Sunday, October 23, 2005

Wino Extrodinaire

I freely admit to being a wino, wine geek, hell, even a bit of a wine snob. (Maybe more than a bit). I do tours, I do tastes, I am a member of a wine club. Hell, I even have a part-time job in the industry. I love wine. It challanges me, it soothes & comforts me, it invigorates me. It makes a good meal even better, a celebration even more special and helps me to unwind after a stressful day. It's Good Stuff! It's ever changing. Which leads me to one of my favorite fun things. Wine tasting! I like to do a flight of same wine, same vineyard, same winemaker, different vintages. It's amazing how the climate in the very same place from year to year can affect the taste of the finished product. Also, same varietal from different places can be fun as well. J & I decided to do this last night. We were at the LCBO in the vintages section trying to find something to enjoy with dinner and the hockey game. I saw him looking at a bottle of Cline Syrah. This suprised me because he's not much of a New World fan when it comes to that varietal. I said "I hear that's one of the best Syrah's out there." So we decided to give it a whirl.

On his suggestion, we looked around for a comparable French Syrah to do a taste test. We found a good one...Massane 2002 Syrah from the Montpellier region. The Cline bottle was also a 2002 vintage so we thought this would be a fair comparison. The Cline was $17.95 while the Massane was a steal at $11.95.

Once we arrived home, I chilled them slightly so they would be at the optimal tasting temperature. I got out 4 identical tasting glasses and didn't let J know which one was which. Then we tasted. YUMMY! Both were very similar in style, body and texture. Silently, I picked the Cline as standing out. It had a bit more complexity and was a bit smoother on the palate. J also picked the Cline as his preferred one. I asked him to guess which one he thought it was. He assumed French, and was mildly surprised that it wasn't. We enjoyed both bottles immensely. The Massane is such a good deal that I would highly recommend it as well. I would be fun to compare the 2002 Cline with the 2003 Massane because of the very, very hot summer they had in France.
Hmmmm, maybe that could be for another night.

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