As the humble founder of the event, I decided to host the event and ask participants to take a look back… back into their wine-drinking history. As I said in the original post, we’re all wine lovers, but we have gotten where we are today in a
variety of ways on a variety of paths. These long, windy paths are
littered with wines the world over. I just want you to pick one of the
wines from the beginning of your journey, taste it again for the first
time in a while, and tell us about it.
When I started to look back into my own wine history, many wines fit the bill for WBW 48. Of course, I didn’t want to drink Mad Dog 20/20 or Thunderbird (the only ‘wine’ I drank in college). The first wine that made me stop and say "aha" was actually Caymus Conundrum. It was the first wine that tasted like something other than "just wine." I didn’t want to taste that one again though, because I’ve had it fairly recently.
Of course, after tasting this Black Opal 2006 Chardonnay, maybe I should have had the Conundrum.
When I was in graduate school, I drank a bottle of this almost every weekend. Why? It was cheap and I thought it tasted good at the time. And, I could get it at the wine shop right around the corner from my tiny little apartment just off of Carnegie Mellon’s campus. Plus, my cooking skills were beyond rudimentary, so it didn’t really matter what I was drinking with what I was eating. Or at least I didn’t think it did. Wine was more sophisticated than beer, and because I was in grad school I wanted to leave the frat boy behind and "grow up." Funny, no?
I actually had a bit of trouble tracking this wine down. In fact, the only place I could find it only had it in 1.5L bottles, so that’s what I bought… for $10. I guess when a wine seems to only be available in a 10-dollar magnum, you know what you’re getting… awful wine. And that’s exactly what Nena and I were forced to taste in the interested of WBW glory.
This wine is actually exactly what I expected… slightly sweet peach and tropical-pinappely fruit that has been bludgeoned by new oak. This isn’t a wine that I’d pair with food. It isn’t a wine that I’d drink on it’s own. I wouldn’t even use it to make white wine vinegar. It’s not flabby per se. There is some acidity here. It’s even almost balanced in that sense, but the raw, toasty, vanilla oak here is amazingly bad.
I didn’t dump it yet, though. I may taste it again tonight. Apparently I’m a glutton for palate punishment.
Come back over the weekend to see a round up of other WBW participants. I think we’ll see some interesting entries.