Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Weekend of Tasting

What a whirlwind weekend! If there were free spirits to be had, I found them this weekend! With that being said, no one wants to read (nor do I want to type that much) everything I drank. So only the best of the best will be discussed.

It all started on Friday at Cafe Atlantico at their free rum tasting. This was my first spirits tasting so I wasn't sure what to expect. There were 5 different rum producers on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the restaurant and each had at least 3 different rums to pour for tasting. We drank out of communion-like cups, which is great because I definitely did not want to go down for the count at 5pm. I started with Neisson Rum from Martinique, they had the fewest amount of people at their table at the time, and they were making 'cocktails'. That is in quotes because I'm not sure you can call it a real cocktail in that tiny cup. Pyrat from Anguilla was next, they had a rum that had been aged for 40 years! I didn't even know you aged rum that long. But I'm glad they did, it definitely had a smoother, richer oak taste. Mt Gay from Barbados was the last rum on the 2nd floor, I tasted their 3 and then moved over to the water table for a glass and a seat.

After a small break, and the realization that I hadn't had much to eat that day, I headed to the 3rd floor to see how far I could get with those. There were only 2 more so I figured that I'd be just fine. I saw a familiar rum and walked straight to it. Appleton from Jamaica! I have mixed, shot, and sipped Appleton for many years and was very interested to try the different offerings they had available. There were 4 rums for tasting each with a different age level or blend level. The best was the Reserve which had been blended with 20 different rums. Drinking a rum with that blend and age would definitely make me think twice of dumping some Coke in that glass. At my last stop was Flor de Cana of Nicaragua. It was a bit hard to enjoy this table because there were so many people standing around it just chatting. If you've already gotten your rum, move out of the way already! Apparently free t-shirts were being handed out so people lingered. Flor de Cana had 3 different rums: 5 yrs, 7 yrs, and 12 yrs. I actually liked the 7yrs the best. Not as smoky or rich as the 12 yr but much smoother than the 5 yr. I drank another glass of water and headed out. No need to hang around there, I went to the tasting by myself to go somewhere to have a conversation and maybe taste something else.

I got one of my girlfriends to come out and we met at Proof. So I chased my rum with wine! I love that Proof has 2 oz pours so that you can get a taste to see if you like it, or you can just drink several different things. I chose the latter. I ordered the cheese plate and drank a Txakolina, Ansonica/Cattaratto, and a Verdejo. The txakolina is so perfect for the summer! Crisp, refreshing, and with a slight bit of 'fizz', this Spanish grape is one to keep your eye on. Of course the entire Spanish region is definitely up and coming in the world of wine anyway. Pick your favs now so you can say you were at the beginning of the trend.

Fast Forward to the next fun tasting, Cork Wine Bar for French wines. There were 6 wines total, 2 sparklers from Limoux (white and rose), 1 sparkling Chenin Blanc and 3 types of Aligote. Or should it be 3 Aligotes...what is the plural for Aligote anyway?? As much as I love Chenin Blanc, South Africa and Vouvray, the sparkling chenin is not for me. It had a such a dry taste, none of the residual sugar or fruitiness of a regular chenin blanc. As far as the Aligote, anything from Burgundy is at the top of my list right now. Extra points because it was Aligote which you rarely see in stores, let alone at a wine bar for a tasting. There was nowhere to sit in the entire bar so no full glasses for me. I came home to enjoy a full (and free) glass of Vin de Pays d'Oc Chardonnay in front of the tv.

So sorry the weekend is over. But not to worry...tasting club is tomorrow! More French whites. I'm bringing Chablis...can't go wrong with Burgundy. Will report back tomorrow.

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