• Twin Farms Recap {Saturday–Part 2}

    March 12, 2013

    On Saturday night, Mal and I got all dressed up and then started our evening with a cocktail at the pub at Twin Farms.

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    The pub had a fully-stocked bar (with snacks) as well as a variety of entertainment options, including a pool table, dart board, big screen TV with lots of movies, grand piano, and vintage jukebox. It was really cool inside and a great place to hang out.

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    Mal and I put on some tunes.

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    And then played pool and darts.

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    At 6:30 PM, we headed to the Main House for “The One-Hour Wine Expert” with Kevin Zraly. In 60 minutes, Kevin guided us through a comprehensive tasting that explained some of the fundamental elements and differences in wine varieties.

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    I’ve attended quite a few wine classes over the years, but I can honestly say I learned more in Kevin’s hour-long class than any of the others I’ve attended. He’s a great teacher!

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    Interesting things I learned:

    • There are 6 major grapes in the world: Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. If you know these six, you’re in really good shape.
    • 90% of white wines in the world are made from Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay.
    • If Riesling is the skim milk of the wine world, Sauvignon Blanc is 2% and Chardonnay is whole milk.
    • White wines gain color as they get older; red wines lose color as they age.
    • Tannins in wine decrease with age; sediment increases.
    • 95% of taste is smell, so Kevin suggested holding each sip of wine in our mouths for 5 seconds before swallowing in order to get the full taste experience.
    • Your sense of smell starts to decline at 32 years old.
    • 90% of wines produced are intended to be consumed in one year. 99% of wines produced are intended to be consumed in 5 years.
    • The U.S. is now the #1 wine consumer in the world. In 19 years, even with the recession, wine consumption has steadily increased.

    Something that Kevin (and David) said that I really appreciated was that you don’t need someone (or a rating) to tell you which wines you should like. If you like a specific wine, that’s great! If you don’t, no big deal. Kevin suggested buying a wine, trying it, and then looking at reviews and ratings to see what other people think about it. If someone says you should like a wine, but you don’t, are you truly going to enjoy it? I really loved this advice because it made wine seem so much more accessible and, of course, made me feel better about my love for Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc!

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    My favorite wine of the tasting: Dr. Loosen Bernkasteler Lay 2010. It was a Riesling (not all of them are super sweet!), which was fresh, smooth, mineral-y, and lightly sweet. It was delicious, and you could easily drink it alone. I’m definitely on the lookout for this bottle now!

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    After the wine tasting, Kevin guided us through the food and wine pairings with dinner.

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    Of course, Mal and I practiced what we had just learned.

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    Get your nose in there, Mal!

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    Dinner was incredible, and the wines that David paired with each course complimented them so well. It honestly made each bite that much more enjoyable.

    The menu:

    • Tasmanian Sweet Crab in White Asparagus Broth with Roasted Buttercorn, Chives and Quail Egg Risotto
    • Yuzu Infused Cucumbers with Bulghur Wheat Scallion Salad and Oranges, Citrus Dressing, Chèvre Noir, Parsley, Salted Almonds
    • Grilled Loin of Lamb with Oyster Mushrooms and Spruce Ash Pappardelle, Baby Spinach, Roasted Vidalia Onion, Spruce Needle Jus
    • Compressed Bosc Pear and Pear Sponge on Roasted Prune Purée, Smoked Cocoa Nib Mousse, Peppered Walnut Streusel, Cocoa Tuile

    And featured wines:

    • Pascal Jolivet Sancerre (2010)
    • Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet (2010)
    • Liger-Belair Nuits St. George (2004)
    • Chateau Bellevue (2000)
    • Chateau Cantenac Brown (2003)
    • Chateau Lafaurie Peyreguay (1997)

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    Obviously, the meal and wine pairings were amazing, but what Mal and I enjoyed most about dinner was dining with Kevin Zraly, who joined us at our table. We spent the entire night chatting with him. It was so cool.

    I have to admit, when I realized Kevin would be sitting with us, I was pretty nervous. He’s a famous wine expert, and I know practically nothing about wine, so I wasn’t sure what we’d talk about. But, after just a few minutes of conversation, I realized Kevin and I (and Mal) actually had quite a bit in common. Kevin and I have the same book publisher and editor, so we chatted a bunch about writing. Surprisingly, Kevin and I shared similar struggles with writing, so it was reassuring (and comforting) hearing that he too finds it challenging, and he’s written lots of books. (I struggle with writing so much!)

