Contributed by Nicole Nowlen
Wine tasting has been a favored activity of those who love this elegant beverage since time immemorial, and can be a great reason to get friends together and impress them with your knowledge of fine wines. No matter where you hold such an event wine-tasting will bring an air of sophistication to the proceedings, and serves as a wonderful excuse to share your favorite vintages or to introduce new wines to your repertoire. Where you hold your wine-tasting can be just as important as what types of wine you bring, and the two can serve to complement each other well.
Summer White Wines in the Garden
An outdoor setting, ideally a garden, is a great place to savor the best of spring wines, from a flavorful rose wine to the rich yellow-gold of certain white wines. The wonderful aromatics of these wines will serve to accent the fresh crispness of the air and the hint of flowers in bloom. There are few better ways to celebrate the this time of of the year than with an outdoor wine tasting, sampling the best of mother nature’s bounty during this season of promise.
Autumn Wines in the Vineyard
Fall wines are excellent served around the sultry wood-smoke smell of a burning fireplace while gathered close with family and friends and accompanied by the best of the season’s cheeses. Wines like the Alsatian Riesling stand apart from their contemporaries by not having the sweetness so common to Rieslings, but instead bring a full-bodied dryness with the flavors of apricot and peach reminiscent of the season. The Burgundy Pinot Noir can be another excellent choice, it’s pedigree coming from a region known for its wine as far back as 200 A.D. The mix of summers strawberries with the fall-ripened cranberries create a wonderful palette perfectly suited to the season.
Winter with Wines in the Conservatory
There is nothing like the beauty of winter snow to herald in feelings of family, and bringing that family together with a wine-tasting in your very own conservatory can bring together the warmth of home with the stark beauty of a snow covered world. Conservatories are excellent at retaining warmth, while being walled with glass that brings the outdoors in. A candle-lit wine-tasting will fill the windows with sparkling jewels of flame, and impart a cozy warmth to the scene. Mulled red wines are excellent for the season, the savory warmth of the mulling spices mixed with the raisins’ sweetness is perfectly suited to a cold winter’s gathering. Slices of orange, splashes of brandy or cognac and many others will lend each cup a distinctive flavor.