Another Twitter Taste Live event is upon us. Tune in right here at 8PM ET TONIGHT to catch the action LIVE.
This time, the topic is near and dear to my heart, as it involves The 89 Project, of which I am a contributing member. We will be tasting, live, selections of wines that have been rated “89 points” – blind. Things should get very interesting during this TTL!
Anyway, the action will be available live right here at this post (a recap. will also be available here after the event)… —————————————-
Because I’m a homer, and I’m lazy, I decided to kill two birds with one stone. I reviewed Penns Woods’ 2004 Ameritage Reserve (a Bordeaux style red blend), but with a twist – I presented the wine in three different “formats”:
Poured directly from the bottle
Decanted 3+ hours before serving
“Decanted” directly from the bottle using a wine gadget called the Wine Soiree.
The Soiree looks like a glass Christmas tree ornament, or a sex toy for the very, very adventurous. Or an elegant alien spacecraft for extraterrestrial fleas… Anyway, according to the Wine Soiree website and promotional materials, it is supposed to function somewhat like a decanter, using the principle of aeration. Wine contains many volatile chemicals that impart aroma, flavor, and also help to integrate a wine’s components so that it tastes better. Exposing those volatile components to air starts the process. This is one reason why decanting hefty red wines for a time before drinking them helps to make the wine more accessible and softer.
I poured all of my “versions” of the Penns Woods Ameritage into identical ISO tasting glasses (because I’m a nerd and I do own those, thank you very much) and had a go at each in comparison.
The result? Check out the following excerpt from my twitter feed during the Twitter Taste Live event:
1winedude: #ttl Yo yo YO! I’m tasting 2004 Penns Woods Ameritage Reserve. Cab, Merlot, Cab Franc, Sangiovese, & whatever other reds the winemaker (Gino Razzi) wants
1winedude: #ttl From the Brandywine valley of SE PA
1winedude: #ttl I did a little experiment. I have 3 glasses of the same wine, but each is different…
1winedude: #ttl #1 was poured directly from the bottle. #2 was decanted 3+ hrs. #3 was poured using that in-bottle Soiree decanter thing-y
1winedude: #ttl #1 direct from the bottle: smoke (a LOT of it); cedar; black currants; a little rough around the edges on the tannins; good finish
1winedude: #ttl “It’s like licking a chimney there’s so much smoke! But in a good way.”
1winedude: #ttl #2 decanted 3+ hrs: MUCH smoother, with more dark cherry; the oak is more integrated and the finish seems to go forever…
1winedude: #ttl I might be still tasting this finish tomorrow when I brush my teeth in the morning!!!
1winedude: #ttl #3 ‘decanted’ via the soiree: has the currant & cedar elements of #1, but not as integrated as #2; finish is la bit onger than #1
1winedude: #ttl This Soiree does something… and it seems good to aerate a wine in a pinch or when a decanter is not available.
1winedude: #ttl but it ain’t quite like decanting!
1winedude: #ttl As for the wine itself – very good, not his best vintage tho. The 2005 has more promise; 2002 is… well… freakin’ sublime!
1winedude: #ttl This 04 is a bit too expensive for what it is, but it’s a very, very well made Bord’x style blend. And YES it is from PA!
1winedude: #ttl So in summary: Penns Woods make a kick-ass wine, and the Soiree does actually do… something; but not as much something as a decanter
As it turns out, the Soiree does indeed seem to aerate the wine… somewhat. For me, the Soiree doesn’t compare to actual decanting, which in this experiment I found to be far superior. Still, I think the Soiree could work in a pinch if you are desperate to decant and/or to take the edge off of a serious red, but can’t wait for proper decanting (winery tasting rooms come to mind).
It you can get past the sight of a Christmas tree ornament sitting on top of your wine bottle, that is.
I also want to send out a big CONGRATS to the fine guys over at Volta wine, whose wine Gary reviewed on the same episode. As frequent 1WD readers will recall, 1WD was the first ever media review of Volta’s inaugural wine. Good guys, really, really good wine, and a fantastic start for such a newcomer on the wine scene. I’m personally very glad to see Volta tearing it up and getting stellar reviews, and I’m looking forward to watching how their wines progress in the years to come (and hoping that they keep sending me some of the Howell Mountain goodness!)… Click below to watch Gary’s show in its entirety: ——————————– ——————————–
The other way-cool thing going on this week is that we have two – count ’em, two – Twitter Taste Live wine tasting events going on before the end of the week!
The first of these is being hosted by the venerable Dr. Vino (Tyler Colman). The theme is “Drink Local!” and is a response by Tyler to the annual release of Beaujolais Nouveau (which can be sort of like the Bud Light of wine). I will be drinking (surprise!) the local Penns Woods 2004 Ameritage red blend for the event.
I will be posting tomorrow so that you can follow along live, or, if unlike me you have a life on Friday nights, you will be able to catch a recap of the twitter-ing (that probably isn’t a word, is it?).
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