Thursday , 19 April 2018
Beauty Tips

Wine Tasting with Sommelier Courtney Henderson

wine-tasting-courtney-hendersonJust when I thought I knew a great deal about wine (since it’s a much loved past time), Sommelier Courtney Henderson proved that understanding the beautiful art of wine can take YEARS and exceptionally fine-tuned senses. Needless to say, her exclusive wine tasting at the Vintage Conservatory in Toronto was quite the exceptional evening. Being a wine lover I eagerly accepted my invite to attend, and was graciously “schooled” throughout the evening. I just as easily indulged as we tasted an array of fantastic selections from E&J Gallo Winery with exquisite food pairings prepared especially for the evening.

wine-tasting-EJ-gallo-wineryAfter chatting and sipping on some delicious Prosecco, Courtney began the night with an interesting exercise. She handed us each a jellybean and requested that we plug our nose while we chewed and attempt to discern the flavor. It was impossible–you cannot tell what you’re tasting unless you’re also smelling it. She then passed around different bottles labeled with numbers and we were asked to reveal what each scent was. For me at least, this was a tough exercise! I easily picked out the vanilla, but then there was one bottle which carried the subtle (and delicious) scent of freshly melted butter. Our world is just FILLED with beautiful aroma, much of which we may not even pay attention to. They can also be directly linked to experiences (i.e. the scent of an ocean breeze) as well as distinct memories. There is just so much possibility for subtle hints of flavor, complexity, and of course, enjoyment. 🙂

Now for the good stuff!

The Wine Tasting

For whites, we sampled a delectable Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc (light & young) and a savory MacMurray Ranch Chardonnay (golden & oaked). Now, I’m usually a red wine girl with dinner, while enjoying my whites during a hot summer day or social event–since you don’t really want to walk around with stained lips ;). But as far as taste goes, I’ve always preferred the more full bodied quality I found with reds as opposed to white. However, I gained a new found appreciated for white wines during this tasting.

Before we go further, there are a few important lessons I learned. The first is that 1 out of 10 corked bottles (not screw cap) are actually faulted. It’s very common. So if you found that you really didn’t like a wine, chances are it may not have even been the wine–but that bottle in particular. Courtney assured us that it really isn’t bad manner to return a bottle of wine at a restaurant or even one you’ve purchased at the LCBO (provided you haven’t drank it all of course!). They recognize that this is a common occurrence.

Next, I learned that white wines are NOT meant to be aged, and that the2009-Louis-M-Martini-Sonoma-County-Cabernet-Sauvignon more recent years will still retain that fresh and fruity flavor you are meant to experience. Whereas your reds, will age more gracefully and unlock deeper flavor. Careful not to age them too much though, as they can easily spoil under the wrong conditions.

Last, the temperature of the wine is essential. White wines need to be cooled (too bring out the fresh aromatics) and reds are closer to room temperature but still slightly cool.

The two reds we experienced were a lighter bodied Whitehaven Pinot Noir and a voluptuous Louis M Martini Sonoma Cabernet (pictured on the right). This cab was actually rated the best in the WORLD for its price point {$18.95} by Robert Parker–a leading U.S. wine critic with International influence. 

Now its important to note that ALL red wines will be “oaky”–they will just vary in body and of course, complexity of flavor. The tannins found in red wine also have the additional benefit of being high in antioxidants and resveratrol (an anti-aging compound!). With regards to taste, I found both to be exceptional. It really just depends on whether you’re looking for something light (pinot noir) or heavier (cabernet sauvignon).

I’d recommend any of these bottles if you are looking to experiment with different wines and aren’t sure where to start. The prices are reasonable for their quality.

Happy tasting and always remember to decant your wine! 🙂

About Everything Beautiful

Everything-Beautiful is a holistic beauty, wellness, travel, and lifestyle destination designed for those looking to take charge of their lives naturally! Founded by Erica Grenci, a health and wellness expert and graduating Naturopathic Doctor in 2016, it has been her platform for sharing creative inspiration throughout the health-conscious community.

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