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Archive for September, 2010

Or very rarely does.
I’ve had the opportunity either through work or with friends to help people develop their palate. I’m certainly no mega-taster (Robert Parker) I’ve just been able to find a way to get people to enjoy wine and get them to feel more confident in expressing what a wine is telling them.

Smell is the most closely linked sense to memory
This probably sounds familiar. Think of the TV show character Monk as he smells the pillow of Trudy, his deceased wife. Her scent allows him to reconnect with her even thought she’s long since passed. The opposite can hold true as well, just the thought of your first girlfriend may remind you of jasmine, the smell of her perfume.

Try and incorporate memories into when you’re tasting wine. If you’re tasting a Sancerre and it reminds you of passing through a stream while camping, or the first time you had Pellegrino that will be infinitely more helpful than saying that it tastes like grapes. Mine that information, your memories are informing your palate, and will help you in describing the wine. Mineral water is known for the taste of limestone, and in the stream there are stones that give a smell known in wine parlance as wet stone (not making that up)

Wine may not taste like grapes, but this wine sure smells like…
Raisins, or apricots, or cherries, or… If you are getting more interested in wine should and wish to further develop your tasting skills, go to the market put your shnoz on every thing you can find -especially the produce section. Take a whiff of some cherries and tell yourself, this is what cherries smell like. Like athletes building up muscle memory, sommeliers/winos train to develop scent memory. Since most fruits aren’t always in season it gives you an exercise year all long

As much as I hate the saying that “wine is bottled poetry,” tasting wines and allowing them to reminisce certainly gives some credence to the quote.

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The Al Di Meola

1oz Bourbon
½ squeeze lemon
1 tbsp apricot jam
2 dashes peach bitters
2 dashes sherry vinegar
I’ve been trying to incorporate vinegar into my cocktails but to no avail. It made sense when I first read the use of vinegar in drinks, it plays the role of citrus in adding acid. But ditching citrus and replacing with vinegar hasn’t produced a desired effect. By adding just a bit adds another pleasant note without too much sourness.

Why is it called an Al Di Meola? I guess I was just thinking of Mediterranean Sunset when I grabbed the vinegar.

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