Wine School with the NY Times!

17 Mar

Have you ever wanted to attend wine school? I have. There are so many resources available in Manhattan, but my schedule tends to compete with all of them. So I was intrigued to see Eric Asimov’s post in the NY Times on March 12th: Get Out Your Corkscrew / Wine School by Eric Asimov. In this article (click on the above link) Asimov introduces his casual, online/in print wine school has no pre-requisites or even in person attendance. As a matter of fact, the only cost is buying the wine. This month, he provides an introduction to the concept of wine school with the goals and terms involved. Tasting homework from this month is from the famed Bordeaux region with three wines to try (expecting readers to try one, maybe two) from the stunning 2009 vintage in the $30-60 range.

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Asimov’s post explains succinctly the goals of wine school which should ease the minds of most of the wine lovers out there. This is no haughty, heady, sommelier’s wine discussion. Rather, Asimov has created this monthly column “to help create an atmosphere of pleasure, attentiveness and curiosity about wine that will lead to knowing what you like, what you do not and why.” Seems straightforward enough, and removes the daunting feeling so many people have when faced with a massive tome of wine at a restaurant or the smug smile of an ancient sommelier looking down his nose at the unwitting diner looking for a reasonable, pleasurable glass or bottle.

Most importantly, Asimov has removed the stress from the tasting by 1)citing that the process is to enjoy these wines by drinking & enjoying the wine & food pairing experience, as opposed to simply tasting a wine , speculating and spitting; and  2) not putting pressure on the reader to speak out or answer in a public forum unless they want to. Readers are encouraged to post responses, and the list is already lengthy with cheers and some jeers from those who find even $30 bottle too pricey. Those readers do seem to ignore that they get the entire bottle to enjoy at home, compared to what would be a much more expensive hour for a wine lecture, parking, and a one ounce tasting pour in a New York City tasting environment, but you know what they say: Everyone’s a critic.

While my cellar has cases of 2009 Bordeaux laid down to rest, I’ll be seeking out a bottle to match this conversation and open without regret, since I was taught at a young age that a great Bordeaux vintage should be at least ten years old to fully appreciate it. While those lessons and wine rules have all but been tossed by modern society, I still fear the pangs of regret- so buying new it is for me! I’m ready to enjoy, and am thrilled that Asimov has taken the cup to the people.

These are the three moderately-priced Bordeaux wines Asimov has selected for the tasting, with the prices he paid and sellers where he found them:

CHÂTEAU BERNADOTTE HAUT-MÉDOC 2009 $32 (Sherry-Lehmann Selections/Le Reine Importing, New York)

CHÂTEAU CANTEMERLE HAUT-MÉDOC 2009 $53 (Frederick Wildman & Sons, New York)

CHÂTEAU SOCIANDO-MALLET HAUT-MÉDOC 2009 $62 (Frederick Wildman & Sons)

Are you ready to taste with us? Join in, if you have the slightest inkling- I think it will be fun! 

à votre santé!

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