Thursday, April 10, 2008

Carpaccio Training Day 1 - Wine Tasting

Italian wines are not fun to learn.

While I never claimed to do well learning wines at the Melting Pot, I at least knew the names of most of what we sold. I couldn't tell you if it was oaky or grassy, earthy or robust, cherry or blackberry. I can recognize spicy, and I can tell the difference between red and white (ha...), as well as blushes (only the finest blush for our anniversary please, Beringer White Zinfandel will be dandy [and it's clear from the lack of any information that no one cares about this wine]).

So I know merlots, cabernets, shiraz/syrah, various blends, chardonnays, etc. Those names and terms, I understand. But when you get in to Italian wines, the wines aren't named for the type of grapes. They are named for the region in which it was made. So now, instead of tasting all these things that I recognize, I have to learn all the various hillside names in Italy, and Tuscany in particular.

Couple that with the fact that I didn't really like any of the wines we tasted, and you can see I didn't really enjoy this tasting. But our table did win the spittoon competition. We wasted the least amount of wine out of the four tasting tables. Yay, drunkards.

The only one I could get down with very little trouble was the 2003 (I think) Tassinaia. Vinfolio doesn't have any information on this particular choice. Anything that ends in 'aia' in Italian means 'by the'. I think (and this is a guess) that this one means 'by the pebble'. Not important. What is important is that this bottle is going for $96, and it still wasn't that good.

Anyhow, regardless of the fact that our wine distributors put together a shoddy tasting with crappy expensive wines, we all had a good time. I'm enjoying the time spent with Carpaccio folk. As long as we can keep some of the obligatory restaurant drama at bay for the first few months, and as long as we actually open (looking like the last week in April now), I think it's going to be a great place to work.


Jon said...

Buying a white zin and saying you're drinking wine is like going to Starbucks and getting a 1600-calorie venti mocha frappachino with whipped cream and a cherry on top and saying, "Wow, I really needed my coffee fix".

Sam Says said...

Haha I'm well aware. That was our big joke at the Melting Pot. We'd get some good ol' South County folks who would come in and try to treat their wives and girlfriends to a nice bottle of wine, and it would be white zin. They'd talk it up like a special occasion, and spring for the $22 bottle...yea we charged that.