Beaujolais Wine Tasting in the bag

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Well I think I succeeded. I think everyone in attendance last night will now know what they think of Beaujolais, and will have found a few favorites. And I’ve now tasted nearly every Beaujolais locally available. So thanks to everyone who came out to make the night possible!
Some highlights:
For me, the Moulin a Vent Prestige 2003, Ferraud Cotes de Brouilly, Julienas, and Fleurie really stood out. I know for a fact that if you handed me those 4 wines, I could tell them apart, and I get excited even thinking about the bouquets on them. I definitely have found some favorites. And I definitely feel like I know the wines a heck of a lot better now.
Some disappointments:
I found nearly all the low-end and even low-mid end wines…I want to say ‘a waste of time’. Not that they were. I wanted to taste them to know what they tasted like. Well now I do, and that’s the end of that. I’m most certainly in the camp that will always pay the extra $5 to get into a memorable league of wines rather than wasting money, time, and calories on boring, forgettable cheap stuff.
I was hoping to like Chiroubles, but wasn’t impressed, and the Saint Amour and Moulin A Vent 05 were very good – but not distinctive.
Some lessons learned
I learned a thing or two [or ten] about this kind of function. First, at times it seems like I was spending more time pouring wines than enjoying them. Roughly 170 pours in a couple hours? And with that many people and that many glasses and that many wines, guests had a hard time keeping track of which wine was which. Not their fault. It was a bit chaotic.
I also ended up significantly short-changed on cover – my fault for not being a more diligent collector perhaps, but irritating nonetheless. I didn’t want it to be cost-neutral for me – just cost equal, and it was very far from it. How prickish of me, I know. Just trying to be honest. It may get cleared up in the coming days. We’ll see.
I also felt that drudging through a half-case of forgettables created some unnecessary palate fatigue.
I also got some feedback that the wines were too similar overall, that there could have been more variety of grape and region. Unfortunately, the point was to focus on a region and therefore grape varietal. So lesson learned that different people coming from different experience will expect and want to take away different things from a tasting. Makes sense. I totally get that. It’s just bad news when different people have different expectations.
I also really want to stay away from teaching a wine lesson. I don’t feel I’m qualified. I want people to learn from the wines themselves. Maybe to do a bit of research in advance to know what they’re in for – which I realize now is asking a lot of someone with a transient interest in wine. I love to talk about wines, but am not keen on feeling compelled to educate and entertain my guests. I have selfish intent. I’m wanting to be busy tasting the wines.
This makes it sound like I had a terrible time – which is completely wrong. I had a really good time and really enjoyed the evening, but undoubtedly, next time the format will change. Far fewer wines, maybe 4-6. And far fewer guests, maybe 4-6. No more low-end bottles. I’d rather taste great wines, and spend more time exploring them. A little less ‘party’ and a little more ‘wine tasting’.

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