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Sunday, May 20, 2012


SNIFF,SIP,SWILL,SWALLOW and don't forget to DUMP. Those are the rules of wine tasting.
I went to the New Zealand Wine Fair recently -- me a wine lover from away back who can never quite remember the names of wines that I favor.  And there I was confronted with HUNDREDS of bottles of wine waiting for me to taste, from the twenty six participating wineries of New Zealand.  Boy! Where to start?
First there was a separate table set up with some new wines that were not part of the main tasting room display.  So we started there and I tried diligently to mark down (one - five stars according to my likes.)The first wine I tasted, a Riesling, medium fruity taste, was actually my favorite of the whole day. From Waimea Estates. I was with my friend Mari who is a wine connoisseur and writes a very good wine blog. So I copied her and as we cruised down the table, glass in one hand, spit cup in the other, I remembered the protocol: first you sniff to get the bouquet, then you sip to get the taste and swill it around in your mouth to get even more taste (just let those taste buds explode!) and then you spit it out.  Mari reminded me to dump the spit cup occasionally or once and awhile you forget and might take a sip of it.  Yuk!

Once we had finished tasting the special collection, we moved into the larger room where long tables were set up with reps from all twenty-six participating wineries.  You could take you pick and taste any one of the wines they had on display.

It was one big wine-tasting party.  Soon we met up with Lenora, one of the travel writers, and the three of us cruised the room sampling and stopping to chat with the wine reps. There was a lot to taste: Riesling, Pino Gris, Gewurztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir,Chardonnay,Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. How do you keep track of it all?  Well, I made notes in the little book provided and marked the * to ***** stars but in looking back at them all I still decided it was definitely the Riesling I tasted when I first started out that I liked the best.

Of course, you can't drink all that wine (oh yes! I didn't spit ALL of it out!) so there were tables of the most delicious foods to sample as well, all aromatic New Zealand varieties to compliment the wines.

Nothing tastier than sizzling New Zealand lamb!

Or some beef savory sliders


The yummiest of all were the oysters on the shell. (I could have eaten a whole plate full!)

Then, for a little dessert:

Wine tasting is fun!  But I must remind myself next time to pay closer attention to the particular brands that I like most and make more detailed notes about them. 

If you want to read a good blog about wines,  check out my friend Mari Kane's wine blog. She's an expert!

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