I told you in this post how we are at a place of delicate balance in our wine-making efforts. It generally takes at least three years for young vines to start producing usable grapes. But a late rainy season when we planted meant our grapes, which we harvested in what was technically their third year, were really only two and a half years old. So we can bravely offer up our resulting wine to the scrutiny of the experts, knowing that we win either way. If it’s good, well, it’s a testament to our skill. If it’s below par, hmmm, what do you expect from immature grapes? This grace period won’t last long, so we’re putting glasses in front of as many wine connoisseurs as we know. And luckily, we know quite a few.

The latest celebrity palate belongs to Andy’s old friend from University days. Keith is quite a bigwig in what he modestly calls “The Drinks Business”. To explain it in a way that is not understated and British, that means, chances are, most premium Scotches, Vodkas, Tequilas, Rums, liqueurs, etc. that you might have tried, well, he probably was the guiding force behind getting them to market. To explain it another way, you might say Keith is a Professional Drinker.

But, again, we’re in “the Safe Zone” here. So we had no fears in bringing a wide selection our our Rhone varietals for his discriminating judgement. We also had the security of knowing that our wines, which are currently in oak, are far from ready. As a last ditch defense, we could also claim the wines had “bottle shock”. See, we’ve hedged our bets all the way around.

So we lined up a bottle each of Two Terrier Vineyards Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault, Cabernet and a Rhone-style blend that Andy whipped up in the wine cave. And challenged Keith to give us his unvarnished opinion.

So no pressure. But here Andy emphatically makes the point to Keith that TTV Rhone blend is or will be as good as any Chateauneuf du Pape. Yeah, right.

So no pressure. But here Andy emphatically makes the point to Keith that TTV Rhone blend is or will be as good as any Chateauneuf du Pape. Yeah, right.

As the jury was splitting on what wines will age well and which ones will not, Christine was brought in. Mostly because she will politely say that our wine is wonderful.

As the jury was splitting on what wines will age well and which ones will not, Christine was brought in. Mostly because she will politely say that all our wines are wonderful.

 

The amazing thing is that, the more you taste and swirl and ponder and drink, hey, the better and better the wine tastes! Even our wine.

You can also reach that tasting point where spillage becomes a factor.

You can also reach that tasting point where spillage becomes a factor.

 

That’s the stage where someone needs to provide a large hunk of animal flesh to cushion the stomach.

WIth the arrival of the Chateaubriand, we decided we could probably move to the comparison stage of the evening.

WIth the arrival of the Chateaubriand, we decided we could probably move to the comparison stage of the evening.

 

At which point, we cracked open a bottle of Francis Ford Coppola’s Rubicon, just to see how TTV compares. Sadly, Francis’s wine was a bit of a disappointment, despite the elegant decanter it was presented in. Seems it didn’t age quite as well as it was expected to.

Francis, you might not want to give up your day job just yet.

Francis, you might not want to give up your day job just yet.

 

On an interesting side note, I think we inadvertently discovered a cure for teen binge drinking. If you have a group of adults around pontificating about wine in excruciating detail, any sixth graders in the vicinity will be so bored they will have to escape to YouTube.

Teach your kids about the danger of alcohol. By boring them to death with wine talk. Theyll never touch a drop!

Teach your kids about the danger of alcohol. By boring them to death with wine talk. They'll never touch a drop!

 

However, no child should be deprived of the pleasures of classic Rock and Roll. Here Andy demonstrates the licks to David Bowie’s Suffragette City.

Do Sixth Graders even know who David Bowie is?

Do Sixth Graders even know who David Bowie is?

 

Oh, and the professional opinion on those Two Terrier wines? Hmmm, the Cabernet continues to get surprisingly good marks. That’s the varietal that we left on the vines longest and fermented on the skins for the most time. The jury has been divided since Day One on the Cinsault. We’ve been warned by a local winemaker that Cinsault doesn’t perform that well in Sonoma soil. But one of our last wine experts thought it had promise. Andy has now decided it has too much of a “candy” flavor. But, as it is predominently a blending grape, it may have its uses. Generally, our blends are getting better marks. Which is what Rhone-style wines are all about.

The final consensus? I think most of our friends are relieved that nothing is as bad as it might have been.

The final consensus? I think most of our friends are relieved that nothing is as bad as it might have been.

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