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Celebrating Wine Month with NHFF Premier Sponsor Francis Ford Coppola Wines

In 2011, the British Organization The Wine & Spirit Education Trust officially declared that May was National Wine Month.  They released a website, www.maketimeforwine.org, and the restaurant event buzz skimmed across the pond to the US. Not wanting to miss out on the excitement this year, we started preparing the NHFF clubhouse for a month of fermented fun, however, we didn’t realize that the Brits hadn’t kept it up for 2012. The website domain has been repossessed by www.godaddy.com, no one has tweeted since May 31st last year, and there is no current press coverage anywhere.  The more I researched the one-year wonder, the more perplexed I became.  But alas, I am happy to announce I have decided that no matter what happened with the organization and their lack of upkeep of wine month this year, we at NHFF are still celebrating.  We will stock our office/clubhouse with the appropriate products, hold semi-daily Francis Ford Coppola wine tastings, and drink while we work, like good stewards of a sponsorship should.  (If sponsor NH Liquor Commission is also reading this, we’re kidding about drinking while we work.)

Host your own Francis Ford Coppola wine tasting:

Choose your tasting to mimic what you would get at the actual winery.  You can choose from these three options:

The Rosso and Bianco table wine tasting:
Rosso
Bianco Pinot Grigio
Shiraz
Chardonnay
Moscato

Cathy’s Portfolio:
Diamond Collection Sauvignon Blanc
Director’s Cut Pinot Noir
Director’s Cut Cabernet Sauvignon
Francis Coppola Reserve Syrah

Family Flight:
Diamond Collection Pavilion
Sofia Rosé
Director’s Merlot
Diamond Collection Alicante Bouschet

Preparation:

Use a white tablecloth to easily be able to distinguish the colorings of the wine. Any wine glasses will do, but a thin rimmed glass with a thicker middle that is deep enough to be able to swirl without splashing is ideal.  It is best to use separate glasses for each wine, but it is also acceptable in a casual setting to use one and lightly rinse after each wine, so a pitcher of water should be provided.  Don’t burn scented candles or potpourri, or anything else that will interfere with the scent of the wine, as smell is the second most important sense for wine tasting.

Chill whites between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit and reds between 60 and 65.  Include some palate cleansers between each tasting — french bread and lightly salted mozzarella work really well.  At a wine tasting, you’re not technically meant to swallow the wine so as to keep your senses completely aware and alert, but I don’t think that method is any fun. If you do desire to provide your guests with this option, you can use coffee mugs as spittoons for each person.  A large bucket or pitcher centerpiece for waste and leftovers should be included. Paper and pens can be helpful for taking notes about each wine, or you can choose to keep everything verbal.  Each person should receive about an ounce and a half to two ounces of wine per taste.

The Tasting: Four Main Components

Examine: Look at the color, determine clarity/opaqueness, check for floaties.

Swirl: The swirling motion is said to release aromas, it also coats the glass which lets you see the wine’s thickness.  The faster the droplets return to the bottom the thinner the wine.

Smell: Don’t be shy — stick your nose right in the glass to inhale the released aroma.  Take notes on what scents comes to mind, or shout them out.

Taste and Savor: Take a sip and hold the wine in your mouth, remaining extremely conscience of the pending analysis, swish it around every part, and slowly take in some air through your teeth to vaporize the wine’s essential tastes.  Use a spittoon, or swallow and enjoy.

Keep your comments centered around the aromas and signature tastes, the texture, the balance of the flavors, the aftertaste, and how it lingers on your palate.

If you’re new at this, I’ve compiled some conversational tips:

Do use these words and phrases: light, crisp, full-bodied, soft, rough, smooth, fruitful, There’s a great harmony of its components, Does anyone else taste a bit of chocolate? I’m getting some oak.

Don’t use these words and phrases: grapey, Does anyone mind if I chug?, Is that a hint of cumin?, Can’t we just drink Kool-Aid instead?

Further educate yourself with this online wine dictionary.

We’d like to thank Francis Ford Coppola Wines for their continued sponsorship and support, their wines are available at every NH Liquor Outlet, and at their online store.  Happy wine month, please drink responsibly!

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