Saturday, June 20, 2009

Cakebread Vineyards

Our big winery trip was at Cakebread Cellars where we did the Sensory Evaluation tasting Experience extravaganza eleganza.


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First we got a tour. We showed up late. Of course.

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Where all the Cakebread is bottled.

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Then we sat down in a room with a long table and a bunch of glasses.

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We got a handy dandy information sheet about wine tasting. And a free pocket fold out wine tasting guide as a parting gift. But with the information sheet, it had um, information (unfortunately I don't have it in front of me and I don't remember lol).

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There were glasses of various liquids that contained the four main components of wine - sweet (which was really sweet - ugh.), alcohol, acid, and tannin. We really didn't get much into this. Midway through the Experience our guide was like, oh, drink these things. Actually that wasn't true. We did talk about how each of these components can be felt in specific areas of the mouth. I should have mixed them in an empty glass and created Insomniac Wine 2009 - goes down smooth.

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The process went like this.
  • Our host/guide would walk around and pour us wine. We'd all sit there like obedient children. Once everyone had their wine, he'd say something.
  • We'd look at the color and sniff.
  • Then we'd swirl it around to release the bouquet and sniff again.
  • Then we'd taste.
  • Then we'd mark our information sheet. On the back it had a 1-4 rating scale that assessed the presence of certain elements - tannin, sweetness, etc. You put a 4 if it was balanced, 3 if it wasn't, 2 for something, 1 for something - who knows.
  • Then we'd each go around and say what we marked and why.
  • Then the host/guide would pass around a specially chosen aromatic - like a grapefruit peel, cranberry jam, rose water, something that I thought was molasses, but wasn't. We would have to guess what the aromatic was and then agree that the wine tasted differently after inhaling it.
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One thing that I learned is the importance of swirling before drinking. Sure you look a little like a pretentious douche, but the wine tastes and smells so much better when the aromatic compounds have been exposed to air. So I now appreciate the pleasure of swirling and sniffing the bouquet before drinking. I am well on my way to cementing my pretentious douchiness.


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The whole experience was educational enough, but just not very fun. We weren't with a fun group, our guide kept making cheesy wine jokes ("if you don't remember the 5 Ses, just remember the 3 Ds - drink, drank, drunk.") and wasn't every engaging. One woman kept talking about how she can't get wines at the local Pic N Save in Texas. Her husband kept laughing at nothing. Everyone else was quiet and boring.

I missed my old wine tasting family. They were fun.

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One plus side of the tour/tasting was that our guide didn't try and push any wine on us. When we were done, we exited out of the gift shop where wine and assorted other wine gear was sold, but no one gave us the hard sell. No wine clubs were mentioned, no going around the group asking how many bottles you were going to take, no nothing. We walked through the gift shop and out the door.

After the tasting, we took a stroll outside to see the garden and the vineyards.

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So long Cakebread!

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4 comments:

A Feminist Gold Digger said...

What a bummer. I really like Cakebread. The wine leader dude should have been some Australian or English hottie. Just because.

Ann Marie said...

I <3 Cakebread. It was the first winery I ever visited.

I have no shame about doing the swirl and sniff. We should head to a wine bar and be pretentious douches together.

weezermonkey said...

"One woman kept talking about how she can't get wines at the local Pic N Save in Texas. Her husband kept laughing at nothing. Everyone else was quiet and boring."

LOL-worthy.

Shana said...

Sounds like it was just the one experience to me. And I agree with A Feminist Gold Digger, the accent would just be irresistible.