Last week was Bob’s birthday and we did a little something different to celebrate. Rather than trying to buy him something (impossible – he always ends up buying what I think of before I can) or traveling somewhere (end of the school year for me and a bit hard to get away) we had a few friends over and did a blind rose tasting. Four wines, three we were familiar with, one new, blind. Could we determine which wines were which and would be still love our favorite wines without the labels?
We actually picked out five wines for this “tasting.”
- 2018 Bedrock Ode to Lulu
- 2018 Domaine Guy Mousset Cote du Rhone
- 2018 Longboard Watergirl
- 2018 Domaine Loubejac
- 2017 Cosado Morales
Bob picked four of these five – the Bedrock, the Guy Mousset, the Longboard and the Loubejac. I knew the first three were going in, but did not know which of the last two he picked. He uncorked them, took off the foil from the neck and wrapped each in a paper bag. When the time came to pour, I picked from the fridge, numbered the bag and poured without him looking; this way we both were tasting blind.
I am embarrassed to say, I did not correctly identify a single rose – a much worse result that the Sauvignon Blanc tasting we did a few months ago. Bob got one correct. the surprise winner was the 2018 Domaine Loubejae from the Willamette Valley. This Total Wine pick up was less than $15 and the unanimous favorite among all of us drinking. Lulu came in second for three of us and the last two split for third and fourth. I was very surprised I could not identify the Lulu or Guy Mousset since they are my “go-to” rose wines, but that is okay. There were no bad wines in this line up, nothing that we didn’t like. Let me repeat that – we liked every wine we tasted, even the ones that came in “last.”
It was a fun evening and I think we may have to try this with Pinot Noir or Zinfandel in the fall.
There are times when we open a bottle of wine and I either forget to take notes, forget to take pictures or both. Some of these wines are really good and I make a mental note, and others are just okay or not to my taste (one or two have been downright bad) so I don’t think to go back the next day (generally when we have the wine again) and get the right information to post about the wine.
For example, just after Thanksgiving we had some friends over and we did a mini blind tasting of Sauvignon Blancs. To be fair, it was three Sauvignon Blancs and one Garnatxa Blanca. I uncorked and bagged the bottles and Bob poured so none of us knew what we were tasting. We decided to keep it simple – what did we taste, what did we like and could we identify the non Sauvignon Blanc. The results … none of us correctly identified the Garnatxa. None of us liked one of the Sauvignon Blancs (a Chilean wine that really just tasted like pine resin to Bob and was just plain bitter for me), Bob was gaga over the Bedrock and John and I loved the Longboard. It was nice to know that at the end of the day, two wines we really love are the ones we went to when we didn’t know what they were.
This was the year of rose for us. We found several that we loved (Ode to Lulu Rose, I’m looking at you) and maybe one or two that we made a note to skip next time we saw it. On the whole, it was a really great year for rose wine for us and something that we are drinking through the winter and into spring this year.
I’m still a fan of red wine. Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Zweigelt, Pinotage, and almost any Italian red and I’m in. This year we saw more restrained wines – Zinfandels that normally have 14%+ alcohol were in the 13% range, which doesn’t seem like a big difference, but it can be. I actually started looking for wines with lower alcohol content so I could really enjoy the wine, especially that second glass, without feeling like I’ve had a ton to drink. I’m hoping the trend of good, moderate alcohol, red wine continues.
Bob and I are finally getting to Sonoma this year – something we are really looking forward to. I have a spreadsheet (of course I do) of wineries we want to try to get to and a few non-wine sites to check out. I’m always open to ideas, so if anyone has any great places to go let me know. Until the next post – happy wine exploring.