Fall Wine Festival 2004

Volume 7, Issue 197; 09 Nov 2004; last modified 08 Oct 2010

Notes from a fall wine mega-tasting. Amherst Wines & Spirits' Fall Wine Festival is always delightful.

If all be true that I do think, there are five reasons we should drink: Good wine—a friend—or being dry—or lest we should be by and by—or any other reason why.

Henry Aldrich

Find a good wine merchant. There. If there's any good advice in this whole sprawling collection of essays, that's probably it.

We are lucky enough to have found a truly excellent one, Stephen Freedman who owns and runs Amherst Wines & Spirits. That warm, inviting space is stuffed full of fabulous wines. There's something suitable for any occasion and any budget nestled on those wooden shelves, and Steve will point you unerringly to it.

Every Saturday afternoon, there's a tasting of something yummy in the store and once a year, Steve lays out a stunning collection of wines for a fall tasting. I think an experienced person, with a well tuned palette and a determination to spit might just be able to taste them all. We have neither that much experience, nor that much determination. So it's important to pick and choose. Something that becomes more difficult the more picking and choosing you've done, of course.

Here's the first, scribbled page of our notes:

Fall Wine Notes 2004
Fall Wine Notes 2004

A little explanation is in order, especially for the big “X” through the Italian reds. Before some of our Tuscan-loving friends disown us, I'll explain that we decided we had a pretty good feel for Italian reds and that, only because we couldn't taste everything, we'd skip them this year. Similarly, some of the other things that are crossed out are things that we recognized and felt we could skip. Some, I admit, are things we didn't like, but that's a question of personal taste.

What was the best, you ask? That's tough, there are a bunch of things we're going to pick up. Yes, that's evading the question, I know that. Ok. I won't try to speak for Deb, but my picks would be the Ogerou Anjou Blanc for a white and the Honig Cabernet Sauvignon for a red. (Hmm…the notes I brought with me don't include the vintages, I'll try to remember to add those when I get back home.)

I'm not sure though. I think I'm going to have to taste them again. And that Morgan Chardonnay too. And maybe the Rosenblum Zinfandel. And I'm always a sucker for a Côtes-du-Rhône, maybe the Beauchene or the Brunel. And…