Monday, July 18, 2011

Wine Tasting

This past weekend, my husband and I decided to visit a winery for his birthday.  After a day's worth of research, I was surprised to find that we had many wineries in Texas, and disappointed that there was no need to travel to Napa Valley. At first, we were planning on making a weekend out of it- staying at a bed and breakfast and visiting the nearby winery. Who knew that it was high season, and the bed and breakfast was booked? Instead, we traveled an hour and a half to Bryan, Texas to visit the Messina Hof winery.

As a University of Texas grad (go Horns!), it felt weird to make a special trip to Bryan, Texas, but the winery was definitely worth it! While it was very hot outside, the winery was beautiful and extremely peaceful. Check out our photos of the vines below. The tiny grapes managed to have many seeds, but had an incredibly sweet taste. We sampled one, but couldn't help but grab a few more! After a brief walking tour of the winery, we ended back into the main room, where we sampled some wine!

Sweet grapes!

More sampling!

Who knew Texas was so pretty?
Barrels of Wine
I'm not a huge wine lover, so I expected to give all of my samples to my husband. To my surprise, I ended up drinking most of the wine because I finally learned how to appreciate it.

According to our tour guide, following these steps will make drinking wine that much better!
1. Swirl the wine in your glass. This helps "mix" the wine since it has been standing upright in the bottle.
2. Smell the wine. After swirling the wine, the flavor usually intensifies and the smell is wonderful! I smelled the wine before and after swirling and noticed a difference (although I could have been imagining things).
3. Finally take your first sip. Our guide told us the first sip is always different than the rest. Before swallowing, swish the wine around in your mouth- this helps bring out the flavor and makes the wine smoother. This method worked for me: I had initially taken the first sip, prior to following any of our guide's tips. The wine was extremely dry. After following his advice, the wine was super smooth. Each sip after was better than the last!

Our guide also provided various tips for drinking reds versus whites, but I found these three steps the most satisfying to my own palate. I couldn't wait to bring a bottle home and try in the comfort of my home. Try for yourself- grab your favorite bottle of wine and let me know how it tastes!

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