How to taste wine at 100º, afternoon session

half bessa wine glass 7-09.jpgSummer afternoon tastings that morph into evening wine campaigns is what the hottest season is all about. Strategy, tactics and logistical controls are so very important especially when conditions are harsh as in really really H-O-T. And when the tasting theme, suggested by the regent Mouse is Riesling served cold, temperature management is vital. As the outside thermometer burns through 100 degrees the glasses get warm just sitting around. The treatment? Cold conditioning for stemware which means rinse the glass in ice water before each new pour. Wine buckets no more than a quick reach away replenished with ice throughout the day. But what about the taster? Keep a swimming pool nearby, wear trunks or a discrete one-piece and dip every 30 minutes. Throw a towel over the chair and return to the table. Assemble a crack team with the inevitable hangers-on. Tactics include having the requisite plonk for the lumpen. To summarize…keep cool and moist, stratify wine selections, and ensure the tasting cadre are kept refreshed.
This tasting proved to be especially interesting.
cadgalmoscato04.jpg2004 Ca’ D’Gal Moscato d’Asti Vigna Vecchia ~$15: Peaches and apples, yummy, apple pie, crusty flan flavors. Really really nice especially for 5 years old. And it’s a U20. 6.5%
milztritten89.jpg1989 Milz Laurentiushof Trittenheimer Felsenkopf Riesling Auslese ~$80: First older wine. Riesling tastes great young but can be quite extraordinary with as many as 20 years on it. According to Rudi Wiest the 1989 vintage for Milz was “a near great harvest for quality. Best wines of the 80s”. But what about 1983? [ed. coming, patience please] Color of a certain dehydrated bodily fluid. Flavors like Galliano. Still some green fruit. Baked goods, did somebody say Pfeffern√ºsse? [ed. fetching madchen at top and tBoW tasting vet EJ]. 30 minutes later…petrol and anise nose and salty licorice flavors. They don’t make’ em like this anymore with teetotaler alcohol level of 8%.

hertzbergsmradg98.jpg1998 Frtiz Herzberger Hochrain Riesling Spitz/Donau Wachau Smaragd ~$40: This bottle wins most-words-on-the-label prize. The wine is from a premium Austrian producer. Smaragd means it is at the Spätlese level of German Riesling wines. Unfortunately, it is over the hill. Long gone. Pretty dried out. Severe although even in its sunset years it has some appeal to the more disciplined tasters. Jawohl!! 10%
eitelsbach79.jpg1979 Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Auslese $55: An historical producer from Roman times coveted through the Napoleonic era. All the pedigree a German Riesling house could want. This 30 year old Mosel Auslese is very well balanced, with nose of bees wax, aged honey flavors. Very delicate. Not a crowd pleaser; more favored by some than others. Perhaps it was the age.Think Lauren Bacall in her 80s. Another low alcohol throwback at 8.5%
2006 Plantagenet Great Southern Riesling
$11: Break away to a Riesling from the Land Down Under. Wild Willy notes the BBQ overshadows any aromas. Switch to oral sensory devices. Dry dry dry. Zesty, acidic, lean, lemon lime flavors. Clean. “Button down collar” says WW. Good value says tBoW. 12%
1992 Geheimrat J. Wegeler Erben Rudesheimer Berg Schlossberg Riesling
$45: Splits the tasters. Licorice and anise on the nose and in the mouth. Cooked apples, light weight, petrol presence. It ain’t Mosel. Big ticket for controversial wine. 9%
augustkesslerrudy2001.jpg2001 August Kesseler Rheingau Berg Schlossberger ~$30: Great wine from a great vintage and a great winemaker. Perfectly balanced. “This is what Riesling should taste like” says one taster. All the acid, all the fruit. Just right. Shows what regions other than Mosel can produce. Wine of the day [ed. but not the evening!!]. 9%

next post…flight of red wines…and an incredible dessert capper…