Thursday, August 23, 2012

Chianti with Ms. Susan - Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Chianti with Ms. Susan - Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

About the wine: Chianti (kee-yan-tee) is an Italian red wine blend produced in Tuscany.   Chianti can be made with many different varietals. Baron Bettino Ricasoli created the Chianti recipe of 70% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo and 15% Malvasia bianca in the middle of the nineteenth century. During the 1970s producers started to reduce the quantity of white grapes in Chianti. In 1995 it became legal to produce a Chianti with 100% Sangiovese. For a wine to retain the name of Chianti, it must be produced with at least 80% Sangiovese grapes. Chiantis tend to have medium-high acidity and medium tannins. The acidity in the wines make them very flexible with food and wine pairings, particularly with Italian cuisines that feature red sauce, as well with as beef, lamb and game.
   A Chianti may have a picture of a black rooster (known in Italian as a gallo nero) on the neck of the bottle, which indicates that the producer of the wine is a member of the Gallo Nero Consortium, an association of producers of the Classico sub-area sharing marketing costs. Since 2005 the black rooster has been the emblem of the Chianti Classico producers association.
   Basic level Chianti is often characterized by its juicy fruit notes of cherry, plum and raspberry and can range from simple quaffing wines to those approaching the level of Chianti Classico. Basic everyday-drinking Chiantis are at their peak between three and five years after vintage
    Chianti Classico wines are characterized in their youth by their predominantly floral and cinnamon spicy bouquet. As the wine ages, aromas of tobacco and leather can emerge.  Well-made examples of Chianti Classico often have the potential to age and improve in the bottle for six to twenty years.
    Chianti Superiore is an Italian DOCG wine produced in the provinces of Arezzo, Florence, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato and Siena, in Tuscany. Superiore is a specification for wines produced with a stricter rule of production than other Chianti wines, and has been authorized since 1996. Chianti Superiore wines can be produced only from grapes cultivated in the Chianti wine areas except from those vineyards that are registered in the Chianti Classico sub-zone. Vineyards registered in Chianti sub-zones other than Classico can produce Chianti Superiore wines but must omit the sub-zone name on the label. Aging is calculated from 1 January after the picking. Chianti Superiore cannot be sold to the consumer before nine months of aging, of which three must be in the bottle. Therefore it cannot be bottled before the June after picking or sold to consumers before the next September.
     Chianti Riserva is aged 38 months instead of 4-7. Chianti that meets more stringent requirements (lower yield, higher alcohol content and dry extract) may be labelled as Chianti Superiore, although Chianti from the "Classico" sub-area is not allowed in any event to be labelled as "Superiore".

Reminder about Italian Wine Rating Scale:
VDT --> IGT -->  DOC --> DOCG (highest)

Our dear hostess Susan provided us with many delicious foods to pair with our Chianti:
Smoked Gouda, Asiago Fresco, Greek olives, artichokes, bread, breadsticks, Tortellini with pesto, ravioli florentine, grilled zucchini, proscuitto, marinated roast beef slices, a tuna/redonion/bean dish, and a chocolate torte (with orange zest and walnuts) for dessert.  YUM!

Tasting Notes:
1) 2010 Ducceto Chianti Bartali, 12.5% alcohol, $14.99 @ Whole Foods
smells a little funky, like latex and jam, tannic, spicy, dry, almost bitter, root-like, dark cherry,
"The ambiance is over people", nose of salad dressing - Italian, spicy finish, "a lot lighter than you think", "A Wednesday Chianti"

2) 2009 Chianti Colli Senesi, 12.5% alcohol, $17.99 @ PH Wine Merchant
transparent, translucent, oaked, dark fruits, mushroom, smooth finish, mild smooth finish, tart opener, more depth and character than the last wine, cherry, this is more interesting, more earthy, sweet spices in it, it has "seen some wood", peach, light, Friday Wine, "it's not a Saturday wine, but its nearly there"

3) 2005 Costello Paneretta Torre a Destra Chianti Classico Reserva, 12.5%, $29.99 (on sale, usually $39.99) @ Total Wine (91 pts on wine spectator)
dark ruby color, perfumey nose, sweeter floral nose, lite sweet flower, like Vanilla or Magnolia or Iris, dried fruits, Matt is guessing Piedmont region ?  dates, raisins, plums, dark chocolate, fig, cassis, anise (a slight bit), "elevating to a date wine", "Saturday night wine", "Smooth jazz with a little blues", luscious and seductive, smoothest one yet, creamy, blueberry yogurt.

