With advice from a few work colleagues I consider to be wine connoisseurs, and more importantly, with the unerring advice of the Vintages Value List,  Mel and I have started to expand our wine collection, and training our palates.

As part of that, we stumbled upon a TV show on the Fine Living network called Fine Wines with Andrea Immer (or something like that). We had high hopes for it, but it's been kind of hit and miss. Immer offers some interesting lessons about wine labellings, grape types, wine making processes , tasting notes, etc. but that's only about half the show.

The other 15 minutes are taken up with scenes of her actually tasting different wines – which is lame, because we have no frame of reference. It's basically just her saying "Ooh, that's so smoky. And Ooh, that's very fruit-forward." – and shit like that.

Come on! It's not like a cooking show where you see the chef use garlic and ginger and soya sauce and yadda yadda, and you know what those all taste like. When you have that frame of reference you can extrapolate on what the final dish will be. With wines, you just have to take her word for it. There's no basis of comparison.

Needless to say, we stopped recording it. It was too annoying to bother fast-forwarding to the watchable parts.

Maybe we'll just look into guided tastings at the LCBO, and keep relying on the Vintages Value lists – assuming they resume in the new year.

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5 responses »

  1. margotinto says:

    Do you ever get a chance to hear Konrad Ejbich on Ontario Today? He's on the last friday of each month, but I don't think the CBC podcasts his segments specifically. He is one of the best wine commentators I've heard, very accessible and unpretentious, but with an astounding knowledge of wines and food and wine pairings. He has also published The Pocket Guide to Ontario Wines, Wineries, Vineyards and Vines, which is supposed to be excellent, if you want to focus on learning more about Ontario wines in particular.

  2. Thanks for the tip. It would be nice to learn about Ontario wines. We've sort of steered clear of them because the few we HAVE had have been dismal (with a few notable exceptions of course). I'll check out the links!

  3. Yeah I saw it this week. There are quite a few that I want to try too – but we didn't make it to the LCBO this weekend. On the flip side, we went to my colleague's for dinner (she's a gourmand) and she treated us to a 5-course meal with wine pairings. Had a delightful time and found a few new bottles to collect.

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