Saturday, March 31, 2012

Don't judge a bottle by it's cover.

A hastily organised Zinfandel/chili pairing, in Vinoland tonight, was quite a success.  Ten mystery wines - and I say wines as two bottles turned out to be something other than Zin - vied to be top dog, or rather in this case, top animal.
When Vinomaker tastes wines blind, he likes to use combinations of numbers, or animal names, written on plain brown paper bottle bags to identify each wine, instead of the simpler numeric system of numbering the bottles 1, 2, 3, etc.  Vinomaker, and his friend Sky King, believe that tasters experience some sort of number/cognitive bias when faced with a wine numbered 1, versus a wine numbered 10.  I don't think I have ever had a problem with number bias (although I am fond of the number 3), but apparently some people do.  So, when faced with ten bottles of wine - sporting animalia monikers such as pig, sloth, Bluetick Coonhound (a late entry, don't ask), and eel - I displayed no bias towards ugly creatures when I picked toad (very closely followed by lemur) as my favourite wine.
The terrific toad had the good fortune of turning out to be a delightful 2009 Joel Gott Zinfandel from Amador County; extremely varietal like, pepper, raspberries, red currants, and superbly smooth.  The lovely lemur was a 2010 Black Cat Zinfandel from Howell Mountain; redolent with oodles of vanilla, and the bouquet, and matching palate-pleasing taste, of the best cherry pie ever.  Yum!
My least favourite wine was bat (and I'm really quite fond of that particular mammal) which turned out to be a 2009 Ravenswood California Zinfandel ($10); mystery spice, mystery fruit, some oak/vanilla, and hot.
Moral of the story?  None really, except perhaps that a lowly toad may just turn out to be a prince of a wine.


NHwineman said...

You always seem to have a good time!
No surprise that the Ravenswood would end up last, you have to go to their single vineyard wines, but there you'll find some excellent choices.
Also, would be nice to have a list of the other Zins blind tasted.

Vinogirl said...

NH: I usually do have a good time when close friends and wine get together.
Other wines were; Karly, Z52, Clos Du Val, Dingač and Sloth (Michael David).
Someone threw in a Culler Cabernet sauvignon, and yet another brought a Shypoke Charbono - to a Zin tasting!

Lord Roby said...

I have just bought a Redwood Pinot Noir 2010 at my local Wal-Mart.Would you give it a one dog rating or a two dog award?

Thud said...

A strange bunch in vinoland.

Vinogirl said...

LR: Well, obviously that's a 'Two Dogs' wine.

Thud: We try our best.

Dennis Tsiorbas said...

VG: I was revisiting this post, and just how much I enjoyed the story (real story).
I'm always amazed at what a good writer you are (I've said that too many times now).
As for the Joel Gott Zin, I have not tasted the '09, but I haven't liked the two I've tasted, and though I have friends that are crazy about Michael David, I'm not one of them; the Petite Petit was fairly good.
As for the creative animal names (Could use the names of trees, or bugs) instead of numbers, I'm with you, but I'd go with the flow on that sort of thing: no biggy! Oh, please don't feel you have to respond to this, with all that advising you're way too busy!

Vinogirl said...

NHW: I can't believe that you are re-reading one of my posts :) Thank you for the kind words about my writing, but I am no wordsmith.