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tasting party with Anthony Gismondi

Time:2019-05-15 04:31wine - Red wine life health Click:

Creek 1 Vancouver Sun Anthony Gismondi Ucluelet

Never forget that tasting wine is supposed to be fun.

That central idea and a little advance planning is all you need to host a successful wine-tasting event, according to 1709/1816615.html">Vancouver Sun wine critic Anthony Gismondi.

Gismondi will be hosting a tasting event Oct. 15 at Ucluelet’s Black Rock Resort and you can watch that evening as the master describes each of six wines, their terroir — the idiosyncratic flavour that comes from growing grapes in particular soil, with particular water and all the climatic conditions that are unique to a place — and the vision of the individual winemakers.

“I’ll be talking about the varieties of grapes and the blends and why they are blended, why they are grown at that site and how they are connected to the place and its terroir,” said Gismondi. “Then we will do some tasting.”

You can download the video at 7 p.m. from vancouversun.com/videos.

Don’t worry if you aren’t an expert in wines. You only have to know what tastes good.

“People think, ‘Omigawd I have to go to a wine tasting and I don’t know anything,’ but it’s not like going to the dentist,” Gismondi said. “Relax, get some bottles and have some fun.”

Wine tasting does come with its own lexicon of sometimes pretentious-sounding flavour descriptions, which you can review at websites such as lovewine.org — or you just say how it tastes and feels in your mouth and, most importantly, compare the wines with each other.

Take the time to decant or pour the wine early to let it have contact with the air for at least a few minutes before drinking.

“I can make a ten-dollar wine taste like a twenty-dollar wine just by taking the time to look at it against a white background, decant it, taste it, study it, and then drink it,” Gismondi said. “It’s amazing how much better the wine gets, even when you don’t know too much about it.”

“Not all the wines we are tasting need to be decanted, but they will all benefit from getting air,” he said. “On the video, I’ll be showing people how to do that in the glass and how to decant.”

To take part at home, you can buy one, two or all six of the wines and invite friends over to taste and share their own impressions of the fine B.C. wine selections. Everyone should take a few notes as they taste.

“Taking notes is really how you learn about wines going forward,” he said. “Then you can really attach what are tasting to the Pinot Grigio, or whatever.”

If the idea of buying six bottles of wine sounds onerous, Gismondi has the solution.

“If you invite five or six friends, they can each buy one of the wines and that makes it much more affordable,” Gismondi advised. “There will be plenty of wine to go around.”

Each bottle should provide about 15 or 16 tastings of one and a half ounces each.

Save your cheeses and hors d’oeuvre until the first round of tasting is done, and then taste the wines again with snacks.

“Recreate the tasting with food later; it will completely change the flavour of the wines,” Gismondi said. “Cheese is an easy option.”

Cheeses for the Ucluelet event are being selected by Allison Spurrell of Les Amis du Fromage.

“If you are having a lot of different kinds of wine, the firmer, sharper cheeses tend to work better with everything,” said Spurrell. “Soft cheeses are harder to match with wine.”

Good solid bets for a wine tasting are a three- or five-year aged cheddar, a cave-aged gruyère or other mountain-style cheese.

“Alpine cheeses made with summer milk have lots of flavours and are kind of nutty. They are aged and they all tend to work really well with wine,” she said.

Look for more wine-and-cheese pairing suggestions at gismondionwine.com.


Follow along with Anthony Gismondi; download your wine tasting forms here.

Recommended infrastructure

— Wine glasses that are smaller at the top and wider through the middle helps concentrate a wine’s aroma

— Two glasses per guest encourages people to compare the wines

— A white tablecloth allows guests to better assess the colour and clarity of the wines

— Water and a nice loaf of bread are perfect for palate-cleansing between wines

— Provide a convenient receptacle to pour off extra wine and water used for rinsing

— Print off wine-tasting sheets from vancouversun.com to record your impressions

— Put the chairs away during the tasting; a standup event keeps people focused and animated

The Wines

Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series 2 Bench White 2010

Quails’ Gate 2009 Chardonnay

Moon Curser Afraid of the Dark 2010

CedarCreek 2008 Merlot

Jackson-Triggs 2006 Meritage Grand Reserve

Mission Hill Reserve Shiraz 2008

Where to buy

The wines selected by Anthony Gismondi are widely available at B.C. Signature liquor stores. Go to to find a Signature store near you or to check on the availability of the listed wines at your local store with their handy product locator.


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