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Most wine lovers pick a favorite, stay with it

By Staff
July 11, 2001
Wine lovers are as faithful to their favorite wine or wines as teenagers are to the rock stars of their choice.
That's why merlot lovers are a tough sell when we write or talk about the red zinfandels, the cabernets, even the French bordeaux. Many of them even refuse to try other treasures of the red wines.
Class wine
Talk to a confirmed chardonnay drinker who is convinced that there is nothing else like it and you're wasting your breath when you tout a sauvignon blanc, a riesling from Alsace or some of the other delicious white wines on the market.
White zinfandel drinkers are in a class by themselves. They love the sweetness of that particular wine and honestly believe the world joins them in recognizing the white zinfandel as the absolute zenith of the wine maker's art. To most longtime wine drinkers, white zinfandel is soda pop. To those who love it, it is nectar and ambrosia and there's no way to convince them otherwise.
In their own way, burgundy wines claim a similar amount of devotion. Red or white burgundy, it really doesn't matter. Its devotees believe that there is nothing better, regardless of the over-pricing that regularly goes on and the fact that the word "Burgundy" on the bottle does not necessarily guarantee a wine that will linger in their memories for days, weeks, months or years.
But in truth, a great burgundy is a very special wine. Rich, with a lovely balanced flavor. Smooth and gentle, almost velvety sometimes. A bouquet that virtually rises out of the glass to give you a preview of how the wine itself will taste. It does not have the harshness of some bordeaux or cabernet wines nor the peppery appeal of the red zinfandels. Burgundies can be like falling in love. There's nothing else like it.
July 26th tasting
So saying, we are announcing the tasting of July 26th will be burgundy wines, both white and red. We have put some real thought into this tasting. I have examined the state's burgundy wine offerings very carefully and have selected six for your pleasure and learning experience. Three are reds. Three are whites.
At least two are in the $20 range if purchased at retail and I consider both of them to be bargains, worth more than their modest price. Several others command $50 per bottle at your favorite package store and they, too, are well worth the money in today's wine world. I'm even considering several that would be $60-75.
We'll talk more about the individual wines next week after I am certain that several are still available in the state warehouse.
But you can be assured that none will be served that have not been tasted and therefore recommended. We've never had a true burgundy tasting before although we have had a tasting of American pinot noir, the grape from which French red burgundy is made and American white chardonnay, the basis for white burgundy wines from France.
For the reason of their skills and techniques, what the French do with these same grapes can be, and mostly is, quite a bit different from the American version.
The tasting will again be held at Northwood Country Club starting at 6:30 p.m. The price is $25, a true bargain considering the quality and variety of the wines to be tasted. You do not have to be a member of Northwood to attend. Non-members can also stay for dinner afterward if they choose, but they will have to pay in cash since the club cannot accept credit cards.
Reservations are a must. These wines are very costly and we must know how many to expect. Call at 482-0930 or e-mail us at stant@stratonet.com mailto:stant@stratonet.com .
Make your checks payable to Wines Unlimited and send them to P.O. Box 5223, Meridian, MS 39302.
Just a note about the future. The August tasting will be August 22. The wines to be tasted are wines from Spain. Those of you who attended the Australian tasting will remember distributor Norm Rush accompanied the Australian wine expert, Patrick O'Byrne, to Meridian. Rush is also a principal distributor of Spanish wines in Mississippi and he will select the wines and conduct the tasting. The July and August tastings are just two of the special wine experiences to be enjoyed this fall.