Wine Tasting with Royal
Hello ladies. I wanted to thank you for having me on your blog. Tash has asked me to do a little wine tasting session. I figured I’d bring Tessa’s favorite wine with me—Tocai Friulano. It holds a bit of a special place in her heart…and mine. I’ve actually badgered my poor brother, Eli, to make a new label for it. That’s a special surprise for her though, so don’t say anything yet.
The Tocai Friulano is a white wine. It’s from Northern Italy and the Andreas Winery is one of only a handful in the United States that grows this grape. Because we’re in the valley along the Atlantic coast it makes for a perfect setting to grow this grape. It took some fast talking to convince my old man to take a chance on this grape. I’m grateful since trying out this wine was how I met Tessa.
Since we hand-harvest at Andreas it adds a special clarity to this particular wine. We’re an artisan winery, which means we take the time to do things as they have been done for hundreds of years. We cull the vines ourselves. The only machines in the fields are the trucks that bring in the bins of grapes. And instead of a machine press, we still get into the stomping vats and get our feet into it.
Don’t worry, there’s still a host of other processes, so there’s no dirty feet in our wine.
And there’s also an aging process to ready the Tocai. It takes nearly a full season from the time it goes into the stainless steel barrel until it’s ready for tasting.
This glass? About seven bucks. I know, I know. Don’t give away the lovely etched glasses you got as a wedding present. Those are great for drinking your wine once you’ve found one you love. But the actual process of finding the wine? You need a smooth glass with no etching on it, no colored glass—just this simple and classic glass.
There’s a reason that you’ll see white tablecloths at a tasting. The same reason we use a clear glass, the white is a neutral background for when you do the first step in tasting.
You’ll want to fill your glass only a quarter of the way. Number one, so you don’t get bombed during the process. Wine, especially the Tocai, is nearly thirteen percent alcohol. If you’re trying six or eight wines—well, that’s like a six pack of regular beer. That’s why you’ll see spitting stations if you go to a big tasting event.
Personally, I can’t do the spitting thing. I like my wine. I want to drink it. But I’m also over six feet tall and about two hundred and fifteen pounds. I can handle a few glasses without worrying about my blood alcohol. My girlfriend? Not so much. So, just know your limits.
There’s another reason why you aren’t going to fill your glass to the brim. You want to be able to look at the color. If you decide to get deeper into the wine tasting process, you can tell if a wine has been barrel processed or stainless steel just by the colors you see.
You want the wine to be able to breathe as well. When I’m having a meal with my family we decanter our wine so it can aerate. There’s a lot of fancy contraptions you can buy out there, but I’ve found a good decanter is all you need.
When you’re tasting white wine, like the Tocai, you want to keep your fingers on the stem of the glass. White is supposed to be tasted at a certain temperature. The Tocai is a medium bodied wine so anywhere between 50-54 degrees is ideal. We run at 98.6 or better, so if you hold the bowl of the glass you’re going to warm up your wine. That’s okay if you’re drinking red, but it can really change the flavor of a white.
The reason we want a thin glass is to be able to see how the wine clings to the glass. The longer it takes for the wine to settle back into the bowl of the glass tells you how dense the wine is. The Tocia is a light and will cling a little.
If you haven’t decanted your wine you’ll want to give it a good swirl to open up the notes and flavors.
The third step is the sniff test. You’ll see some people dip their nose right over the edge of the glass to get a good sniff. I just hold the glass a little lower and get a good whiff. What you smell will often change how you taste the wine. The Tocai in my region will taste different than a Tocai Friulano straight from Italy. It depends on what’s in the ground near the grapes.
For our Tocai you’ll get a hint of pears and peaches, the wild white flowers that grow on the hillside and a hint of the minerals in our soil. It’s a really fresh wine that goes well with dishes like white fish and risotto.
The fourth step is the sip and savor. You don’t just swallow like you’re drinking a glass of water or iced tea. You want a small amount that you can roll around on your tongue and hit all those different taste buds to get the full effect.
If you’re going to try more than one wine you’ll want to cleanse your palate with crackers or even lemon sorbet. I think you just need the crackers and a break along with a glass of water to ready yourself for the next vintage.
Wine tastings are a great way to do a field trip with friends. I’ve had more than one person that is convinced they hate red wine walk away with three different bottles of red after a good wine tasting. It’s all about the winery you go to and the company you keep.
Thank you so much for having me on your blog. And please visit a local winery if you’re interested in doing a tasting. They will take care of you, I promise.
Title: Ashes and Wine
Author: Taryn Elliott
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 190 pages
Release Date: June 2012
Imprint: Ever Afters
Purchase from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Ashes-and-Wine-ebook/dp/B008FT0YSQ
Purchase from Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ashes-and-wine-taryn-elliott/1111887106
Before Tessa met Royal Andreas, her bookstore was on the verge of sinking. And before Tessa met Royal Andreas, she didn’t mind being single. But Royal brings in business with monthly wine tastings featuring his family’s signature vintages–and brings Tessa’s heart to a standstill with intense gray eyes that look on her with nothing but cool indifference.
Yet one searing kiss between the stacks gives Tessa a glimpse of the passion smoldering beneath–and a secret pain further revealed when Royal fills in as the musician at a tasting event. Every note of Spanish guitar tells a story of family tragedy, loss, and ongoing suffering that’s made Royal afraid to lean on anyone…even if he needs Tessa’s sweet flavor more than the richest wine. Only her strength can save him when his world crumbles to ashes. But has Royal learned trust too late to claim Tessa as his own?
Taryn Elliott is from the great state of New York—upstate NY, thank you very much. Her family consists of a brother who takes care of keeping the snarky side of her alive and a dog that is more spoiled child than mutt. She counts her writer-friends as the glue that keeps her crazy ideas more in the sane category, and her non-writerly friends as the reason she’s not a complete hermit.
She can’t go a day without laughing, and falls in love with each and every one of her leading men as she’s writing their book. Music is life and every story has its own soundtrack.
Taryn is shamelessly addicted to the internet and adores hearing from readers. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her on most social media outlets via her website, www.tarynelliott.com.
Author Website: http://tarynelliott.com/
I’m opening it up for two weeks since my review won’t be up until next week
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