As we sat in the War Room, a.k.a. our conference room, the discussion spiked with the topic of what wine varietals were to be ordered for the upcoming Crave Event. 60 bottles of wine boldly stared at us and only 12 could make the cut. Envision the scenario, four different brains, four different palates, four different personalities. Laughing to myself I couldn't help but soundtrack the conversation to the Queen song "Under Pressure".
60 Shades of Wine
Two weeks prior within a shipment of 5 boxes, 60 bottles were delivered to our office ranging in 14 diverse varietals. The shades of red tones beat any Home Depot paint swatch section flaunting their deep plum's to burnt oranges to lipstick reds with everything in between.The mission was to descriptively judge and note the appearance, scent, taste, and finish for each bottle in the hasty time frame of one week. Being the blood to our heartbeat, ordering the winning wines late could become a sticky situation, ultimately ruining our scheduled bottle dates and limiting our wine selection at the Crave Event. The battle between time and wine kicked off with an opening spurt of excitement. Let's be honest, anyone in their right mind, whether a wino or not would've immediately signed themselves up... but the reality of it grew exhausting before it ever began.
Monday - Whites kicked off the week with Alberino, Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Viognier and Pinot Grigio, equaling a considerable total of 14 bottles. The Alberino and Chardonnay from Russian River Valley left a memorable impression upon our taste buds and an anticipation for a few of their upcoming reds the next couple of days.
Tuesday - Each time we entered into a new category, we would briefly pinpoint the characteristics we should be acknowledging during the tasting. With an extra taster joining us we flew through the 12 Syrahs efficiently but all left with food and water in mind.
Wednesday - The arrival of 25 Pinot Noirs had finally come, with four tasters we paced ourselves steadily, snacking at various points yet attempting to dismiss some more frequently to avoid the belly aches we had previously departed with. Disposing of perfectly fine wine goes against any winos true nature and to be honest is not as easy as expected. We found ourselves, especially on this day at a contemplative crossroad of to toss or not to toss, with the detailed sensory notes taking backseat this in turn had become the real decision of the day.
Thursday - Timeout please! Sitting in the war room, wine bottles covering the conference table, we couldn't bear to acknowledge the fact that we weren't finished yet. It had become a chore. Your exaggerated eye rolls are expected and to be quite frank you might as well volunteer yourself to taste along side us when the next shipment arrives for better understanding of course. We continued to ignore the remaining bottles while getting some real work done we mentally but unanimously decided this time of recuperation would be beneficial.
Friday - TGIF! Again we got lucky enough to talk some more tasters into helping us finish up the last nine bottles of mixed reds. Black purple Malbecs, the lone, rich Counoise, Cab Francs, and a handful of juicy Merlots fought for a place in the last seconds of this preliminary week. After a hearty lunch we re-tasted our personal favorites, reviewed notes and prepared the necessary paperwork to order the correct tasting bottles.
The experience alone left me in awe of professional sommeliers. The fact that they're in tune with every aspect of wine is inspiring. Never tiring that each wine like human beings will leave you with a different encounter. Before this I didn't truly understand the correct appearance of a Pinot Noir, the authentic finish a Pinot Gris or that a Counoise, which happened to be my ultimate favorite, even existed. After much sacrifice... excuse me I mean discussion, we presented the top twelve at our Crave Event last Thursday and are eager to announce the new two wines chosen by our Cravers!