[MUSIC] Hello. Are you ready for some wine tasting? Hopefully by now you've gone to you wine shop and hopefully by now you've cultivated a friendly relationship with somebody who works there who knows a little bit about wine. So that when you went with this wine assignment they were able to guide you towards some wines to buy for us to taste together. We're going to taste these wines that you've bought. Remember, I asked you to buy recent vintage Marlborough New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. I ask you to buy a Chardonnay and get some guidance from your shop owner about one that was kind of oaky and buttery so we could learn to smell those components. Hopefully you found a nice New World Pinot Noir. It could be California, Oregon, it could be New Zealand even, to taste Pinot Noir. And hopefully you found a Cabernet New World could be from North America or South America. We're going to taste those together, first the two whites and then the two reds. And I'm going to talk you about my tasting notes, I may occasionally write something down. But if you would go ahead and get yourself set up like I am with your four glasses and your four bottles. Naturally you know what they are, because you bought them. But in another situation someone else perhaps bought the wines and you don't know what they are. So it's always good to have the wines bagged and blind. And as I have told you earlier, it's even better if you can leave the room and have someone else pour the wines, so you don't have any idea which is which. So give me a moment here, I'm going to go ahead and pour our four wines. [LAUGH] That's a beautiful assortment of colors, isn't it? It's always lovely to see those colors as they come out of the bottle. So normally what we would do, as you recall, is we'll go through and examine the wines visually. Examine them for clarity and look at their color. We're going to, then, sniff them to assess their condition. Are they fresh or are they stale? Did I buy a bottle that had a leaky cork or somehow is oxidized? I need to take it back to the store and get a new bottle from the shop owner. Then we're going to smell more thoughtfully and try to pick out the aromatics that are specifics to that glass of wine. Then we're going to go ahead and taste and we're going to think about the basic taste, sweet, sour, bitter if any. And then we're going to taste again and we're going to think about retronasal aromatics, things that we smell while the wine is on our palate. We'll do that with all four of the wines. What I'm going to do at first is something that I might do if I'm judging wine and somebody brought me a fight of wines. I'm going to go ahead and make sure they're all okay first. Yep, those are all okay. Of course, from those brief sniffs you can tell a lot about the wine. Of course I know what the wines are because I bought them, but I already from that little sniff could start talking about each one of these wines separately. It's amazing how much information that your nose gives you. So let's have a look first at our two white wines. Since we have two whites together side by side, let's do the first couple of steps with both of those wines. I'm going to pick the glasses up and hold them against my white background and they both look brilliant, very, very clear to me. Remember I'm looking to see if there's any cloudiness, any turbidity, anything floating in the wine, anything sinking in the wine, any tartrate crystals in the bottom of the glass. I'm going to go ahead lift these up so I have a white bright light in the background which enables me to see a little bit better. Nope I don't see anything. Some tasters actually like to position the glasses so they can see the light shining off the surface of the wine as though it were a mirror. And then comment on how mirrored or reflective the surface the wine is. I'm not very good at that, but that's what they say. Put the glasses back down. Now we're going to assess color. And again indirectly, with a white background, that's the best way to do that. I'm looking at my Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc in my left hand, and my New World style Chardonnay in my right hand. And of course, as I would expect, the Chardonnay has spent time in oak. I know that from talking to my shop owner. And so of course it's a little bit darker. The Sauvignon Blanc is a little bit lighter, and so I'm going to call the Sauvignon Blanc pale straw in color. And I'm going to call the Chardonnay either pale straw plus plus or maybe medium straw. And of course, if I'm taking notes I'm going to go ahead and write all of those things down in my notes. From time to time in a recent vintage white wine I might see some bubbles. If I see any bubbles, let's say for example I saw bubbles in glass number one, the Sauvignon Blanc. I would write in my notes, CO2 or gas. I don't know yet if it's going to make a flavor difference, but in case it does, at least now I've noted it in my notes. So let's go ahead and proceed with these, then, separately. First, wine number one. Pick it up and swirl it. If you see me put my hand over the top like that, it's so I can trap maximum number of volatiles in the glass. And then sniff. Boy. I bet you're smelling many of the same things that I have since you bought a wine that's in this category. You're smelling some herbaceousness, my particular wine smells like fresh-cut celery. There's also some interesting citrus notes in it. It smells a lot like that grapefruit zest that we looked at as a standard in an earlier lesson. There's some kind of a white peach or stone fruit background, a little bit of apple, a little bit of pear. Very nice wine, very presentable, very, very clean, very fragrant. There's a lot going on in this wine. The next step is to take a small sip of the wine and for this first sip, I'm going to think about basic taste. I'm going to think about sweetness if there is any sourness or acidity. I'm going to think about bitterness, I wouldn't expect to find any bitterness in the wine like this but one never knows. So go ahead and take your first sip. No sweetness. So of course I've been note that on my sheet. But, man. There's a lot of acidity there. Very, very tart. I can feel it all over my palate. No bitterness in this wine. It's a wine whose main feature is acidity with no sugar. Now, I'm going to take another sip, and I going to think, as I swirl it around in mouth, I'm going to think about aromatics that I might have missed the first time around. The main things that comes through on the palate for me is the vegetal or even the bell peppery character of this wine. I don't get as many detailed aromatics as I got orthonasally, but everything sort of melds together. There's a little bit of a honeyed note on the palate, which I don't think is sweetness per se. But whatever it is, it's providing a nice counter balance for that very strong acidity that this wine has. We of course want to remember to talk about the finish of this wine and as I'm standing here talking to you, it's gone. It's a memory already. So I would say that this wine has a short finish which would be maybe several seconds to half a minute or so in duration. Let's go ahead and pick up wine number two. And of course we know what this is already. This is a New World style Chardonnay. [SOUND] And let's take our more prolonged sniff of this wine. [SOUND] Boy, is it a New World style Chardonnay. This wine is loaded with butter and vanilla. Now you see why I had you make those as standards earlier. It's really easy to pick those two aromatics out in this wine. There's some interesting other notes though and maybe you're finding these in your wine. I smell a chary note which would also be from barrels. I'm smelling kind of a brown sugary or a caramelized smell. [SOUND] And in the background, there is a bit of fruit but it's a fruit along the simpler lines of I would say apple and pear. So not too much going on. Good, now we'll move to taking our first taste. I would say that this wine is dry. But there's something in it that gives me a little impression of sweetness. And it may be actually all of the wood flavors, the caramel, vanillin type of flavors that are giving my brain a suggestion of sweetness. Or maybe, it may be actually some sweetness. More and more these days, producers are leaving a little tiny bit of background residual sugar in their wines as a element of flavor balance. The acidity in this wine is not nearly what it was in wine number one. It's partly why I asked you to pick these two wines to taste side by side, as I knew that they would radically differ in acidity. And sure enough, this one does. Don't get me wrong, the acidity is not lacking in this wine, it's fine. So in my notes I would say, moderate acidity, moderate plus, nicely balanced. I'm going to take another sip now and I'm going to think about aromatics. [LAUGH] It's interesting on the palate as the wine warms up in your mouth. All of the aromatics that we talked about a moment ago are sort of melding together and on the palate this wine taste like a banana cream pie or a vanilla wafer. It's a very lovely flavor by mouth. The acidity as I mention earlier is just fine, it's adequate. It offsets those sweet impression flavors very nicely and this wine has a longer finish. I think about that as I'm standing here talking to you because the finish is sort of lingering on, and on, and on. So I would say that this wine has a medium finish or even a medium plus finish. The wood notes are lasting a little bit. The banana cream pie flavor is still with me. So, medium, medium plus finish.