Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tasting Tuscany Wines--Bin 201

Yesterday, I sojourned to Annapolis to a wine store named Bin 201 for a tasting of wines selected from Italy and more specifically, Tuscany and some of the nearby regions.

I enjoy attending these tastings because they are more than just tasting wine--they are about understanding the grapes and conditions in the region.

Bin 201 Being Prepared for Tasting
Although Tuscany was the principle region for yesterday's tasting, I was also treated to a sampling of wines from Umbria, Marche, and Abruzzo.  But the wines of the day truly were from Tuscany: Chianti, Chianti Classico, Super Tuscan.

I admit, one of the wines did not have a pleasant nose--it smelled like a cat box, but most of them were very nice and enjoyed. The tasting was complete with a plate of cheese, salami, prosciutto, and of course some palate cleansing bread.

The Canalicchio di Sopra Brunello de Montalcino 2000 Tuscany was clearly the wine of the day. But it was $87.99 and I just don't buy wine that expensive because I never want to drink it--so the enjoyment is never fully realized because it just stays on the wine rack.

The best buy was Ornellia "Le Volte" 2009, Bolgheri, Tuscany for $29.99. This was a Super Tuscan, being a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. It gets a solid average 88 rating on Cellar Tracker and I think it will be awesome with pasta.

I love expanding my wine knowledge and my tastes, and yesterday was no exception as I also tastes a few whites--but nothing spectacular.

While the Bin 201 tastings are not free, they are not expensive--less than tastings for more in Napa. And, we tasted 10 wines coupled with history and a small intimate group of 14 people. It makes for a nice Saturday afternoon activity. I highly recommend these events.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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