Drink This Now: Lesson 1

I recently did the Drink The Now: Lesson 1.  The objective of the is to taste a red wine at different times, to see how the aroma and flavor change over time, and to see how cheese and meat effect the flavor of the wine.  When I went to the store to gather my supplies, they did not have any of the wines on the list, but I talked to the guy in charge of the wine section, and he suggested the 2014 Bricco Dei Tati Barbera.  He said that it would be very similar to the wines suggested for this lesson.  I also picked up some asiago cheese, and some pepperonis.

Step 1 was to open the wine and do a typical wine tasting.  Here are my observations:

Name: 2014 Barbera
Producer: Bricco Dei Tati
Variety: Barbera
Region: Piedmont
Country: Italy
Vintage: 2014
Price: $7.00
Wine Review: “This is a young, fresh, lively Barbera with a persistent and attractive bouquet of black cherries and a bit of spice on the palate. It has few tannins which is typical of the Barbera varietal, and a medium finish. Delightfully approachable, it is great with medium to strong cheeses, barbecue and game.”
My Review: Garnet in color, medium-full bodied.  Aromas of astringent, black pepper, dark cherry, and oak.  Tastes of red fruit, spices, like pepper, and oak.

Step 2 was to leave the bottle sit for 2 hours.  After the two hours were up, the wine was to be tasted again and observations were to be made.  Me observations were: Aromas of red fruit, particularly raspberry and cherry.  Tastes of tart, bright red fruit, sour cherries, but smoother mouthfeel.

Step 3 was to try the wine with the cheese.  What I did was I started chewing the cheese and with it still in my mouth I sipped on some wine, and continued to chew to get the two flavors to mix in my mouth.  My observations from this were: the cheese makes the wine more tart, but brings out the berry flavor, and the wine makes the cheese sweeter.

Step 4 was to try the wine with the meat, or pepperonis in my case.  I did the tasting the same way as was done with the cheese.  I started chewing up the pepperoni and then sipped wine and chewed them both together.  My observations from this were: there was way more spice flavor, especially black pepper, there was a lot of heat, and it was very tart.

Step 5 was to allow the wine to sit out for a few more hours, without the cork in the bottle.  I allowed the bottle to sit open overnight, and tried it again 20 hours after it was originally opened.  After the 20 hours, here were my observations: Aromas of pepper, heat, strawberry, and raspberry.  Tastes of green pepper, sour cherries, red fruit, with a little heat.  I actually enjoyed the wine more after it had been sitting open all night.

This lesson was very interesting.  It really helped me to see how wine changes with the addition of oxygen.  It also allowed me to experiment with pairing wines with food.  I think this lesson would be interesting to do with a different wine and cheese pairing.

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