Adventures in Ethics and Science

Abel Pharmboy set up a wine-tasting for this evening with a selection of wines from Wine Authorities for us to taste.

Abel professes to be an “amateur” at wine-tasting, but I’m coming here from Northern California, so I have to represent! Also, after this morning’s coffee tasting, I’m kind of sold on the idea that looking, smelling, and tasting carefully can give me something like a better appreciation of the complexities of fermented grape juice. So, I’m going to attempt something more detailed.

I’m taking my guidance from this article, and will be describing:

Color: (what color the wine is)

Clarity: (how opaque, translucent, sediment-laden, etc.)

Smell – first impression: (quick whiff after a swirl)

Smell – second impression: (deep inhale with nose in the glass)

Taste – attack phase: (initial impression, driven by alcohol content, tannins, acidity, and residual sugar)

Taste – evolution phase: (flavor profile as it develops on the palate)

Taste – finish: (how long the flavor lasts after swallowing, what persists)

On to the empirical data …

Number one:

  • Color: Pale straw
  • Clarity: crystal
  • Smell – first impression: peach, flowers
  • Smell – second impression: citrus, melon
  • Taste – attack phase: buttery, balanced
  • Taste – evolution phase: golden raspberry, rootbeer
  • Taste – finish: light

Rully Premier Cru 2005 Eric De Suremain

Number two:

  • Color: golden
  • Clarity: viscous
  • Smell – first impression: sweet melons
  • Smell – second impression: lavender, jam
  • Taste – attack phase: citrus, a little sweet
  • Taste – evolution phase: vanilla, pears
  • Taste – finish: oak, grapefruit

Lynmar 2005 Russian River Valley Chardonnay

Number three:

  • Color: Purplish-red
  • Clarity: Somewhat opaque
  • Smell – first impression: Blackberry, cherry
  • Smell – second impression: Creme brulee
  • Taste – attack phase: Light tannin
  • Taste – evolution phase: Black pepper
  • Taste – finish: Persimmon.

Lemelson Vineyards Thea’s Selelction Pinot Noir 2006 Wilamette Valley

Number four:

  • Color: Deep maroon
  • Clarity: Jewel-like
  • Smell – first impression: Super-ripe strawberries
  • Smell – second impression: hint of pomegranate
  • Taste – attack phase: round, mineral
  • Taste – evolution phase: grilled figs with balsamic vinegar
  • Taste – finish: Nutmeg

Alma Rosa Pinot Noir 2007 Santa Rita Hills

They’re all very nice wines in their own way. Thanks to Abel and to the Wine Authorities!


  1. #1 Comrade PhysioProf
    January 16, 2009

    That’s all very nice and analytical. But most importantly: Are you fucking plastered yet? If so, w00t!! If not, why not!?

  2. #2 Abel Pharmboy
    April 3, 2009

    Ping! (11 weeks later).

    I have a great picture of you writing on the laptop at the wine table.

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