Shana Speaks Wine

Wine Journalist, Copywriter, and Marketing Consultant

Drinking out loud. 

The Home Depot of Tasting Flights

In general, I'm not very DIY.   I'm in awe of the Etsy culture and the general level of skill many people possess when it comes to crafting.  Woodwork, jewelry making, print making - definitely not my forte.  The expansion of store chains like Lowes and Home Depot has me confounded.  Home renovation projects?  Forget it.

However,  one of our favorite neighborhood bars offers various tasting flights that rotate on themes throughout the year.  Even better?  They offer all their wines by the glass as a "taste" pour, which lets me build my own tasting flights. Now THIS is definitely something I can create.  Am I feeling like I want to dig deeper into New World whites?  I can build a flight for that!

Side observation: In general, flights are built around a tasting of three different wines.   I find it rather funny and also ponder why,  given the opportunity to build my own flight, I stay within the psychological constraints of three tastes, even though the options are limitless. However, I'm not aware of any standards regarding the number of flights I order (I jest, I jest).

On this visit, I didn't have any particular agenda in mind and built my flights based on whatever looked intriguing:

Flight #1
Dirler-Cade,"Cuvee Vielles Vignes" Sylvaner, Alsace, France, 2010 -  Strong notes of minerality, slate, pear and citrus announced themselves on the nose and followed through on the palate.  Refreshing amounts of acid gave this opener some zing. This was a great start to the flight.

Cantina Ericina, "Erice," Nero D'Avola, Sicily, Italy, 2009 - Blueberry and other berry fruits came through, along with earth and black pepper spice.  Tobacco notes  finished off this medium bodied southern Italian red.  I think this one will really shine with a little bit of aging.

Cadence, "Coda," Bordeaux Blend, Red Mountain, Washington, 2009 - Concentrated with deep berry fruits and intensely earthy, this was definitely a heavy-hitter. Along with all the soil,  black cherry and almost Robitussin-like notes came through on the lengthy finish.  I'm fascinated that  this blend came from Washington State and wish I had a French Bordeaux for a compare-and-contrast exercise.

Flight #2 
Jean-Philippe Fichet, Bourgogne Aligote, France, 2011 - Aligote is a minor player in the Burgundian landscape and is often used to produce sparkling wines rather than flat wines.  Seeing one on the menu definitely piqued by interest.   Slate, minerals and citrus all shone in the palate.  It was actually reminiscent of the Domaine Faiveley Montagny I wrote about previously and although there was something a bit simpler about the Aligote, it was still highly enjoyable.

Katogi Averoff, Thessaly, Xinomavro, Greece, 2007 -  Red berries were countered with twiggy notes and a little bit of ash, but the berries flowed throughout the entire sip.   Medium body with a bit of acidity, this showcased how Greek wines are truly evolving in quality.

Mourre du Tendre, "Classique," Rhone Blend, Cote du Rhone, France  2005 - Still on a Cote du Rhone kick, I had to add one to the flight.  It was a classic Rhone with blueberry, raspberry and plum fruits. Earthiness and green pepper  rounded out this medium-bodied, easy drinking wine.

Lingot-Martin Cerdon de Bugey, Savoie, France, N.V.   This one was actually part of my boyfriend's flight, but I couldn't resist writing a note about it. This sparkling wine was a ruby color and rich, mousse-y bubbles were in the Champagne style of sparkling wines.  What immediately came to mind?  Yep, Ruinart Rose. On the palate, however, this was a completely different wine.  It was akin to eating a basket of raspberries and instead of finishing dry, a fruit sweetness lingered.  I see this as a good apertif to a meal.

Keep sipping....