The first gathering of the newly planned semi-annual event - a new experience in taste and companions. Set-up: multiple stem ware, appetizers, dump jugs - dump jugs?? Jugs in which we can pour the remains of an unwanted glass of wine. We converted two vases to ‘dump jugs’, set the table with plates, napkins, water, stem ware, and appetizers, and we were ready.
Spanish wines were the agreed-upon theme. The eight of us were gathered and the sommelier began his stories...we learned the origination of each wine, the climate, the vineyard. His assistant held the book showing the location of each vineyard. Whether you liked the wine or not, the background added depth to the tasting. The body of knowledge shared by wine lovers is so gargantuan, however, that most of what we heard was more than we could ever hope to remember.
We started with Mont Marcal Cava Reserva, moved through Vina Alarba, Bodegas Breton Criadores Lorinon Reserva, Pasanauy, and more, and finished with Casta Diva, the dessert wine. The wine was interesting, the lessons instructive (swirl before tasting and try to identify an element of the bouquet; what? earth??), but the geniality of the group made the evening. Postscript question: why does a wine that tastes wonderful at the tasting, taste not as good several days later? Is it the buildup from the previous wines, the appetizers, the history? (Maybe it's simply that the wine is too old.)
The road to becoming a wine connoisseur is a long one and we took a very delightful first step on the journey.