Tonight I went with a bunch of friends to a local coffeehouse for a wine & chocolate tasting (or so they said... they never delivered on the chocolate but did vow that cocao would flow next week). Instead we tasted wines of Greece and Portugal. I'd never been to a wine tasting. I'm pretty ignorant of liquor in general. To me it either tastes good or doesn't but I don't have the "this has fruity undertones with a hint of caramel" gene that picks up slight variations in wine texture and taste. The speaker would say very sophisticated things like, "Do we have any xinomavro fans here tonight?" and "The tannins are deeper in this one" as he passed around wines.
The only undertones I detected all night was in one particular wine which I wrote down so I would never accidently buy it. "Ftelia," (which can almost be the word "fetid" scrambled) was a Greek wine with "hints of barnyard" and "undertones of urine." I wasn't the only one who thought this. "Yes, but what KIND of urine?" one person asked as they thoughtfully swished their glass. Ftelia means elm in greek, named after the vineyard because an elm tree grows there.
Next came "Crasto" or the Crusty-the-Clown wine, which was actually pretty good.
After that were the port wines.
Our table's favorite port wine was Ferreira, from Portugal. The makers infuse the mixture with brandy during the wine-making process so the alcohol content is high and the wine is sweet, good enough as a dessert by itself. Both the red and white versions were silky and delicious.
The best part was discovering Sabrina's parrot, Squakahano:
This coffee house used to be one of the area's most famous bird stores, House of Hauser's before the owners retired. It's where I bought my beloved parakeet that I blogged about recently.
How fitting that a sweet bird should enjoy the wine tasting with the rest of us.
I think parrots like wine. (Or at least this one did!)