Monday, December 28, 2009

Wine Aficio-NOT-o-s

This is my BIL Jim.


He is our family wine expert and every year he puts together our annual Christmas wine tasting.

Each Christmas he selects three different bottles of wine. He covers the bottles with foil so we can't see the labels...


Some years he includes a really expensive wine and contrasts it with a cheap one to see if we can taste the difference...

This year he gave us three very good (aka expensive) Rhone wines.


He writes up the expert tasting notes about each one...describing their unique bouquets and flavors.


And then we all place our schnozzes in our glasses...


Sniffing and tasting...


Re-looking at the sheet to see what we're supposed to be smelling and tasting...


And then sniff and taste some more...


Trying very hard to discern the hints of tar, black currants and earth...


Or the notes of earth, garrigue and new saddle leather...(For those of you who don't know what garrigue is either...it's a type of low, soft-leaved scrubland found on limestone soils around the Mediterranean Basin, generally near the seacoast -- something I'm sure many of you have tasted in your wines on a regular basis.)

And then we all write down our secret answers and pass them into our host...who announces the winner.


This year he stumped us all and no one got it right...though my brother John swears he tasted the saddle leather but it smelled a bit worse than that...

All in all we have a great time and it's nice of our BIL to give us the opportunity to pretend to be experts.


Aficionados we are NOT...but I thought we looked pretty sniffy.

In keeping with the theme, my brother John made these cool wine bottle lights...


He's a cyclist so he looks for bottles with cool labels rather than the quality of the wine.

We still look to my BIL Jim for that.

14 comments:

Judy S. said...

Sounds like fun! Your BIL is quite creative! I've never been able to figure out where those descriptions come from....my undiscerning nose/tastebuds can't tell much of anything.

Carol said...

I don't know nuthin 'bout no wine, though there is lots of whine at my house, but I sure likes the lables!

Happy New Year.

Lynn said...

I'm a sucker for an artsy label! I choose my wine like I choose a book from the library - by its cover! (I know, I know, never judge a book by its cover; or a wine by its label.....)

Cheers!

Elmsley Rose said...

Thankyou for another fun photo essay!
I love 'participating' from afar.

FredaB said...

I would swear you are a professional photographer with the wonderful pictures you take. So clear. You must enjoy it to make them so good.

I like the bicycle labels and the lights in the bottles look great. I had seen these somewhere on the web and think they are cool. Tell him Good Job.

Hugs

FredaB

Marnie said...

O What FUN! I think this will be the perfect New Year's Eve 'activity' at my house! If you are a fan of "big" reds, try a Valpolicella sometime. Yummy (and earthy/tobaccoy/leathery...giggle

;-)

shebaduhkitty said...

that sounds like a great holiday tradition! I really love the wine bottle lights. I think I will have to try that

fancypants said...

I love those wine bottle lights! Those are great!

trouvais.com said...

It looks like fun! Are you ready for New Years? Champagne tasting? Trish

Allison Ann Aller said...

Your family has such fun!

You may not be so interested in wine, but the tea world is just as deep and complex....

http://www.harney.com/

a2susan said...

Seems like there is plenty of creativity to go around in the Elliott family! And fun too! I bet Jack is counting the years down until he can join.

Susan

black bear cabin said...

All right...who was the slacker drinking the Heineken? :) (i saw it in the background of photo number 2).
Im a "beer" person myself, so after i failed the wine test, thats what id be drinking! Looks like fun though :)

Wanda said...

Hi Susan! Beautiful pictures. Quite the "wine lesson" complete with teacher and everything! How cool! and such a beautiful table spread.

Hélène H said...

It usually takes some time to learn to taste the different flavours in wine. However some people are natural tasters. I can't say I am.

Nice choice of wines, nice gift from your BIL ! Seems like you had a lovely time.

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