Once a week, my friend Sheridan (who works at Corks and Caps) and I meet up for an educational tasting. We select a specific region (we are currently navigating our way around Italy) and bring wines from said region to our tasting. We analyze the color, aromatics, flavor profile, and complexities, as we skim through books (The Wine Bible, The Wine Atlas) and the internet for supplemental information.
Last week, we tasted through a selection of Italian white wines we purchased from pH Wine Merchant and Corks & Caps. We picked the 2014 Terredora Dipaolo Falanghina, 2014 Bastianchi Friulano, 2014 Suavia Soave Classico, and the 2013 Mauro Molino Roero Arneis. It was very helpful to taste these wines side by side, because a lot of Italian white wines demonstrate similar aromatics and textures. However, when tried next to other Italian white wines, it’s easy to pick up the differences between the flavors, textures, and other little nuances.
The Falanghina from Terredora Dipaolo was light on its feet with refreshing notes of stone fruit and honeydew, while the Bastianchi Friulano had a richer, more rounded palate with aromas of hay, pears, and almonds. The Suavia Soave Classico was incredibly aromatic with white flowers jumping out of the glass. And, lastly, the Mauro Molino Arneis was fresh with acidity and notes of citrus, apple, pear, and mineral; there were floral aromatics from this wine, too, but more reserved.
I have found it to be incredibly beneficial and education to taste wines with someone else or several others who share the desire to learn. This setting pressures one to really consider every aspect of the wines and opens up an interesting, constructive discussion. And the comparison aspect helps me familiarize with the styles of different producers or the characteristics of the different grapes and regions. These tastings have not only provided a platform to learn, but to, also, become more comfortable talking about wine.
If you are not deep in discussion over your glass of wine right now, I hope you are at least provoked to think a little more about it.