Last year I began a tasting group at Fine Wines, due to the fact that the group I had been tasting with lost its space. I do get the chance to taste plenty of wine on the job (that is my job) here at the shop, but nothing seems to replace the education you get from attending a tasting group. Each week I send out an email to specify a grape variety, region, or theme. Sometimes we may taste one variety from several different regions of the world, and other times we may taste several different varieties from one specific region. Everyone shows up with a wine off the list in a brown paper bag and we taste through them. Not knowing exactly what we are tasting, we look for tastes, smells, or textures that may or may not hint at what we are tasting. At the end, we uncover the wines to see how close (or not) we came to identifying them.
This past Tuesday we tasted Syrah. The range of styles, price points, and quality made it one of the best we have held in a while (I always say that). We never have a lack of great bottles, and this week we tasted the 2006 K Royal City Syrah (100 pts), 2007 Cayuse (Cailloux), 2007 Va Piano Syrah, 2007 Tablas Creek Syrah, 2009 St Cosme Cotes du Rhone (100% Syrah), 2007 Saint Joseph, 2007 Rulo Syrah, and two great examples from MacLaren winery in Dry Creek (2007 & 2008). The range of flavors, colors, textures provided a perfect learning experience.
If you would like to join in the fun, either ask me to put you on the email, or simply show up on Tuesday at 5pm. No need to bring a bottle your first time, just bring yourself and an interest in wine!