An interview with the wine guy

My journalistic interview class took a turn for the exciting this afternoon when we got to do a group interview and wine tasting with Ryan Dawe-Stotz, the wine buyer for Marche Restaurant and Marche Provisions.

Aside from my day of tasting in Tuscany, I have no wine tasting experience so I loved getting advice from a real wine taster.

After some background about himself and wine, Ryan opened a bottle of white to show us how to taste. The bottle of choice was La Chatelaine from Domaine de la Cadette in the Bourgogne Vezelay region of France.

Ryan broke the tasting down into three components – the nose, the palate, and the finish.

First, he swirled it around to thinly coat the glass to allow it to stretch and breathe.

Next, he stuck his nose in the glass. He said it smelled like the sea and citrus with a hint of smokiness and cucumber. He pinpointed the flavors exactly.

Then came taste. He took a sip and slurped it while keeping it in his mouth to allow it more air. On the second sip, he swished it around, to coat the entire mouth before swallowing.

I didn’t slurp it like he did, but I really immersed myself in the flavor and feeling with each sip. The wine was light but very acidic. The finish was a lingering tingle from the citrus, something Ryan said was especially important in choosing a meal to go with it. His choice would be a light fish or oysters with green salad composed of heavier greens.

One of Ryan’s final comments really grabbed my attention. “There is nothing wrong with wines that you don’t have to think about.”

I love this idea because although it’s important to know good wines from bad and how to properly taste wine, I don’t like wine snobs. Instead, I think appreciation and enjoyment of a wine is more important than all the details that surround it.


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