Some congratulatory bubbles to start the night off right.
Get ready for the shocker of the century. But, prior to last night, I had never been to a blind tasting before. Let alone host one. So when the opportunity presented itself to throw down on some Rieslings from around the world with a few of my favorite wine-o's, not only was I all in, but I was immediately offering up my place as the venue. Because if you're not christening your new digs with bubbles and Riesling, then you're doing it wrong.
And after snacking on a few pieces of grilled pizza I'd whipped up (you didn't think I was going to host a get together and not serve some incarnation of grilled pizza, did you?), we secretly slipped our bottles into brown paper bags, assigned a number to each, and got to tasting. And tweeting. Simultaneously.
Does it get any nerdier? If so, I don't want to know about it.
Everyone volunteered a region to represent--a notion I strongly recommend so as to experience a wider range of the varietal and to save yourself from doubling-up on anything. While most gravitated towards Germany, Austria, and Alsace, the rookie in the room (yours truly) gave a Hell Yeah to the Finger Lakes. A bold choice, perhaps, and one that was quickly sniffed out by the savants. Did I really think I could fool them? Ok. So I kind of thought I could fool them.
Turns out I couldn't fool 'em.
From left to right: 1993 Saar Rausch Riesling Spätlese, 2005 Ratzenberger Steeger St Jost Riesling, 1999 Schmitt Wagner Longuicher Maximiner Herrenberg Auslese, 2008 Hirsch Riesling Zobing Kamptal, 2008 Hermann J. Wiemer Dry Riesling, 2007 Paul Zinck Pfersigberg Grand Cru Riesling
Kristen "KMurph" Murphy of Wine Library showed Professor Troutman up by giving us a rundown of the Riesling varietal after we'd tasted our way through all six wines. I suggest you hire her for any and all future tastings. Girlfriend knows her juice.
Long story not-so-short, get some friends together (they don't have to be wine connoisseurs, they just have to like to drink--or spit--wine), pick a varietal out of a hat, and run with it. I'll tell you this much: you're guaranteed a good--no, great--time.
Just practice safe double-baggage. Professor's orders.