I decided to try my hand at tasting again, but this time I brought my brother Ian Nichols. Ian has been a wine enthusiast for many years and agreed to teach me a little about wine tasting.
We chose Saturday and headed to Woodinville and Chateau Ste. Michelle. Chateau Ste. Michelle is a beautiful winery – even in the middle of winter. When we arrived, we warmed ourselves by the fire before heading to the tasting room. The tasting room itself was quite large – it has various tasting areas, depending on if you were part of a tour or tasting on your own. Once again, we had children in tow, but the wine shop off the tasting room included various treasures – the perfect diversion for little eyes.
The winery was offering two wine flights – either 4 whites or 4 reds, so my brother and I each chose one ($10 per flight). That way, we could experience all of the wines. There was even one additional red that the lady pouring wine threw in (a 2007 Ethos Syrah that was on special).
I won’t go into detail about all 9 wines, but there were three that stood out to me and that I ended up purchasing:
- 2005 Domaine St. Michelle Luxe
- To me, the nose was yeasty, similar to when you are adding yeast to bread and when I tasted it, I could almost taste the bread, along with a citrus flavor
- 2009 Indian Wells Merlot
- The nose on this wine smelled like cooked fruit. It reminded me of walking into my mother’s kitchen while she was making jam. When I tasted the wine, I didn’t get the fruity flavor I was smelling, but I did get a smokey taste.
- 2007 Ethos Cabernet Sauvignon
- When I smelled this wine, it reminded me of taking a nature walk, earthy and outdoors. The taste was sweet, almost like cherries, and the flavor remained on my palette for a while (but not in a bad way).
It was wonderful having someone with way more knowledge than me by my side. I really started to understand how to smell and taste. And while I have quite a lot to learn, I did notice quite a difference in my experience from my first tasting.
Plus I learned some good tasting tricks:
- Swirling – it helps to keep the glass on the bar when swirling – especially if you are clumsy like I tend to be
- Smelling – if you keep your mouth a little open when you smell the wine, you can actually get a much better and fuller smell
Thank you Chateau Ste. Michelle for a fun day and some great wines!