Wine tasting at home

Wine – red, white, sparkling, orange, bio – it doesn’t matter what its origins or color I will try it at least once. This is precisely how I ended up on a Zoom call with 38 other women at the Van Belle Academy’s wine tasting class for the American Women’s Club of Amsterdam.

My personal wine tasting bottles ready for consumption. And yes, there are two different wine glasses because I am fancy.

that’s the alcohol you’re smelling

Truth be told, I am not a great wine taster. I enjoy drinking the wine instead of spitting it out. I always seem to smell “peat and whiskey” which it turns out, is the smell of alcohol. I can sometimes get the aroma of cherry, stone fruits, garden meadows after a hot summer’s rain, but most times I think… “yes, this is good… can I have a bigger pour?” My hope was that the Van Belle Academy would make some of my wine knowledge a little more refined (no spitting, all swallowing… )

We were told we would need some special ingredients for our Zoom wine tasting (all wine was delivered to our houses ahead of time – 6 bottles in total about 250ml each) over-seeped black tea, a lemon wedge and some salt for our tasting. (OK)

My cat, Zahle – like the city in Lebanon – was ready for Julie to get to the reds.

“Take a bite out of the lemon wedge. Now all of that salivation you feel in your mouth is from the acid… if you have that same reaction with a white wine, you know it has a lot of acid,” explained Julie Resendez, our sommelier for the experience. We drank the whites, I certainly preferred one over the other two, but since we aren’t big white drinkers in our house I am not at all surprised.

“Now take a sip of your black tea. Do you feel how tea dries out your mouth? This should be an indication that it has a higher…. [ she said something else here but since I hate tea I stopped paying attention.]” The reds were, well, delicious.

Clear favorites here… Full disclosure, those red wines were gone about 15 minutes after my zoom call.

We have a wine club you know?

At the end of the almost 2.5 hour Zoom tasting I felt slightly more knowledgeable than when I went in…. which I’ve got to say is quite an accomplishment in a year where everything (f*cking everything) is a Zoom or Teams call. As we were finishing up, Julie also told us about a wine club, which clearly made my somewhat foggy brain become very clear, very quickly.

Here’s how it works. Click HERE and it will take you to the shop page. For EUR 110 per month, Julie and the rest of the Van Belle Academy will source 6 wines from boutique wineries that make small batches. Got a preference? Julie will help you create a subscription that is perfect for you and your needs… no get-rid-of-that-shit-bottle at this store. Moreover, wine club members also receive discounts on WSET sommelier classes…. and what could be better to be on your CV than the fact you know a shit-ton about wine. #bougie.

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