Simple palates, Seriously
Often mistaken as the
way of upper class, rich top-hat owners and pretenders of high society, the simple
luxury of wine tasting has been lost amongst the hectic business of modern life.
It is forgotten by the upper
middle class, frowned upon by the lower income earners, the stuff of legends known
to poor university students and mocked by beer-biased lovers. The tasting of wine
is an self-indulgent, self-evaluating and intimate process.
Let me explain. Wine tasting is 'Me-time'. It's all about my personal enjoyment. Whether you or anyone else likes the wine or not, it doesn't matter; I don't care. What's important is whether I've just wasted several hundred of my taste-buds burnt by the harsh acidity of this Sauvignon Blanc, or whether a smile is worn with a twinkle of my eye. It is also a time when I quite consciously delve back into my mind, thinking out aloud and recalling past memories of that oddly-shaped bottle with the unreadable label at that tiny restaurant which served the non-offensive pork roast. And finally, when I'm wine tasting, I'm looking to be teased and tickled by the sweet smelling meadows of flowers; led by the hand down the path hidden by layers of silky velvet and confronted by the bold, charming and seductive personality of the wine. Hence, most company at this point in time wouldn't be necessary (save the human embodiment of all those characteristics!)
Before reading my tasting notes, I think it's important to explain the numbers (or ratings) that I indicate at the end of most. Firstly, casting aside the actual relevance of a rating scale, I've adopted rating points for my own use. They do not align exactly to the renown wine critics since everyone's palates are different. And they certainly aren't as well written with a flowery choice of words since I'm not a super-smeller or taster. You will also notice that if I tasted a single bottle over days, my ratings might vary quite considerably. I started out using a 10-point scale, evident from older notes and I have not gone back to altering those after shifting to the more user-oriented 100-point scale.
To make things more complex, the 100-point scale isn't really a 100 point spread. To summarise, here's a rough breakdown.
100 : Perfection! What more do you need?!
98-99 : Amazing drink, fantastic structure, perfect balance, but doesn't scream out best of the best quite yet.
95-97 : Great drinking, balance of aromas and flavour is all in the right proportions.
93-94 : Nice stuff. But not enough to etch itself into my memory. Look here for value-for-money buys.
90-92 : Not bad, but some room for small imbalances that don't spoil it too much. Value-for-money can also be found here.
88-89 : It's a drink. Pay up to $25 for these.
86-87 : Good for the pub.
85 and below: house wines
Wine tasting notes by region
South Australia - Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra
Victoria, Western Australia & Canberra District
Italy & Germany
New Zealand & Others
Wine tasting notes sorted alphabetically (disorganised)
September 2007: Artisans of the Barossa
Easter 2007: Barossa Valley trip
I wouldn't drink that (Part 1)
I wouldn't drink that (Part 2)
I wouldn't drink that (Part 3)
I wouldn't drink that (Part 4)