not criticized for this! She said white wine simply had fewer dimensions than red. The sweetness-acidity spectrum; not much else.

Here’s where PAIRING comes in.

First, a sweet bread.


Whoa! Whoa! Wine tastes tart and kicky!

Next, chicken cooked in an uberlemon sauce.


Whoa! Whoa! Wine tastes sweet!

The lesson? Balance yo’ flavors!

She also said if you’re cooking and a wine seems “wrong”, (like if you make something buttery and a guest brings a super buttery Chardonnay; or if you make something lemony and a guest brings a super acidic wine), you can repair!

To balance out acid, add fat! Like butter! Steve thoroughly approved of this tip. But at the other end, say you have a creamy sauce and a buttery wine: she recommended pouring some of the wine out of the bottle and reducing it with some lemon.

Very interesting!

Then red time. A tempranillo and a Grenache.

First thoughts: decant. Open bottle, let hang out at room temperature for half an hour or so.


Color: deeper color= older.


Give it a swirly.


Look carefully at the little lines that run down the edge of the wine glass after you’ve swirled wine. See ‘em?


When people talk about legs, legs= tannins. Tannins= heaviness, body, and higher alcohol.

Now: you know wines that are spicy? Like a Shiraz?

OH MY GOD THIS WAS SO GOOD. She made these incredible meatballs with all these smoky, spicy chipotle peppers in them. Like, unreal on their own.


But then, thennnnnnnnn with the wine? Just divine :D


When you’re pairing red, she said, match intensity. Heavy wine= heavy food. Which explains why I’ve always hated Cabernet, as I’ve never had it with steak or something intense like that. Maybe I’ll give it another chance. Maybe…

Final thoughts: don’t have a wine and cheese party. She said cheese was one of THE hardest things to pair with wine.

In the future I will be having cheese parties only.


Anonymous said...

How fun!!!! I like really like sweet wines, so I'd probably TRY To pair it with things to make it sweeter ;) haha

Shannon ~ My Place In The Race said...

Oh that is a gorgeous kitchen! WOW! Looks like a blast!