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02/16/2011

wine tasting dinner

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On Thursday 3 February we met at Osteria degli Angeli, located in via delle Volte, the main artery of the medieval part of Ferrara, where we had a wine tasting dinner with excellent wines from Veneto presented by our Sommelier Nicola Zanotti.

 Each wine was accompanied by a dish  specially selected to enhance the appreciation of the individual wines. There is something about the perfect combination of flavors in wine that can highlight, enhance and harmonize with the flavors in your food: The Bianco Chardonnay Garganega was just perfect for a risotto with radicchio e taleggio and the Amarone della Valpolicella with Brasato e polenta.

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 As wine appreciation requires experience to develop Nicola was able to show us how to taste wine even if you are a beginner, so that everyone could get the most out of the experience.

 Nicola started by explaining that when opening and pouring the wine, one easy mistake to make is filling the glass to the top, we need to only pour about 1/4th of a glassful because it’ is important to have room to swirl and sniff the wine. Next we will have to look at the wine, assessing  color, clarity, or viscosity. Then we turn to the aroma of the wine, quoting Nicola “swirling the wine will help to volatilize it  so you can smell it better”. At that point we should  come up with ways of describing what we are smelling: fruit aromas, earth, wood, smoke, etc. The good news is that there are no right and wrong answers, it is subjective. Finally it’s time to take a small sip and determine its taste. Is it sweet or dry? Is it full bodied? Is it bland or intense? How is the texture of the wine on your palate? Main thing do we like it?

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 As the dinner went on Nicola show us also the proper way of tasting wine: taking a small sip and moving it around in the mouth for a few seconds before swallowing, and letting it reach the palate, sucking in some air to help further liberate its perfume. 

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Great idea guys I hope you passed a good time with your friends :)

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