education is always fun especially when the
seminar is given by wine educator and award-winning author Kevin
Zraly. Held as part of the 1st Annual Queen City International Wine
Festival at Revel
32 in Poughkeepsie, New York, the wine seminar provided participants with the ability to learn to
appreciate and look at wines in a new way. As the class involved tasting four
wines, it was the perfect combination of learning while experiencing. Cheers!
Saturday, February 18, 2023, we attended the One Hour Wine ExpertTM seminar with
Kevin Zraly, award-winning author of Windows on the World Complete
Wine Course sponsored
by Wilson Daniels, held
during the 1st Annual Queen City International Wine Festival.
The art of covering the glass and swirling
course of the seminar, we learned fun facts that 90% of taste is smell, the
Hudson Valley is the oldest wine area in the United States, and that our sense
of smell gradually diminishes after age 32. As taste is related to smell, there
are three different levels of tasting categories: non-tasters, tasters, and
super-tasters. While non-tasters can taste nothing, supertasters taste
everything and are overly sensitive impairing their ability to tolerate
anything spicy like black pepper. Like most things in life, moderation is best,
and with wine you hope to be middle of the road in the tasting category.
four different wines, three from California and one from Oregon, a Sauvignon
Blanc, a Chardonnay, a Pinot Noir, and a Cabernet Sauvignon. Before we began
tasting, we first learned how to best appreciate the smell of the wine by
covering it with our hand and swirling the glass, then lifting our hand and
breathing in deeply to elicit the most aromatics from the wine. Four wines
tasted, four different styles, yet all delicious.
compared wines to milk, with white wine like Riesling the equivalent of "skim
milk," Sauvignon Blanc as "whole milk," and Chardonnay as "heavy cream" meaning
the wines range from lighter to heavier, both in color as well as mouthfeel. While
with red wines, Pinot Noir is the "skim milk," Merlot would be "whole milk,"
and Cabernet Sauvignon as "heavy cream."
Lane Sauvignon Blanc 2020, Napa Valley, California
Chardonnay 2021, Carneros, California
Pinot Noir 2021, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Cabernet Sauvignon 2020, Napa Valley, California
The Wine Tasting
Whitehall Lane Sauvignon Blanc 2020 was made like a Bordeaux blend that was
light in color that would pair well with oysters or white fish in a cream
sauce. Notes of baked apple, lychee, pear, toasted walnuts, very little oak,
white flowers like honeysuckle, and yeasty fresh croissant on the nose. On the
palate, there were citrus notes of grapefruit, lime, and lemon with a lingering
Rombauer Chardonnay 2021, Carneros, California was made with 100% Chardonnay
which had a deeper color from aging in oak, with 14.5% alcohol. Woody, white
peaches and apricot notes. This was a wine that although very drinkable now
could age for another 5 years to elicit its full potential.
The Elk Cove
Pinot Noir 2021, Willamette Valley, Oregon, was made from 100% Pinot Noir
fermented in steel tanks, then barrel aged for 10 months in French oak. Kevin
described it as a red wine masquerading as a white wine. It is a "skim milk"
wine, meaning that it is lighter in color and flavor. Red fruit, red cherries,
violets, cola, and leather on the nose, with nice backbone and acidity. This
wine would pair well with fish especially Pacific White Salmon or Swordfish.
Sniffing Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon 2020, Napa Valley, California, made like a Bordeaux blend of
91.3% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3.3% Merlot, 2.1% Malbec, and 1.1% Petit Verdot. This was a more powerful wine with its
vibrant dark purple color with dark fruit, cocoa, hints of cinnamon, and deep
plum on the nose that followed through on the palate. This wine was drinkable
now, but could age for 3 more years to elicit its full potential. This wine
would pair well with grilled portabella mushrooms, sirloin because of its fat
content and protein, and lamb. The fat and protein help breakdown tannins which
is why when you add a bit of butter to a steak its brings out the flavors of
the meat as well as the wine. This was a "heavy cream" of a wine.
to note is that when the class was asked which wines they preferred, those that
preferred the Sauvignon Blanc over the Chardonnay, also preferred the Pinot
Noir over the Cabernet Sauvignon, whereas those that selected the Chardonnay
also preferred the Cabernet Sauvignon. We both selected the Chardonnay and the Cabernet
Sauvignon as our wine preferences, meaning that we like "heavy cream" wines
that are powerful and full of flavor. When in doubt as to which wine goes with
what foods, it is up to your own palate, and Kevin notes, chicken goes with
Kevin Zraly and Debra C. Argen
Tasting Tips: Do not wear scent to tastings as it
will interfere with your sense of smell and diminish your ability to detect
nuances in the wine. If you can see through the wine when you tip the glass and
hold it over a white napkin it is ready to drink.
our experience at the 1st Annual Queen City International Wine Festival in the Wine Cellar section.
information on Kevin Zraly or to attend one of his upcoming wine classes,
please visit his website: www.KevinZraly.com
Poughkeepsie, New York 12601
information on Revel 32, upcoming events, as well as hosting a wedding or
special event there, please visit their website at: www.revel32.com
Poughkeepsie, New York 12601
1915 Wine Cellar
is open Tuesday through Thursday from 4:00 pm until 10:00 pm, and Friday and
Saturday from 4:00 pm until 12:00 am. Parking is available both on and off
street in nearby parking lots. Parking is free after 6:00 pm and on Weekends
and Holidays. Visit their website for directions and more parking information.
information on 1915 Wine Cellar and their upcoming events including their live
music calendar, please visit their website at: www.1915.wine.
International Wine Fest
information on the next Queen City
International Wine Fest, please visit the website: https://www.queencityinternationalwinefestival.com/
Tourism - Hudson Valley Region New York
Road, Suite A11A
New York 12601
information on visiting the Hudson Valley and upcoming events, please visit the
Dutchess Tourism website at: http://www.dutchesstourism.com/
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