Wine Blogging Wednesday #48 – Roots of Wine Enthusiasm
It is Wine Blogging Wednesday again! This month’s theme is Back to Your Roots. Our host this month is Lenn Thompson from LENNDEVOURS, who indeed began the whole Wine Blogging Wednesday enterprise 4 years ago! And what a fine idea it was. The theme this month requires that you revisit a wine that you tasted early in your wine tasting experience that piqued your interest enough in wine to begin an enthusiastic journey into wine appreciation. I’m a fairly new wine enthusiast, so this wine was first tasted… 8 months ago?
My choice for this wine is the 2006 Martin Ray Gewürztraminer Angeline from Mendocino County, CA. Actually, the wine I originally tasted was the 2005 vintage but that is no longer available. This is an affordable (around $12) introduction to the aromatic white wines that I continue to drink and enjoy to this day, 8 WHOLE MONTHS later!
This wine is very sweetly floral on the nose, with notes of marzipan and stone fruits and spiciness on the palate. There is light bubble action in the glass. It is eminently gulpable and I still like it. The finish is a bit short. I’ve since had Alsation Gewurztraminer from Zind-Humbrecht which I recall having snappier acidity and slightly fuller body, and an even headier nose.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the sort of wine I was drinking before beginning my wine education in the fall of 2007. Here it is – I’m not proud. I actually paid money for this. Not that much money of course. It is the 2007 Beringer White Zinfandel! Yes! I thought for yucks I would taste this. Of course I have tasted hundreds of finer wines at tastings, home, restaurants, events, and classes since having this so my palate has certainly gained at least a sort of intermediate level of competence in determining wine ‘quality’. I’m not going to get into the question of how one determines wine quality – that is an issue perhaps for more experienced oenophiles and wine cognoscenti.
O.K. this Beringer wine is a rosé although they call it ‘white’. It’s got a deeper salmon pink color than I recall from a few years back. This is an overly sweet butter bomb. I suppose you can say it is insipid (lacks nuance and complexity) and flabby (lacks backbone/structure). The primary flavor is strawberry-flavored Jolly Ranchers. It’s hard to identify any varietal characteristics of Zinfandel. At 10.5% ABV it won’t knock you out too much if you have a glass or 2 with a simple meal. Probably the main objection I have here is it is just so sweet. It’s practically fruit punch. Forget about residual sugar – we’re talking buckets of sugar. But hey, Americans really love sweet beverages so Beringer is giving the people want they want here. I used the rest of the bottle in Sangria where it’s pretty well masked with fruit juice, sparkling water, and flavored liquer.