My tasting notes use the WSET Level 2 Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine
2016 Comte de Langeron
WSET Level 2 Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine
Clarity: Clear Intensity: Deep (but if there is a deep minus or medium plus, I’d go with that) Color: Ruby
Condition: Clean Intensity: Medium Aroma characteristics: The first thing I got were wet rose petals and something else that I can only describe as baby powder. The combination was a little earthy… like wet dark dirt you’d find hiking in the woods in the morning. For fruit I got cherry, plum and possibly raspberry. The fruit struck me as ripe and sweet. I thought there might be some vanilla signifying oak aging but it wasn’t pronounced.
Sweetness: Dry to off-dry Acidity: Medium Tannin: Medium Body: Medium Flavour Characteristics: Some cherry, prune and maybe a little vanilla/spice. Finish: Medium
We drank this in the evening. The wine was probably a little too chilly – maybe 55-58°. I took it out of the wine fridge and allowed the bottle to warm up, unopened, on the counter. After opening I popped the aerator onto the top of the bottle to get it as open as possible.
The wine was part of this month’s French Harvest box from Wine Awesomeness. I only recently heard of this club and decided to put Winc on hold for a month to take advantage of the intro offer. Six bottles of French wine (3 red, 3 white) arrived a few days ago.
In addition to our tasting mats we also used the WSET Global app to track our notes. I think I’d prefer to use one or the other in the future. My preference, always, is to write. Since my materials showed up from WSET today, including a card with the Level 2 SAT notes, I think we might move to that and maybe even going through it together and then putting the info in the app.
According to Wine Awesomeness, the wine is medium acid, medium light body, medium light tannin, medium fruit. I nailed the acidity but the rest were off. They describe the nose including “ripe red fruit” and the palate with “bright bin cherries and fresh white flowers floating in a Dr. Pepper can” so I’m feeling pretty good about that. Explains the cherry and plum as well as the possible vanilla.
The WSET Level 2 Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine is definitely accessible and not nearly as daunting as we thought it would be.
Final Thoughts On This Beaujolais
We both liked the wine and are looking forward to finishing the bottle with some takeout tonight. Last night we had it with dinner (tasting while it was in the oven and then cooling down). Dinner was cabbage and onion enchiladas, which was pretty far from the suggested quiche lorraine pairing. The enchiladas were delicious.
Kris and I headed to the Hudson Valley to check out Sloop Brewing. We saw the sign the day we discovered nearby Suarez Family Brewing and put it on the list. The space is great and offers several beers on tap, mostly IPAs. Here’s some pictures and tasting notes.
Farm To Pint
Sloop is located off some rambling country roads. The property has several “u pick” options including apples and flowers. The main building has the brewery, tasting room, access to the outdoor patio and items for sale. You can buy items to eat on site, like local cheeses and meats. Delicious sweet and savory baked goods are available, too. They also have gorgeous flower arrangements for sale.
When we entered on a Friday around 1:30 pm there was a steady stream of people getting their cans for the weekend. Clearly locals love that they can come in and pick up cans. The available can was Down Under Bomb. Sloop also does growler fills.
Sloop Brewing Tasting Notes
We started with a sampler of everything except the guest brew. Pictured, from left to right
Juice Bomb IPA, Doubleplusgood MM (DIPA), Doubleplusgood HM (DIPA), Sauer Peach (Sour), Segal Bomb (IPA), Down Under Bomb (IPA), Confliction (Dry Hopped Sour).
A few notes before starting. First, enough with the IPAs! Don’t get me wrong, it’s one of my favorite styles but the IPA is a known palate killer. 5 of them on tap at once is too much. I get it, I get it. Hops are good. IPAs are popular. But tap rooms please take note: we want variety when we drive hours to check you out. Two sours and a guest tap sour is not enough diversity.
Second, I warn those visiting that there is a fruit fly problem at Sloop. And, while I usually try to keep my negative comments to myself, it would be unfair of me to do so. I had to pick fruit flies out of my samples multiple time. Gross. Fruit flies happen, I get it, but there needs to be a cleanup to stop this because they were aggressive and climbing all over our glasses which was, quite frankly, disgusting.
Fruit flies are attracted to food and when they find it they lay their eggs, as many as 500 at a time, leading to quick infestations. They hang out by discarded food, wet counters with food waste, drains that are not properly cleaned, ripe fruit and other ingredients. Cleaning up a kitchen daily will keep them at bay. This is why we don’t all have them in droves in our homes. They can be gotten rid of easily, and wiping up keeps them from coming back.
