A Sparkling Twitter Wine Tasting Happening

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First we put all trophies on the table

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Then we started to taste a left over Pouilly Fumé “Sur La Roche” from Claire Forest. Her dad makes the “Sous la roche”

“A Sparkling Twitter Wine tasting?” You will ask me.
This is the petite histoire: A Dutch wine journalist @Cuno van ‘t Hof, a Dutch importer of Italian wines (mostly sparkling Italian wine and thus aptly named @Spumante and a Dutch hotelier (@Happyhotelier off course) had a discussion whereby the importer dared the journalist that his sparkling wines easily could match Champage. During the discussion they made an appointment to have a sparkling wine tasting session in Haagsche Suites while also some members of Happy Hotelier’s tasting club “Haagsch Wijnproefgenootschap” would join the party. Unfortunately Cuno had to skip the session.

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Here you see @Spumante post his first tweet: Let the Tasting Begin!.

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One of the outstanding Proseccos @Spumante brought for us was the Motus Vitae. This was a real classy Prosecco! Unfortunately this picture is a bit unsharpened.

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Our Tasting member Georg brought this amazing Janz, all the way from Tasmania.

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This all Pinot Noir Spumante Rosé Opfre @Spumante brought us was one of my favorites.

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I could surprise the party with my own import Cremant de Burgundy Baron de Montfalcon from Andre Ziltener (this reminds me I still have to write a review of his hotel in Chambolle Mussigny)

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Mike brought this excellent 2002 Milesime Champagne Rosé from Nicolas Feuillatte

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There was more we tasted and more to taste. This was how the company looked when we still had to taste 2 more sparkling wines, but we decided to take one for the road:

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With this 1997 Chateauneuf Du Pape Tiara d’Avignon we terminated the tasting session. It was a wonderful session. Thanks all and especially kudos to @Spumante. I hope he came home safely.

More photos of the tasting here at my Flickr set of the session

Update: And here is @Spumantes own post about the tasting session:

Wow Wine Tasting: A 1918 Vosne Romanée

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Richard delicately uncorking the 1918 Vosne Romanée

In my post Happy Hotelier is now a WSet Level 2 Intermediate Wine Connoisseur I promised to blog more about wine. However I have decided to reserve many posts about wine and wine tasting I have in my sleeve for publication in the newly to be established blog of Haagsche Suites itself, as most of the tasting takes place there.

From the persons who took the WSet Intermediate Course last spring together with me, we have formed a little wine tasting group to gain more experience in wine tasting. Last Tuesday we started our series of monthly wine tastings for this year.

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Color approximation with flash…a bit orange.

In the meantime various of us, including me had been following the Wset Advanced Course. I couldn’t take part in the exams and most likely I won’t take part in the exams of the Advanced Course anymore. Partly this is due to time constrictions, but also to my disappointment with the level of teaching in the Advanced Course. As passionate as the teachers of the Intermediate Course were, so dispassionate the teachers of this Advanced Course were. Many of the group that participated in this course didn’t pass the two part exam. The first part of the exam is theory and the second part is blind tasting one wine: You have to determine the grape variety or varieties and possibly the origin of the wine. Granted. Such exam should not be too easy, but the high percentage of failures, particularly for the theory part of the exams demonstrates to me that there is a huge disparity in the level of teaching and that what is expected from you at the exams. That combined with the fact that the teachers of the Advanced Course I followed belong to the top Dutch wine connoisseurs.

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Another color approximation without flash here you see there is a rim, but there are also still some red tones in the wine

Anyway we had invited Richard to take part in this tasting session and he surprised us at the end of the session with an unlabeled bottle of what was to be a 1918 Vosne Romanée.

Vosne Romanée is a small village in Gold Coast of French Burgundy, between Clos Vougeot and Nuits Saint George. Year and region were established with reasonable certainty by way of cellar records. The bottle came from a Wine auction.

The first photo shows Richard with the bottle. Very carefully he uncorks the bottle. The cork is still intact. We all breathlessly watch. You see the coffee filter ready for decanting. It turns out decanting is not necessary.

