Hello and happy weekend!
Yesterday, we had the great pleasure to attend a wine tasting at Café Monellies in Frederiksberg. I didn’t know Monellies before, but it certainly wasn’t the last time I went there. It’s one of those cute little places where the tables and chairs don’t match, and they have the most adorable colorful pictures with birds on the walls. The shelves are full with wine, coffee, chocolates, tea and other gift ideas, such as Jack Daniels whiskey fudge (must try this some time!). It’s a very cozy and friendly atmosphere. If you want to know more check out their homepage here: Café Monellies, Frederiksberg.
But now, the wine! I had found out about this event on MeetUp, and I was immediately interested. The idea was to learn more about what a wine’s color can teach you about the wine itself. There’s a reason that wine experts often do “blind tastings”, because the color of the wine can tell them almost everything they need to know! So the setup was that we were going to test two wines from the same region and the same grape, but of different ages and flavors, so we could dierctly compare the colors and what they meant for the wine’s age and taste. The event was hosted by the lovely Annai, who works for a Danish wine importer and is an absolute wine expert.
The event started out with a welcome drink, a rosé prosecco that had just arrived in Denmark - we were basically the first people in Denmark to taste it! We learned about the difference between proseccos (spumante and frizzante) and champagne (it’s all in the bubbles!) and were amazed at the fact that even though the prosecco was made from red grapes and therefore was a rosé, this didn’t show in the color at all! It looked like a regular white sparkling wine, but the smell (sorry, the nose!) and the aromas showed it actually was a rosé.
The first comparison we had were two glasses of Chardonnay from Burgundy, France. They were even from the same vinyard and producer, but from different years (2008 and 2011). Their colors showed very nicely the spectrum for white wines: the 2011 was a typical yellow-ish color, while the 2008 shimmered golden, almost orange.
The 2011 was very fresh and had notes of minerals and citrus, whereas the 2008 was probably one of the most spectacular white wines I’ve ever tried. When I smelled and tasted it, I was initially reminded of red wine, and later Annai confirmed that they must have exposed the wine to the grape seeds, stems and skins, because it actually did have some tannins. It was absolutely delicious, and all participants were sad to hear that we had actually gotten the last box of this wine and that it is no longer available!
Next, we tasted a pair of reds, Pinot Noir, also from the Burgundy region. The younger one was a 2011 Gevrey Chambertin “Les Jeuns Rots” (left), the older one a 2008 Hautes Cotes de Nuits “Cuvée Maelie” (right). As the picture quite nicely shows, these two were very different in their colors as well:
While Pinot Noir is normally not a dark grape variety, the 2011 had a very saturated, purple-ish/ magenta color. We were taught that the older a wine gets, the easier it gets to read your paper through it - it was almost impossible with the 2011, but the 2008 was clear enough that you could actually read through it. Its color also went more towards a brick type of red. Both wines were delicious, but the 2008 was more my taste.
Finally, we sampled two different Tempranillos from Ribera del Duero, Spain. The first one was a 2011 Alidis Roble (left), the second one a 2009 Alidis Crianza. As you can see in comparison to the Pinot Noir, the Tempranillo grapes are much darker. These two wines were probably the most similar to each other in both color and taste.
We learned that the Spanish appelation is much simpler than the French one and is based on how long the wine has aged in the barrel: for a Roble, it’s at least 6 months, a Crianza has to age at least 14 months, a Reserva 18 months, and a Gran Reserva ages a minimum of 24 months in the barrel. While I did enjoy trying these two wines, I preferred the other reds - maybe Tempranillo is not my grape.
All in all, it was a great event, and I’ve been told that Annai frequently hosts these themed wine tastings. For example, there have been events on how to pair chocolate and wine in the past (can’t believe I missed that!), and there will be an event with tapas and Spanish wines coming up. If you’re interested in wines, check out the Copenhagen Wine Lovers’ Group on MeetUp!