    Kevin also told us that he has a degree in elementary education and coaches high school basketball (his team just made it to the playoffs), so the three of us had plenty to talk about during dinner. Kevin is such a nice guy. I’m so lucky to have met him.

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    After dinner, Mal and I returned to our cottage and enjoyed some warm chocolate chip cookies and milk before bed. For real.

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    Questions of the Day

    Are you a wine drinker?

    Red or white?

    How much do you know about wine? Have you ever taken a class?

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    { 86 comments… read them below or add one }

    Lesley March 13, 2013 at 9:28 am

    AHH. Kim Crawford Sauvigon Blanc is my favorite! I love the Pinot Grigio too! Was so happy when you mentioned it :) .. It’s only 930 AM and now you have me wanting a glass…

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    Meghan @ After the Ivy League March 13, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Cornell has a super famous Wines class that pretty much all seniors take…but I have to confess I barely remember anything I learned at this point! Still love and drink lots of wine though :)

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    Emily March 13, 2013 at 9:38 am

    I love white wine, but I’ll drink any kind! i’d love to take a class

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    Beth Sheridan March 13, 2013 at 9:43 am

    That place is stunning! And I’ve never been to a wine class, but it sounds so interesting and I’m sure I would learn a ton, did Kevin recommend any Merlot? Did you try any that you liked?

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    Tina March 13, 2013 at 9:51 am

    @Beth Sheridan: We tried a Duckhorn 2001 Merlot during Kevin’s tasting that was really good! :)

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    De @ Cooking for the Other Half March 13, 2013 at 9:43 am

    This seems like such a lovely weekend! I’m enjoying all these posts.

    I love wine- I typically prefer white (usually pinot grigio or riesling) but sometimes I’m in the mood for pinot noir. That usually happens in the wintertime!

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    Alyssa March 13, 2013 at 10:11 am

    I LOOVE wine :-) I’m noticing a trend in my comments. Whites in the warmer months, Rose in the middle of summer, and Reds in the winter months are my typical preferences. I’ve taken a few tasting classes, but prefer to host my own at home with friends!

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    Jess March 13, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    @Alyssa: Add in some Champagne and/or Prosecco and you and I could be twins! :)

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    Alyssa March 13, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    @Jess: I love those two!!

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    Rita March 13, 2013 at 10:27 am

    What a great evening!! The food looked amazing. As did the cookies! (channeling cookie monster right now)

    So which grape would a pinot grigio come from?

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    Maureen March 13, 2013 at 10:45 am

    I love wine, doesn’t matter if it’s red or white (although lately I’ve been drinking more red). Sadly, I know next to nothing about wine. I took a tour of a winery last summer with some friends, but I was too busy sampling the goods to retain any information. :)

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    Julie / Bound March 13, 2013 at 11:07 am

    I know next to nothing about wine, so I’d love to take a class like this. Sounds really cool!

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    Stephanie @ Food Fit 4 Real March 13, 2013 at 11:19 am

    What an exciting evening! My husband and I did not know much about wine when we started dating 10 years ago, so we try to attend wine tastings often. My tasted have changed from dry wine wines to more full bodies red wines over the years. I recently heard that Windows on the World wine course is the BEST, I would love the chance to attend a course like this one day. Thanks for the great writeup Tina!

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    Maureen March 13, 2013 at 11:43 am

    I love red wine & dessert wine. In California, I don’t feel the white wines are very good. But when we went to Oregon this past summer, we did wine tasting for a day & the whites there are amazing!

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    Laura @ A Girl's Gotta Balance March 13, 2013 at 11:47 am

    I prefer white over red – Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc is my personal fave too. :) But sometimes I will go for a red, usually a smooth malbec.

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    Annette@FitnessPerks March 13, 2013 at 11:54 am

    I don’t drink wine–but I bet that is cool that learn more about them!

