Tag Archives: Merlot

Wine smells, seriously…

The other night my wife and I were sitting on the couch enjoying a bottle of Merlot and I started smelling the wine, then she did and next thing we know we are going back and forth about what we smell in the wine.

Now this may not seem like a big deal to many of you, however, with two kids (and 5 animals) in the house we don’t get as much ‘sit around and smell the wine’ time as you would think. Sure, it’s a huge passion of mine, and my wife enjoys it too, but daily life often gets in the way of really thinking about the wine and trying to place what aromas are coming out of the glass.

This particular bottle was about seven years old and comes from a cooler part of Sonoma County. Cooler climates generally lead towards darker fruits and there were plenty of those: Dark cherries, boysenberry and plums. This one also brought in tons of earthy character like hay and dirt. And some very unique smells like metal, granite and blood. Yup, that’s right, blood.

Some of you might be grossed out (and that’s okay), but you smell what you smell. And might I add that your brain can only recall aromas that you have smelled and identified before and my wife who is a veterinarian by trade (remember the 5 animals) is used to being around blood and can certainly identify the smell.

It all comes back to experience. One of the most difficult things in wine is sensory recall – being able to name the aromas levitating from the glass. It takes concentration and not being drunk. It takes patience. And most of all it takes practice. Lots and lots of practice. And that is the fun part, right?

Cheers!

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Traveling Tuesdays – Keating Wines (at Cornerstone)

My second stop on Tuesday was Keating Wines┬álocated South of the town of Sonoma on highway 121 in the Cornerstone art and garden center. I was lucky enough to taste Eric Keating’s first vintage of Malbec (I think it was a 2005) about 4 years ago. When I put that wine in my mouth, I knew it was something special. This is the 2007 vintage and it’s still a great wine….

Back when I initally tasted this wine, it was one of the first Rockpile (extreme Northern Sonoma County) wines I’d ever had. The flavor and texture of this 07 is stunning.

$5 gets you 6 tastings of wines made from vineyards throughout Sonoma County. I enjoyed all the wines and some of my favorites included the Sonoma Valley Merlot ($25) and the Rockpile Petite Sirah ($38). I’ve heard the Beckstoffer Georges III Napa Cabernet is outstanding, but it’s not available for regular tasting. The room is large and simple with an urban upscale feel to it. The focus is definitely on the wines and I will never fault a tasting room for that. My daughter even had a space to sit that was out of the way.

I could also see hanging out on these couches with some friends.

I’d say I’m one happy taster!

The Keating Wines tasting room is open from 10-5 daily. Definitely worth a visit.

Cheers!

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