Learning by Exposure

Part of a long drawn out article from Staten Island Advance is the suggestion to taste wine in levels if you are a novice, becoming familiar with the many different tastes of the successive levels. It is eye opening, because there are so many that I have never tried.

Tips on learning the progression of wine tasting

Each level contains a minimum of five red and five white wine types for you to taste. This is a general guide and a good wine salesman or waiter should be able to suggest additional choices. Save money by trying half bottles instead of full ones, and when dining out, try different wines by the glass.

I strongly recommend that you spend a minimum of three to six months experimenting with the wines of each level before proceeding to the next.

While each level will introduce you to more complex tastes and aromas (and at higher costs, I might add) it is important to realize that each level does contain unmatched applications and pleasures that will last a lifetime. In other words, no one level is more important than another.

Exposure Level One, — white wines: Lightly oaked California Chardonnay; French Macon, Bourgogne Blanc; French Alsatain Pinot Blanc, Riesling; Lightly oaked Australian Chardonnay; Spanish Albarino; Most Italian wines. Red wines: Basic French Beaujolais, Bourgogne; French Bordeaux Superiors, Cru Bourgeoise; sweet-style rose wines; Washington State Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon; Italian Dolcetto, Chianti, Barbera; Spanish Rioja Crianza; basic California Cabernet Sauvignon.

Exposure Level Two: White wines. French Pouilly-Fume and Sancerre; French white Bordeaux (dry and sweet); French white Burgundy; Drier Champagne and sparkling wines; Most California Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc; German Reisling (Spatlese and Auslese level) Full-styled Australian Chardonnay and Semillon. Red wines — California red wines; French red Burgundy; most Australian Shiraz blends; Oregon Pinot Noir; Classified French Bordeaux; Italian Super Tuscan wines; older Spanish wines.

Exposure Level Three: White wines — Spanish Fino and Manzanilla Sherry; Premier Cru French white Burgundy; Grand Cru French white Burgundy; older French white wines; French Sauternes; Hungarian Tokaji; German Riesling. Red wines: Top-classified Red Bordeaux; French Premier Cru Burgundy; French Grand Cru Burgundy; aged red wines (10 years plus); top Italian DOCG Barolo, Barbaresco and Chianti; top Italian Brunello; top California Cabernet Sauvignon and top French Rhone wines.

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Rhone Varietals to try from Paso Robles

I wanted to give a few suggestions on some wineries to visit or bottles to watch out for from Paso Robles. Katie and I just got back from a harvest party at Linne Calodo and everything we tasted from barrel for 03′ was outstanding. Be on the lookout for these up and comers.

http://www.linnecalodo.com/
Sign up for the wine club, it will be a little while before you get anything, the list is back logged…

http://www.tablascreek.com/
The Perrin family from Chateau Beaucaustel got together with an American importer to create this Rhone Varietal Winery. Very good wine.

http://www.aventurewine.com
L’Aventure wine is another great winery receiving rave reviews. However, I haven’t had the chance to try anything yet.

http://www.klwines.com/product.asp?sku=1005168
Alban Grenache from K&L. I don’t think they have a website, but this is a place to order their grenache. JL from winespectator likes their wine also, and gave this bottle 93 or 94 pts. A nice wine to try if your getting into Rhone Varietals.