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    Theresa March 13, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Your weekend sounds so amazing! What a relaxing and peaceful resort! I love the points you listed about wine. I am a big Kim Crawford fan as well! Interesting fact: my friends and I learned this weekend that Kim Crawford is a guy, which for some reason really surprised me. I’m not sure if I want to believe it…haha

    We went wine tasting this weekend in Napa, Buena Vista has an excellent Chardonnay. I usually prefer Sauvignon Blanc, but this Chardonnay was so smoothe and buttery. I’m not sure if they distribute to the east coast, but give it a try if you see it!

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    Mari March 13, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    I would love to do a wine tasting like this. It sounds like so much fun. I have a feeling that the U.S. is the #1 wine consumer in the world because of the recession. :)

    I do have a question, you wrote that “90% of wines produced are intended to be consumed in one year. 99% of wines produced are intended to be consumed in 5 years.” Is there a distinction between red or white for this statistic?

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    Tina March 13, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    I think Kevin meant red wines since they tend to age better? He said the 1% that you wouldn’t drink after 5 years would likely be a Bordeaux.

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    Jillian March 13, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    I love my wine! I usually prefer red, but when I drink white I am a Kim Crawford fan, too! Then again, champagne trumps all!

    Thanks for these reviews. I’m working on planning a trip to Vermont this summer and this place sounds incredible. I also want to hit up the King Arthur Flour baking school in Norwich, VT.

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    Katie March 13, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I am a big fan of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio. If I am having a glass, it is likely one of those two. However, I really crave a glass of red with a nice rare piece of beef or lamb.

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    Christine March 13, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    I have that same shirt and I love wearing it when I go out to eat, it hides any belly I may get from eating!

    I’m a wino! I prefer white pinot grigio but in the winter I sometimes crave red and will grab a bottle of Malbec.

    I don’t know much about wine, my sister and I took a wine class at the Boston Wine Expo one year and were more excited about all the wine samples than the actual class..although having someone walk us through each wine was fun.

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    Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health March 13, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    I LOVE WINE! I prefer Sauvignon Blanc for white and Pinot Noir for red. Looks like you had such a nice evening. Btw- you are a great writer! :)

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    Rachel McIntyre March 13, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    I’m a huge fan of wine, despite knowing very little about it! I usually drink red, but sometimes white when it’s really hot in the Summer.

    The class sounds amazing. The food looks good, too.

    I love the wine facts. My husband won’t be pleased when I tell him his sense of smell will begin to decline this year ;)

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    Johanna B March 13, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    I would love to be able to enjoy a glass or two on occasion but the truth is – I just don’t like wine.

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    Gladyxa March 13, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    What a romantic weekend you two had! Ya’ll are the cutest couple! I’m sure you missed Murphy but having a nice weekend getaway with your hubby must have been so nice. I can’t wait for Jason and I to getaway soon.

    Reply

    Jodea @ chillichocolatelove.com March 13, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    I like red, white and rose – it depends on the occasion and my mood. My favourites are Sancerre and Late Harvest Cabernet. Doing wine tastings has really enhanced my enjoyment of wine. I always have a good sniff now before I drink!

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    Kerri March 13, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    That sounds amazing! I love wine and have always wanted to take a course or do a tasting where I learn a lot more about wine. Thanks for sharing and really hope to make it to this class sometime!

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    Erin @ The Elliptical Chronicles March 14, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    I very much like wine. I was on a pretty solid white wine kick through the last year or so (chardonnay & pinot grigio), but lately I’ve been leaning toward the reds and really enjoying them!

    Though, I like wine a lot, I do not at all consider myself to be knowledgeable on the topic – I just know what tastes good to me :P

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    Monique @ burpeestobubbly.com March 15, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    LOVE wine and have been to so many seminars… I think I went to one with Kevin before, actually. the name sounds so familar.

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    Kelly@BalancedDaily March 18, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    I love wine, both red and white. It’s interesting that Americans are some of the biggest wine drinkers and that consumption has steadily increased over the past years; I wonder if it has anything to do with less money (buying cheap bottles of win) and a greater focus on health (red wine with antioxidants, wine being less calories than mixed drinks and beer). My favorite is sauvignon blanc for sure. I’ve never taken a wine class so I don’t know much but I want to!

    Reply

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