Saturday, August 18, 2012
BC Wine School
A couple nights ago, I went for a little wine tasting. Along with the few sessions that I went with my cousins on our family cruise, this would make it my fourth session this week. But anyway, back to BC Wine School.
We got to sample 15 different wines from all over the globe. Before this session, I had told a few people about my experience at my previous wine tasting session on the cruise ship. We sampled 12 different wines that time also from all around the world. My cousins and I concluded that we learned we all enjoyed the same local wines from North America. It generally has more aroma and flavour, compared to the European wines that tend to seem more watery and flat. We agreed that it must be due to the reason that we've all just grown adapted and used to what we normally drink.
After sampling the 15 different wines this time, it was very apparent that my observation from the previous session stayed consistent. The local wines (from BC, from California, etc) tend to have more flavour and notes, while the European wines (from Germany, Italy, France, Spain, etc) tend to be more flat and watery. But, on top of that, we learned that there is a reason. The European wines (also called the "Old World" wines) are meant to be paired with food. Its relatively flat and watery characteristic matches its purpose, which is to compliment the food you're eating, but not overpower it. Having too many flavours going on at one time, will take away your enjoyment of the food you're eating. Whereas the wines from everywhere else other than Europe (also called the "New World" wines) tend to be more aromatic and flavourful because it's meant to be sipped on its own. A drinking wine.
I've been to other wine tastings in the city, and while some friends enjoyed the other sessions more (because they're more educational than just simply wine tasting), I actually preferred this session more. I personally liked it because it seemed less "stuffy". I found the instructor's descriptions of some of the wines rather amusing.
"Can you taste the pencil sharpening in this wine?". (describing the woody, oaky flavour)
"This wine was only half oaked. So it's less like you're sucking on a two-by-four." (also describing the woody, oaky flavour).
"So... if you must get a present for someone you don't really like, this wine might be it." (describing a so-so mediocre wine that probably won't offend anyone).
I enjoy the educational part behind these sessions, but in the end, to me anyway, if you like the wine, you like the wine. Everyone will have different taste and preferences. One wine isn't better than another to me... someone could enjoy a $10 bottle of wine just as much as someone else enjoying a $400 bottle of wine. And that's great either way.
I was told that beginner wine drinkers tend to go on the sweeter side first, and as they grow to learn about wines, most people will switch to dryer wines. This may be true, however, I don't believe this defines one as a beginner or experienced wine drinker. I'm skeptical to believe anything in the wine world... other than the fact that if you like it, you'll drink it.
I prefer wine (over beer and hard liquor) because I do enjoy the taste. Actually, I take that back... I sometimes can enjoy a beer just as much minus the carbonation. On a warm, summer day... I'll go for a glass of white wine or a pint of beer on a patio without hesitation. I still prefer my local wines and depending on what I feel like, I could go dry or sweet (like a riesling or moscato and not an ice wine).
Overall, it was a fun, enjoyable night to unwind after a day's work.