When it comes to understanding wine, I’m less Paul Giamatti’s character in “Sideways” (“There’s just like the faintest soupcon of asparagus…”) and more Thomas Haden Church’s clueless gum-chewing dolt (“Tastes pretty good to me!”). My wine palate is shall we say, unrefined. I don’t pick up all the subtle nuances that others pick up. I know when I like something (or don’t), but I can’t always explain why.
Then again, I doubt I’m alone. My guess is there are a lot of people out there like me. Doesn’t stop us from attending and enjoying wine tastings, like the one last night at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits. After all, to learn about wine, you’ve got to taste it, right?
As wine tastings go, this was on the high end of the enjoyment scale. It was a “Big-Theme Chilean” tasting: a no-charge event showcasing around 25 Chilean red and white wines. Three stations were set up within the store, everyone was given a handwritten checklist to keep track of what was what, and away we went, free to sample the selection. The guy manning the first station was particularly good, clearly explaining the details of each wine as he poured it.
The atmosphere was relaxed, fun and friendly, and I see why CPW&S’s wine tastings are popular events. No intimidation factor here. It didn’t matter whether you knew a lot or a little. We could all taste, learn and come to our own conclusions. This Viu Manent Cab made an impression so I scooped up a bottle before leaving.
Fantastic event. I’ll be there cup in hand for the next one, too. The shop also offers hour and a half wine tasting classes for only, get this, $10. Can’t think of a better deal than that. Perfect for wine neophytes like myself, who need all the help we can get.
Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits
3423 Connecticut Ave. NW