For those of us who can’t pronounce the words vignoble and coulure or understand what they actually mean, navigating through the many varieties of wine can be mysterious and overwhelming.
Gary Burhop, owner of Great Wines, hopes to help alleviate that vino-induced anxiety by offering weekly wine tastings at Salsa Restaurant on Saturdays from 1-3 p.m. through September 12th. Each week features a specific varietal of wine (Merlot, Riesling, etc.) and gives novices and experts the opportunity to experience the wide range of wines available.
“We started doing wine tastings the summer after we opened the store, almost 10 years ago,” says Burhop. “I originally organized the tasting for my employees, and then customers started coming.” Now, the tastings attract 60 to 100 people each week.
The tasting is “blind,” so all the wines are covered in a brown bag, identified only by a number.
“We ask people to vote for their favorite wine by number,” Burhop says. “Then, they can go over to [Great Wines] and get our version of the 'Rosetta stone'… the list of which numbers correspond to which wines.”
During the first two weekends in September, the top-two wines from each week will compete against each other in a wine “taste-off.” The winning wines will be featured in the store.
For $5, you can taste between 12 to 14 different wines and nosh on cheese and crackers. And if you want a bottle of wine for your own personal tasting, Great Wines will credit the $5 toward your purchase.
Great Wines and Spirits, 6150 Poplar (682-1333)
Dates and featured wines:
July 25 — Pinot Grigio / Pinot Gris
August 1 — Merlot
August 8 — Riesling
August 15 — Zinfandel
August 22 — Chardonnay
August 29 — Cabernet Sauvignon
September 5 — Taste-off of white wine weekly winners
September 12 — Taste-off of red wine weekly winners
(Images: thewendyhouse.typepad.com, justglass-online.com)