WineWondering | Skillshare Projects


I am wondering about wine.  I have no interest in beer, liquor, or liqueurs.  But, wine is an entity unto itself.

I am wondering about the historic, geographic, and cultural influences of the wine producing regions and about the seemingly endless wine producers themselves. I am wondering about terminology that doesn't yet feel comfortable in describing wine; tannins, the nose, on the palate, at the end, accents of this and a hint of that.  

So I am off to make my first class purchase and prepare to experience the Wonderment of Wine. 

                                                               A Local Experience

Living within Lake Erie Wine Country, formerly the Chautauqua-Lake Erie Wine Trail, on the south shore of Lake Erie, I decided that I would sample true local wine fare for this course.  A local vineyard, Vetter Vineyards in Westfield, New York has a wine made of Concord grapes which sounded fairly nonthreatening since I am particularly fond of Concord grapes.  They signal fall like nothing else for me as they truly fill the air with their smell and one can see them literally filling the landscape for weeks before they are harvested.  We have grape festivals, we make grape pie, heck we even have a local high school whose mascot is the "GrapePickers" in honor of Concord grapes.  

Thus, I begin with Vetter Vineyards Concord Wine.  This is surely a varietal wine since it is clearly labeled with the grape in two places on the label, local pride perhaps, and it tastes like weakened Concord grape juice, and I know my Concord grape juice.  It is a still wine, no sparkling here, and alas no date on the label either.  

I am disappointed to not enjoy this first local bottle, but I am off to purchase my second Lake Erie Wine Country representative and am optimistic for a better choice. 

A Treasure Trove of Wine Tools and Thinking Outside the Box

Lesson #2 sent me to our own collection of wine tools.  I don’t know why we have an aerating pourer or a wine preserver-vacuum pump with 2 stoppers, but lo and behold there they are in our kitchen cupboard unopened and ready to be put to use.  I also found 2, not just 1, but embarrassingly 2, butterfly corkscrews, both of which are now in the trash.  No wonder we break so many corks!  Tomorrow we buy a foil cutter and a useful wine opener.  The foil cutter is too cool to not have and, we now don’t own a wine opener!

I’m excited about the box wines.  My only experience is with Franzia, so it’s time to think way outside their box and inside some of the other box options.  In my quest to learn something before I purchase, I found this rating of boxed wines in Forbes, and thought I’d share the link.

 I’ve also discovered that one of our local wineries, Arrowhead Wine Cellars in NorthEast, PA, produces “pouches” of wines.  They are marketing to outdoor enthusiasts that want to have their wine with them.  The pouches are made to fit in backpacks and bike-packs for hiking, biking, boating, and other outdoor activities.  We’re going to take a drive up there this weekend and purchase a couple, so I’ll post more information in the future.  One more reason to exercise! 

Happy Birthday with a Sniff and a Swirl

I went to dinner for my cousin’s birthday and took advantage of the “Sniff & Swirl” lesson with the Cabernet Sauvignon red that I ordered with my New York strip steak.  Since I was enjoying my own glass of wine so much, we decided to purchase  a bottle so we could all sniff and swirl, sip and discuss what we tasted.  The wine steward suggested the Hawk Crest Cabernet.  He brought it to our table to serve and remained to provide group tutoring, similar to what Dr. Boyer shared in his video. I think he rather enjoyed having us listen to and mimic his instructions.  

Our general consensus was that it was very good, especially enjoyed by those of us that had ordered steak.  Most of us felt we could taste a cherry flavor, but not too fruity or sweet, and a bit of a spicy taste as well.  Though I paid the restaurant’s price, I suspect this is not an expensive wine, and probably a good value for the quality. 


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