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Wine tasting will feature seven reds

By By Stan Torgerson / wine columnist
Aug. 27, 2003
When this month's Spiegelau glass wine tasting was announced we told you, and truthfully so, we had managed to purchase only 48 of these famed German made glasses to give away to our attendees.
To me it was important local wine lovers learned how important professionally designed glasses were to the full enjoyment of the grape. More and more tasters had brought their own to this monthly event, but the majority were still using the smallish glasses supplied by Northwood Country Club.
We expected a full house for the event. We never expected the absolute flood of reservations which poured in following that column. There was no way we could stick to 48 without disappointing a large number of people. The Mississippi distributor was sold out. We had ordered the last he had pending a new shipment which would not arrive in time.
We got on the telephone and started hunting. Thursday we located a distributor in another state who could spare a supply of these Spiegelau glasses and we bought them on the spot. They were shipped to Meridian by air and arrived Monday. As a result we were able to accept additional reservations but those, too, have almost run out. We have only a few left so call 482-0930 if you are interested in attending.
The seven wines to be served will all be reds. I have previewed four of them and they are delicious, big, rich wines packed with flavor that will show their best with the Spiegelau glass.
Some are unlike anything you have probably ever tasted. One is a blend of five different grapes from South Africa with the unique name "Goats Do Roam" which my preview panel loved.
Another is made from a grape of which you have likely never heard, the mourvedre. Mourvedre is a grape principally used in the blending of the famed chateauneuf-du-pape wines in France. This wine was a favorite of the selection group which tested the wines to be served. It is a product of the Rosenblum winery which just a few months ago was named winery of the year in a California competition.
Also on the list is a syrah, to my thinking a great bargain, a California cabernet, a pinot noir from France, a merlot and and a big port-like zinfandel.
Distributor Norm Rush, possibly the state's outstanding wine expert, supplied the glasses. We told him to select the wines off his list but they all had to be in the $10-$20 range. We didn't want to use big expensive wines in order to show off the glasses.
The wines had to be something in a price range that everyone could afford. We planned to put the small country club glasses on the table as well and let those attending compare the taste and pleasure of the wines in the Spiegelaus with the every day glasses commonly used.
Rush gave us a list of his recommendations, we tasted four of them, knew about several others and from that list made our selections. We had hoped he could join us but he has a tasting in Biloxi that night and must be there.
I honestly believe this is the best collection of quality wines at reasonable prices that we have ever put together for a single tasting. It is comparable to the great Australian wine tasting of two years ago and the zinfandel tasting last year, both of which showed that it is possible to find wonderful wines at reasonable prices. Many of these wines to be tasted will become local favorites, I am certain.
Start time is the usual 6:30 p.m. and the place is Northwood Country Club.
A word to the wise. Next month, September, we will hold our semi-annual wine and cheese tasting, easily our most popular event. It has always sold out.
I have an appointment in New Orleans soon with the cheesemaster in order to select the seven wonderfully exotic but mostly little known cheeses from Spain, England, France, Italy and other countries that will be served.
As people who attended this event can tell you, none of these cheeses can be found in Meridian and most of them are in short supply and difficult to find. Once we determine what is to be served, we select the seven wines which will enhance and compliment them.
The tasting will be Sept. 25 and the price is $35, unchanged for several years. Make your reservation at 482-0930. We already have quite a few. And if you attend them both, this weeks and next month's, be sure to bring your new Spiegelau glass. It will make both the wine and the cheese taste better. Trust me.