What is a Chardonnay supposed to taste like? How about a Nebbiolo?
Not every wine enthusiast has the time — or money — to sign up for weeks of wine classes in order to better understand what’s in their glass.
According to sommelier Jörn Kleinhans, owner of the The Sommelier Company, they don’t need to.
“I get so many phone calls where people have a hard time expressing what they’re longing for,” Kleinhans says. “They want to experience more and learn more, but it’s hard for them to find the essential terms for what they’re interested in.”
To build that knowledge, Kleinhans recommends tasting a specific, broad collection of wines that are perfectly representative of their type to “get a really good overview of the classic wines of the world. We’ve found this has been an effective way to not only get an overview of the world of wine and an education on the flavours, but also helps identify what people really like.”
He explains these aren’t necessarily the best wines out there, and they certainly aren’t the most expensive. The entire collection can be purchased for under $US200.
“Each represents a distinct style and offering from the others,” he explains, “so you can say with confidence you got the full education of wine flavours in one box.”
Kleinhans recommends 10 wines:
Merlot/Cabernet blend from Bordeaux
Expect it to taste: Silky and plummy.
'The other great wine flavour in the world that is famous on the red wine side is the Bordeaux blend,' says Kleinhans. 'Pinot Noir belongs to Burgundy, and in Bordeaux the important wine is the blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. With this blend you're tasting a silky and plummy wine from the origin place of Bordeaux, in Western France.'
Nebbiolo from Piemonte, Italy
Expect to taste: Tar, roses and liquorice.
'The Nebbiolo grape belongs to the Alpine foothills in the Italian province of Piemonte,' Kleinhans says. 'It also makes the great wine Barolo. Tastes of tar, roses, and hints of licorice among other herbaceous aspects make these Northern Italian wines so intriguing and so unique.'