for me the grand tasting on friday evening started with a sip of Chateau Montrose a delicious earthy bordeaux blend. this was what i grabbed on my way downstairs to start properly with a good champagne. yes, i was in search of three glasses of Dom one for me two more for friends who would be pouring for the next 4 hours. i could not help myself once standing in front of champagne row. i had a taste of Perrier Jouet whose bottle is as lovely as its contents. yum and crisp and fruity love. ok back upstairs a girl has to stay on task if she plans to taste through 200 wines in one night. (and i had to deliver the dom).

and suddenly into my hands came the Columbia Valley Betz Family (Cab 2007), i have no idea how this happened first, but it ended up as one of my favorite wines of the whole experience. jelly beans and fall leaves, sweet tobacco, chocolate covered pretzels sitting right on top of dirt. wonderful.

next the Masseto – Tenuta dell’Ornellaia oh yes please, the Vega Sicilia – Unico with its great nose and firm tannins, my secret lover Beaucastel all full of gingerbread was delivered to me in perfect time, ah… and the Côtes du Rhône as you all know i love with my whole heart…old sparkey (thanks freddy!) surprised me with a most distinctive hyacinth (yes!) nose… the Harlan (2005) was all berries on poundcake. now we get to the Novy syrah. before sipping my taste i bumped into a friend and forgot about my project (tasting!) for a minute which was meant to be. the wine which had started as a complete barnyard in a cup had suddenly turned into candy in my glass. my notes say “i <3 this wine, really layered and delicious…” the Yarden was very interesting (Cabernet from Isreal) and the south african syrah grenache blend Chakalaka was fun. by this time i was thinking manhattans in manhattan… met friends from philly completely by accident and died laughing til our faces hurt, tucked into velvet chairs neat as pearl earrings in jewel boxes, high above the glitter of times square just before the rain. which happens to be terribly romantic.



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