Monthly Archives: September 2013

The Good, the Bad, and the Mildly Inconvenient: Beverage Culture in the Western Cape

Posted by Byron Crowe II*

In the early afternoon of July 26th, I walked out of Stanza Dei Sigari, a cigar bar in the North End of Boston, and began my journey to South Africa by catching a cycle rickshaw to South Station. Two days later, after a smoke-scented train ride to NYC, an evening in the city, a 19 hour flight, and a 200 rand cab ride, I finally arrived in the Observatory neighborhood of Cape Town. Since then, life here has been nothing short of living the 3L dream. Because of my enthusiasm for the experiences I have had while here, I decided to enlighten the readers back home with some of the highlights—and low points—of beverage culture here in the Western Cape province of South Africa.


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Event Recap: Welcome Back Tasting with Chardonnay

Posted by Michaela Laird on September 25, 2013.


Wine Tasting, 9/20/13, 6:30pm, The Lodge, Theme: Chardonnay

The Society of Wine and Jurisprudence started this year the way many people start their wine tasting career, with Chardonnay.  Last Friday we held our first tasting of the year, focusing entirely on this popular grape and the widely varied wines made from it. The event was a success, as you can see from the pictures, and we tasted Chardonnays from many different regions- from local Finger Lakes wineries to the grape’s homeland in the Burgundy region of France.  Below are a couple of our picks from the event.

Favorite Foreigner: Terra Nova Chardonnay

This Chilean wine was the surprise hit of the evening.  Appraised by our tasters as being, “smooth,” “full-bodied,” and “buttery” this crisp and fresh-flavored wine left a positive impression on all.  And at only $7.99, it also wins our “Best Bargain” award.

Easiest Going Down: Edna Valley Chardonnay, 2011

The most popular wine of the evening was a Californian.  From an up-and-coming region for Chardonnay, this medium-bodied wine was praised as being “balanced” and “crisp” with a “fantastic dry finish.”

Final Take-Away: One grape, many flavors. And the new members learnt just how much fun we can have!


How to use this blog: Events

Hey everybody,

This is your Chief Blog Editor, Chris, with a brief update. For those of you who don’t know, our first tasting of the school year is Friday, September 20, focusing on Chardonnay. I’d just take this opportunity to point your attention up to the events link on the navigation bar on top of the site, where you’ll see the full event entry for that Chardonnay Tasting tomorrow evening with all of the details.

As we get going this year, we’re going to have a fuller slate of events posted, with contact and sign-up information available for future events. Keep checking back, and you’ll get a good view of what the Society is doing and how to get involved.

So keep your eyes open, and that’s enough from me. I’ll leave you to read Theresa’s excellent post on tasting wines below, and tell you to check back in soon; we have some excellent pieces coming in our continuing introduction series, and a post from our former Wine Czar Byron, who’s in South Africa right now and has quite a bit to say about it.

How to Taste Wine

420672_2836276950540_1604260635_nPosted by Theresa Cederoth on September 12, 2013.

Drinking wine is not the same as tasting wine.  Even those of us who have been wine drinkers for years may never have stopped to appreciate the full experience of our beverage.  To truly taste wine, you need to slow down and pay attention to your senses of smell, sight, and touch, as well as taste.  You don’t need to be a wine expert to become a proficient wine taster—all that’s required is a little focus.  Here’s a cheat sheet to guide you through the basic aspects of wine tasting.

Step 1: Control Your Tasting Conditions

Start with a clean wine glass, since the taste and smell of dust or detergent can affect the wine’s flavor.  (Along similar lines, avoid strong perfumes while wine tasting.)  Whenever possible, choose a good wine glass.[1]  The glass should have a large bowl so that you can swirl and aerate the wine, and the rim should bend inward to help funnel the aromas to your nose.  A clear glass, rather than colored or printed, will give you an unimpeded view of the wine (which becomes important in Step 2).  The rim should be thin, as wine flows more cleanly and evenly over a thin rim than a thick rolled one.

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