After our first test on Friday our class headed out to Buccia Nera winery for our very first wine tasting. I was looking forward to the visit since I have never seen a wine vineyard before, and I have never been to a wine tasting. I knew the vineyard would be beautiful, but it was so much more breathtaking then one could imagine! When we arrived we first got to meet the winemaker who showed us around the inside of the winery. There he told us more about the winemaking process and what Buccia Nera does differently. For example, instead of using spontaneous yeast the winery uses inoculated yeast which allows them better control over the fermenting process. I liked getting to see what we had been talking about in class in real life. I had no idea that wine could be so high tech, so it was much to my surprise when we walked into the building and I saw where the wines were fermented (pictured below). I had always had the misconception that wine was always fermented in a old cellar with barrels that were just left until deemed “ready”.
Seeing the process behind winemaking first hand really helped me better visualize what we had been learning in class. Next, we went to the vineyard. The view was absolutely amazing. What was so crazy to me was how big the vineyard was. Here we learned how Buccia Nera is an organic winery and how they are pesticide-free. I liked how dedicated Buccia Nera was to making their wine process unique to them and truly trying to do what they deem will make their wine the “best”. After seeing the vineyard we headed to the wine tasting.
The first wine we tasted was a white wine. I liked this wine it was quite dry to me and gave me the “sour” feeling in my jaw. I quite liked the aftertaste as I tasted a little bit of fruity flavors and it seemed a little refreshing. I also enjoyed that the alcohol taste was not too overpowering. It was also quite soft and “filled” your mouth. Since this was a white wine we learned that it is pressed first and then fermented unlike how red wine is made.
Donna Patrizia I.G.T – Buccia Nera – Toscana Blanco –> Grapes: Trebbiano 40%, Malvasia 40%, Grechetto 20%
The next wine was a red wine. I have never been a huge red wine fan, but this wine was my favorite out of the four! Dr.Halterman who sat next to me showed me how to view the “legs” of the wine by swirling my cup and then watching how slow the drops fall. This red wine had prominent legs. When I first sniffed the glass I did not like the wine at all since it smelled strongly of alcohol. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I tested the wine as I throughly enjoyed the taste, especially the after taste. I thought the wine had a little bit of spice to it which I really liked.
Syrah I.G.T – Buccia Nera – Tuscany Syrah –> Grapes: Syrah 100%, made with grapes from Cortona, aged for 12 months, 12.5% alcohol
The third wine was another red wine. At first when I tasted this wine I did not enjoy it much as I thought it tasted too much like alcohol (since it had a higher alcohol content than the first red wine). However I then tried it with the tomato bruschetta, and I thought this help change the flavor entirely. With the bread and tomato the wine tasted less like alcohol and seemed more smooth. I liked the warm sensation from this wine.
Sassocupo – Chianti Superiore Dogg –> Grapes: Sangiovese 90%, Canaiolo 10%; it ferments in temperature controlled tanks, 13.5% alcohol
The last wine we tasted was a dessert wine. When I heard we were tasting a dessert wine I got excited because I thought it would be very sweet, but I was most definitely wrong. This wine had a beautiful yellow color, but smelled very strong of alcohol. When I first tasted it I did not like it at all because I felt like the alcohol taste overpowered the other flavors. However it left a pleasant aftertaste with hints of honey that I enjoyed. I found that I could really only drink this wine if I took a bite of the biscotti before and then took a sip of the wine. I think if I was to buy wine on my own I would probably not choose this wine because of how high the alcohol content was.
Vin Santo – Central Etruria Hills – Registered Designation of Origin –> Grapes: Malvasia Toscana and Trebbiano, 16% alcohol, harvested in the second half of September
After this first wine tasting I am looking forward to our next one at the end of this week. I can already tell that I am getting better at noticing flavors and at finding more complex ways of describing what I am tasting. At the end of this class I hope to be even better at tasting the different flavors in wine, and that I can start to appreciate the art form of wine even more!