paradise for a progressing palate.

they say the best way to get to know wine is to taste it. sounds like the perfect excuse for a few glasses here and there, a great reason to do a wine-bar hop, and a wonderful excuse to get together with friends and share each guest’s favorite bottle, doesn’t it. but it really is true. the only way to know if you like a wine is to try it. the only way to find out if you absolutely hate a wine is to try it…and spit it out (easy in theory but i haven’t met too many people who are willing to spit despite their dislike).

this weekend i had the pleasure to be a part of a fantastic event – unwined; an unconventional tasting event (featuring awesome vendors, distributors, and food trucks galore) put on by clubW, an awesome company that allows people like me who definitely don’t know everything there is to know about wine, to try wine. plain and simple. behind closed doors. no pressure. wines delivered right to your doorstep each month. AND they are small production wines so its stuff most of us a. wouldn’t find at the local liquor store or b. wouldn’t buy if it was there.

this weekend i made my pouring debut. what does that mean? i got to be a part of this cool event – unwined, and represent a fantastic company, middleton family wines. middleton family wines is a family owned business producing wines out of a few different wineries in washington and california. the two wines that i was pouring this weekend were two different whites: a chardonnay and a sauvignon blanc, semillon (SBS) blend.

the first, buried cane chardonnay was a phenomenal summer wine, perfect for an evening get together with a group of friends – a few cold summer salads, fresh cheese, and great conversation. want to know why it is called buried cane? because each year, in order to ensure that the buds survive the cold of the washington winter, green vine canes are buried beneath the earth. this unoaked chard, once bottled is a beautiful white with hints of crisp green apple, and macadamia nut. most people described the chard as a crisp wine with a bit of acidity. the 2009 buried cane chard was a popular pour amongst those who are commonly overwhelmed by the buttery oakiness of an oaked charddonay.

my favorite of the two was the cadaretta SBS – a crisp, refreshing, fruity white. sweet, but not too sugary. dry but not too dry. and to top it off, the bottle is the perfect blend of modern edge and timeless class. this wine is the perfect wine for a hot summer day (both saturday and sunday happened to be warm. while the tasting notes {citrus-like aromas of tangerine and lime, with layers of  pineapple, pear and star fruit with a hint of white pepper} say one thing, the best part of the event was being able to hear what other people have to say about the wines. now don’t get me wrong, these were incredibly spot on and important as i described a wine i had tried just 30 minutes prior to serving the swarm of almost 1000 people that came through the doors on saturday night (another 500 or so on sunday morning), what was most interesting to me was the different scents and flavors different people sensed. i tended to taste the pear on the first sip, the pineapple on the second sip and could smell the citrus on the first try. others had a hard time finding the pineapple and sensed the tangerine and lime immediately.

i will openly admit that i may have been one of the less skilled people in terms on wine at unwined this weekend. but hey, it really didn’t matter. i knew the basics and was able to learn. i put on a smile and poured some fantastic wine. there were people at this event who have been in the wine industry (both here in the US and around the world) who know the ins and outs of thousands of varietals. there were people who have incredibly keen palates and could catch the slightest hint of cinnamon in a chablis. and i loved learning from them and allowing them to learn from each other. it was cool to see how strangers (of course access to a couple hundred wines doesn’t hurt the friend making process) became friends, all around a bottle of wine. and an event like this, with wines from around the world TURLY IS the perfect paradise for a progressing palate.

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