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A funny photo: The wine’s Soul

The wine was clear with some rim and had hardly any depot. Its color was red to orange brown.
It didn’t smell like a wine that was beyond drinking at all. It had some ripe cherry, a bit metallic tones. some mentioned chocolate. A complex nose.
It tasted like it smelled. Ripe cherry, a bit metallic, medium alcohol (we believe between 11 and 12 pct) and ripe tannins still there.
A complex wine and amazing that after 100 years it was so very drinkable.

I will enhance these preliminary tasting notes as soon as I get a copy from Lodewijk, who promised to take full notes.

The other red wines we tasted that evening were 4 German red Spätburgunder which is German for the French Pinot Noir grape.

It was a very good experience in the sense that you could smell and taste the same tones of those much younger wines in such old variant.

A real Wow tasting experience. Thanks Richard!

Dutch Design (35): Fort Knox by Sietze Kalkwijk (2008)

Without fluids man is doomed to die. Why not treat our basic necessity with the respect it deserves? Fort Knox is a luxurious wine rack reserved for a single bottle, a gilded cage for the most precious bubbly.

A unique design, as each object is numbered by hand. The hammered-in digits adorn the golden halter like a beautiful scar, playfully flirting with the logo’s engraved letters. Its simple structure, bearing resemblance to the basic wooden archetype, is just a trick to fool the over-stimulated mind.

Fort Knox doesn’t need to scream for attention with ornamental curls and provocative patterns; its decadence and weight show off just by being there – or by an attempt to lift the five hefty kilos for that matter. Beauty is ensconced in the perfect finish, precise inscription and frugal make-up. It’s the peach at each banquet, the pièce de resistance at every table, the icing on the metaphorical cake. Eat as much cake you like, since gold will never lose its value.

Fort Knox (2008) | Sietze Kalkwijk

1975 Chateau Saint Jean Reserva Mont-Ferrant

Recently a friend of us moved to Thailand and gave me this bottle of 1975 Chateau Saint Jean Reserva Mont-Ferrant wine saying “Maybe this is something for you as a wine lover”. The bottle itself is a bit crooked and its form is “patented”.
I decided to taste it with my little “Taste the Globe” club of wine lovers and wine experts to be. After decanting, it appeared to be drinkable. I have to dig up my tasting notes yet. But in the meantime I would like to have some clues as to from where this wine originates. Anybody?

Sherwood Forlee – Just Another Wine Glass?

Via Yanko Design I came across this new design idea for wineglasses from Sherwood Forlee.

I have been staring at these photos and

wondering whether I would like to have some.

Then it hit me: If the stem is heavy enough and the rubber band strong enough to hold the filled cups it will prevent a lot of wine spillage on your precious table linen. In addition less broken glasses.

So, the one in the know, the guy who has to look after cleanliness of our table linen and of our wine glasses (ie me) has spoken:-)

About Sherwood Forlee:

He is a designer with no design or art education. Instead, he studied fluid dynamics and partial differential equations, and then barely managed to graduate. But graduate he did, and with a high-falutin’ sounding title to boot: “Mechanical and Aerospace Engineer”. Despite this, Sherwood calls himself a designer because it sounds hip and no one likes hanging around a nerd at a party.

Following graduation, Sherwood went to work as a product design engineer. After cutting his teeth at a few firms, Sherwood decided to see more of the world and set out on adventures that would lead him to Tokyo (where he was accosted by the yakuza for trying to sell homemade T-shirts on their territory), the Azores (where inclement weather stranded him for a few days without food in the wild), Zurich (where he was forced to climb a perilous mountain with two massive rental bikes atop his shoulders), and many other places. Today, Sherwood enjoys a more peaceful life in New York City working once again as a product designer.

Still reading? Well then, a little more on Sherwood. He was born in Hong Kong and lived there for about a year. Afterwards, he moved with the rest of his family to Zimbabwe, Africa. It was here in Africa with his wildlife artist father (who, by the way, escaped from Communist China to Hong Kong by means of swimming the shark-infested waters that separate the two) that Sherwood cultivated his passion for adventure, the arts, and travel. Fond memories include throwing stones at bull elephants to make them charge so that his father could get a few good photos to work with before speeding off on a dilapidated motorbike. Nowadays, Sherwood has a bit more regard for his well-being and prefers doing back flips onto hard concrete over being chased by scary animals.