4) 2008 Felsina Castel Nuovo Berardensa Chianti Classico, 13%, $19.99 @ Hintons
lilac aromas, plum, bronzy/cloudy color, more age, tart, bold-full bodied, metallic/bitter, "pretty tannic for a Chianti"older, "the wood's very dominant", mahogany, "more gripping on the mouth", very little fruit, graphite in wax, like melted crayons, Walter's favorite so far, chlorinated pool water on the palate

5) 2007 Cecchi Chianti Classico, 13.5% alcohol, $14.99 @ Toco Giant
darker, perfumey, oak, chocolate cacao, Matt guesses "same as #3 but different vintage maybe?", dark chocolate cherry, tart, smooth, sour cherry, acidic, sweet tarts, nice lingering legs, earthy nose.

6) 2010 Toscana Rodano Poggialupi (Castellina in Chianti) a Super Tuscan - 13% alcohol, $16.95 @ Marietta Wine Market
"smells like Le Caveau, the store", musk, cedar, juniper/evergreen musty, heavy perfume, smooth, BERGAMOT that's what I smell!  chocolatey tobacco, back of tongue - leather, "it's got some backbone"

7) 2007 La Castellina Squarcialupi Chianti Classico Reserva, 14% alcohol, $25 (on sale) @ Total Wine
Funky, sulphur compound nose, tart, sour body, almost celery-quality to it, like a freshly opened box of rubberbands, but the palate is different, not what you would expect from the nose, a true example of "Dueling Cobras" between the nose and palate, Riki-Tiki-Tavi mongoose, would pair with spicy food, balance of light and playful, syrupy

8) 2008 San Felice Agricola Chianti, 12.5% alcohol, $14.99 @ Le Caveau
gamey nose, like venison, meat, light berries, tart, light-bodied, flimsy, not well balanced, bitter-ish, not well structured

9) 2007 Ruffino Reserva Ducale, 13.5% alcohol, $20 at Minx
more life on the palate, acidic, light floral nose, "it tickles your nose", ammonia, tart/bitter, salami, very dry, takes breath away, pulls moisture off your tongue, bitter/lime, "explodes in your mouth, but in a bad way", "it came out my nose" - I would like to comment that several folks actually sneezed after acquiring the bouquet on this one.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Wine to Water tasting - August 21, 2012 - Ms. Deb

Wine To Water tasting - August 21st, 2012 - Hosted by Ms. Deb
Wine To Water is a 501(c)(3) non-profit aid organization focused on providing clean water to needy people around the world. Nearly one billion people in the world today lack access to adequate water and 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation. We are devoted to fighting this epidemic. Wine symbolizes fortune in our society. Our goal is to give the fortunate population an opportunity to fight for those who can’t fight for themselves. Wine To Water was a dream that became a reality in the beginning of 2004. We held our first fundraiser in Raleigh, North Carolina in February of 2004 to see if in fact it was an idea that people would respond to. The concept was originally to put on benefit wine events, such as tastings, then use all of the money raised to support water projects around the world. The first fundraiser was a great success. With its success, and others to follow, came a confidence that Wine to Water would continue to grow as an organization. As a result, wine tastings became just one of many ways that we raise awareness and support for the global water crisis. We have worked to provide clean water and sanitation in many countries including Sudan, India, Cambodia, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Haiti.
"I chose a project and want to set a goal to raise enough money to build a well in Cambodia.
In Cambodia, Wine To Water partners with a local community based organization called Kone Kmeng. We have drilled over 150 wells in provinces throughout Cambodia, including the poorest region of Svay Riegn. In December of 2008 we purchased a drill rig made of local parts and began drilling an average of 4 wells every month. Nine months later, in September 2009, we increased our capacity to 16 wells per month. The average depth for these wells is between 90 and 100 feet. When we first started this project the typical cost for a well in Cambodia was about $2,500. By making our own hand-pumps using local materials and utilizing local workers to drill the wells we were able to get the cost down to $500 per well.
Deb originally posted:  "I hope that we can raise $500! I think if each TWIT donates $10 and finds 2 or 3 people to donate $10 we have our very own well!!"

    Well guess what ?!?

We raised OVER $ 500
And the icing on the cake, is that we were able to donate the money, using a corporate matching program with one of our members, and DOUBLE it! 
So that's TWO water wells the TWITs will be funding in Cambodia. 
For more information on Wine to Water, watch these Video Clips:
  1. TEDxAsheville  (approx 20 mins)- Doc Hendley - Extraordinarily Ordinary -
  2. 2010 update on Doc Hendley from CNN (2 mins) -
  3. Doc Hendley - Founder and President of Wine To Water – CNN Heroes (2 mins)-
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