Monday, November 17, 2008

Gunterama '08

Not the greatest picture, on account of the carnage having started, but it gets the point across-the first annual Gunterama Wine Tasting was held this past weekend. A blind taste test (numbered bags over the wines) paired with lots of good cheese, crackers, bread, and 12 fine wines. Hosted by the brothers Gunter and attended by an intentionally small group of 16 people, the wines tasted were;

1a. Ruffino Orvieto (the casual drinking wine)
1. Ruffino Lumina Pinot Grigio
2. Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay
3. Lost Angel Chardonnay
4. Lost Angel Muscat Caneli
5. Vertikal Mosel Riesling
6. Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc
7. Norma Jean Merlot
8. Kim Crawford Pinot Noir
9. Beringer Alluvium Red
10. Chateau St. Jean Cabernet Sauvignon-California
11. Steelhead Zinfandel
12. Catena Malbec

The womenfolk overwhelmingly loved the Norma Jean Merlot and Lost Angel Muscat. The Vertikal Riesling was also well-liked. Beyond that it was the expected logjam of favorites based on taste-with Nick and I loving the Kim Crawford Pinot Noir and the Beringer Alluvium, Harold loving the CSJ Cab, Heather loving the CSJ chard, but the other women preferring the Lost Angel (un-oaked) Chard. The Kim Crawford Sauv Blanc wasn't terribly well recieved by non-smokers, but loved by them-and I firmly believe the tartness of a New Zealand SB is fantastic for a smoker with a pallet for wine.

The beauty of wine is that different tastes determine different impressions. I absolutely adore a good pinot noir or an oaky cab, but I hate an oaky chard.....Heather meanwhile loved the oaky chard but wasn't on board with the oaky cab. What was great about the event was how it highlighted the tastes of people. Emily Q was certainly the most astute of the non-Gunters there, picking out most varietals immediately, but at the same time loving the merlot. Again, it all comes down to taste, and it's why I love this business.

One of the highlights of the evening for me, was presenting an oaked Chard followed by an un-oaked Chard, and seeing the difference in reactions. With a segment preferring one and another the other, it gave me a fair amount of clarity as a person that just detests-but sells-oaked chardonnays.

We ran with a garlic summer sausage, baguette, water crackers, port salud, manchego, mild cheddar, an herb blended goat cheese, brie, and some cake as hors d'oeuvres......and it wasn't just delicious, but provided greast palate cleansers.

Point is this. While we had a good turnout, we also had a turnout wanting to learn more about and appreciate wines, and in the end enjoy it. It was a succesfal event, and I can't wait to do it again next year. Shout out if a wine tasting interests you, and cheers.

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