Saturday, January 17, 2015

Chateau Pichon Lalande

Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is my favorite Bordeaux label. A Super-Second Growth (a Second Growth that is widely considered as First-Growth quality), it presents excellent quality for a price, while still high, that is much lower than the price of the First Growths. Thus, it's "Bordeaux QPR" is very good.

For me, Pichon Lalande's characteristic uniqueness includes notes of blackcurrants and violets. Even from an average year, at about 25 years old, a Pichon Lalande recently blew me away as the best old Bordeaux tasted, at one of my Bordeaux tastings. I have sped up my search to find more, ever since that wonderful day.

Excited to visit the winery during our upcoming trip back to Bordeaux. We also get to see the Mouton wine museum, and taste from barrel there. Talk about bucket list!


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Tannins in tea and wine - why cheese works with red wine!:

Interesting report from Univ of Minnesota:

Tannins are found throughout the plant world, and at least one of their properties has been known for some time. The word ‘tannin’ is derived from the process of using plant extracts to cure leather (tanning). This highlights one of the principal chemical aspects of tannins – they are highly reactive with proteins. Tannins play an important role in both grapes and wines. In wine, the perception of astringency on the palate is attributed to tannins.  In your mouth they bind with salivary proteins and cause the proteins to precipitate. The end result is that your mouth will lack the lubrication that saliva provides. Thus, astringency caused by tannins are very much a tactile sensation in your mouth. This is why we often will describe the sensation of tannins as silky or rough.

The British learned long-ago that a splash of milk in their black tea can make it more palatable. This works because instead of reacting with the salivary proteins in the mouth, the tannin extracted from the tea leaves reacts with milk protein (casein), resulting in a beverage that is less astringent. The same thing occurs when one consumes red wine with cheese. The proteins in the cheese react with the tannins in the wine, making the wine seem less harsh. Tannins are what make drinking red wine with a high-protein food like steak such an enjoyable experience.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

2011 Alto Cinco Garnacha

Wow! What a great wine, and I am selling it for just $9. Fantastic bouquet including flowers and spices and purple fruits, and great in the mouth. Smoother and more complex than other wines costing four times as much! I am hoping to visit this winery in April this year.

I have sold 33 cases of this wine over the past month. Getting rave reviews from my customers. So glad I found it!