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On Thursday night, thanks to aerinah, I attended a potluck American Thanksgiving. Several of the attendees, including colins_journal, particularly enjoyed the Yellow Tail merlot, so it seemed appropriate to pick up a bottle for Friday night's Thanksgiving. C. was going to do the heavy lifting en route to Friday's dinner, as I was going to be at the Food and Wine show.

As it happened, though, the Food and Wine show was a panoply of alcohol, with a Yellow Tail booth right by the entrance. After my orientation tour, I picked up my sampling glass and headed for their booth. Yellow Tail is an Australian winery, and their chardonnay is currently the top selling wine in North America. That's quite a feat, given the competition. Their merlot's been on the shelves for two weeks, and they also have a shiraz. Despite being more interested in the food than the drink, I was curious about their chardonnay after the previous night's enthusiasm for their merlot, so I spent my first few sampling tickets on an ounce of it. It might be N.A.'s top-selling wine, but I wasn't too keen on the oaky aftertaste which lingered in my mouth.

After a few tasty little food dishes which I'll tell you about some other time, I took a break for a sommelier-led tasting class, pretentiously entitled "Chardonnay's Charisma". I don't drink reds, so it was a safe way of making sure I stuck with an all-white wine drinking agenda. For the same price as my one ounce sample, the class cost got me three one ounce samples, clearly the better value.

Thanks to the large size of the class, I don't actually know what all the wines I tasted were, not by winery. I know them by style, flavor, and age which is much more helpful to me in learning what I do and don't like in a wine. Thanks to this session, I know that five years is too old for an unoaked chardonnay for my tastes, but that in general I prefer unoaked to oaked wines, and that the chardonnay grape is one of the few that benefits from oak cask aging. In one way, though, the sampling proved redundant: the last wine was a Yellow Tail chardonnay.

(In my next post on this subject, I'll finally get around to writing up the highlight of the whole event and what I spent most of my time on: all the delectable mini-dishes cooked to order by local restaurants advertising their wares.)


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 30th, 2004 01:17 am (UTC)
makes me wish i had gone to the washington dc food festival but i was always on a diet or broke the time! maybe they'll have something like that in london sometime that i could go to.
Nov. 30th, 2004 06:04 am (UTC)
The BBC runs a calendar of food events across the country. Unhelpfully, they only appear to update it one month at a time, so you'll have to wait until Wednesday to find out what's on in December. Still, if you check back, this page should help you find some good food event one of these months that you could make it to.
Nov. 30th, 2004 02:46 am (UTC)
Curious - what is it about the reds that you don't like? Have you tried any of the sweeter reds e.g. chianti?
Nov. 30th, 2004 06:01 am (UTC)
I don't drink tea, coffee, or red wine because I am vain. In my early twenties, I learned from my dentist that the black streaks on my teeth were caused by tannins, so I gave them all up. My teeth really are pretty sensitive to tannins - a few years ago, I drank two glasses of red with dinner and a week later, the stains had started to return.

It's nothing against the taste. Of course, if I hadn't felt fairly neutrally about all three drinks in the first place, they wouldn't have been so easy to give up.
Nov. 30th, 2004 05:43 am (UTC)
Yellow Tail's only ok, in my experience. I don't care for their shiraz...I love Aussie shirazes, but I'll try any other one over Yellow Tail.

New Zealand whites are great.

Glad you had a good time!
Nov. 30th, 2004 06:05 am (UTC)
There was a large booth devoted to New Zealand wines at the show - but by that point, of course, I was only sampling food. The wines might have been more entertaining to sample had I gone with someone else - or knew more about them. I can tell you that the wine I liked most from the tasting was from Chile, so that's another region for me to look out for.
Nov. 30th, 2004 08:17 am (UTC)
aha!!! finally, someone else who feels the same way about Yellowtail. Yet folks serve it EVERYWHERE. It's by no means bad - but the oak is a bit much.
Dec. 3rd, 2004 06:23 am (UTC)
I find the Yellow Tail chardonnay is one of the better ones that I've come across. I don't drink red wine so I can't comment on the Merlot.
Dec. 4th, 2004 09:20 pm (UTC)
There had to be a reason for its runaway successfulness, and you're a part of it. Usefully, this should mean it's always handy for you to buy a bottle.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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