Wednesday, January 30, 2008

How serious!

I almost look like a pro, no?

Last week I went to a lunch organized by the winemakers of Cahors. Twenty-five crus to taste, lined up in orderly fashion on tables. I got my feet wet - my hand, too, with a few drops of wine that left a purplish tattoo for the rest of the day - and discovered a lot about the Malbec grape, which was kind of cool. At each table, I took my glass, poured some wine into it, sniffed, set the glass on the tabletop and swirled it vigorously, sniffed again, noted down a few things on my pad, then sipped, slurped, and spit. (Once, a bit of wine came splashing back out onto my eyelid; oops.) Afterward I added more comments to my pad.

Of course, I've spat before. Many a time. Into spit buckets, onto gravel cellar floors, and even onto a tree outside of Augé when they were holding their big Burgundy tasting last fall. But I have never spat so fully, so systematically, so, well, professionally. I was a scientist, here; a researcher and not a sybarite.

After the tasting was a lunch, and as I sat in front of my truffle risotto and swallowed the first sip of a 2005 Clos Troteligotte CQFD, my throat did something weird, something like a double-take. As though it were saying, "Hey, wait! This is going down." Yes, I had spitter's palate.

A serious first. But don't worry, I won't make it a habit.


Jack at Fork & Bottle said...

Uh oh...sounds like you've Upgraded to Wine Tasting 3.0 - :)

So, I want more details - how were these wines? This is a tasting I'd love to have gone to.

I'm interested in that area, too - stayed there on 9/12 (yes, the day after you know what). I want to visit a few Foie Gras tasting rooms when I next go, too.

Sharon said...

My impression of the Cahors I've tasted, actually, is that less is more. I find the overly ambitious expressions to be too over-the-top: too extracted, too much oak, etc. I like them best when they're honest, if rustic.