Juice Bomb IPA
Sloop lists this IPA as hazy, golden and unfiltered which is a great description. It is smooth, well balanced and not overly bitter. Perfect for sipping or pairing with spicy food it’s not a huge palate killer. I’d definitely recommend it to someone who hasn’t had many IPAs and is interested in learning more about the style. I gave it a 3.5/5 but only because I like a little more zing in my IPAs. 6.5% ABV
Doubleplusgood Mandarina Barvaria+Mosaic
I did not like this one. Not at all. My notes simply read: Blech! Blergh! Bah! I loved the description of this one but the delivery did not work for me. At all. That said, it is described as fruit-forward and dank-fruity so if that is your think I recommend you try it. We all have different tastes and I would not say this is a flawed beer at all. Just one that I did not like. 2/5 for me. 8% ABV
DPG Huel Melon+Citra+El Dorado
I much preferred this beer from the DPG series. They say big melon in the tasting notes but I hate melon and liked this beer. I didn’t really get melon. Definitely tropical. Kind of round but also crisp – the complexity was really nice. I really appreciated the feel of this beer in addition to the taste. 3.25/5. 8% ABV.
I loved this one. The sweet and sour combo is perfect. If they’d had it in cans I would have gotten some. Sour, yes, but balanced with actual peaches. Imagine sour peach slices candy but better. It’s exceptional. Nicely balanced, great mouthfeel and finish. 4.25/5
This baby is brewed with Segal Hop Ranch High-Oil Cascades only. Herbaceous in a good way with some citrus peel. You can taste the hops, which I love. It’s like chewing on resiny hops at the hop farm. The flavor was incredible. 4/5. 6.5% ABV.
Down Under Bomb
I gave this a 3.5/5 but that was pretty arbitrary. This beer was weird. But not bad. Juicy apple notes? Some vinyl? I couldn’t really figure out what I was tasting. Nice crispness but lots of mystery flavors. The brewery provided tasting notes say stone fruit and Big League Chew. Sure, if you say so. Definitely one to try. 6.5% ABV.
This beer won the 2016 World Beer Cup Gold Medal for American Sour Style. The nose is some pretty ugly funk but that leads way to a great flavor and finish. There is a woody quality that works well. It’s a dry-hopped sour so there is a lot going on and it clearly works. 4/5. 4.8% ABV
Kris got a pint of Confliction but I worked on the sampler. We stayed for a round of Pandemic and really enjoyed the space, minus the fruit flies.
While regularly attached to mushrooms, foraging is the act of gathering food. This can mean collecting fruit, veggies, herbs, nuts or any other edible. When experimenting with single gallon batch brewing, foraging makes sense. Foraging is a popular hobby where I live, in Southern Vermont, but you can forage anywhere things grow.
There are a few things you should know before heading out to pick your own food.
Obey all posted signs. While that patch of herbs growing just beyond the public trail looks promising, don’t cross into land that is private. Many public trails will have notices near the property line. Stay on your own land and public land. If a preserve, conservation area or other spot has signs asking that visitors not take anything that includes foraging.
Find a mentor. I don’t remember the name of the movie where the guy lived in the woods in an abandoned school bus, but the name isn’t what matters. What matters is that the story, a true one, ended in tragedy. He ate the wrong plant. Plenty of what grows in the wild is poisonous. And I don’t just mean it will make you sick. There are things out there that will kill you. Find a mentor and never eat anything you’re not 100% sure about. There are foraging communities out there – check social media and sites like meetup.com to find one near you.
Stay alert. If you’re foraging in the woods don’t use headphones. Keep your ears open for those that might be foraging for you.
Take precautions. Treat foraging like hiking, climbing, camping, geocaching or any other outdoor activity. Bring water, a snack, let someone know where you’re going and dress appropriately.
With anything, safety should come first. With foraging that comes from outset to eating.
Starting Out: Acorns
Acorns are everywhere there are oak trees which makes foraging acorns an easy place to start. You’ve probably heard that acorns are very bitter. Acorns have a high concentration of tannins, especially acorns from red oaks. Eating them in large quantities can be toxic. Eating them in small quantities is unpleasant. But knowing how to find and forage acorns can lead to snacks and meals if you know what you’re doing.
Foraging Acorns: Which Ones Should You Take?
You don’t need to climb an oak to get acorns. Instead, you can find what you’re looking for on the ground. When acorns are ripe they drop. Some drop early or get knocked off, so you’ll have to keep an eye out for them. If an acorn is still attached to the tree, it’s not ripe.
Ripe acorns separate from the cap so start by looking for capless acorns on the ground. Larger acorns often yield better results. Start by picking up and looking for a small hole. If you find a hole in an acorn, toss it. The holes are made by the larvae of oak weevils who eat the inside of the nut and then bore out of it. You do not want these acorns.
You’ll take more acorns with you than you end up using. In the beginning just practice picking them – you may not end up with much usable acorn meat.
Like grating pumpkin, shelling acorns is awful work. The easiest way is to set the nut on the flat side (where the cap was) and knock it with a hammer. If the inside is white, you’ve got a keeper. The meat oxidizes quickly, so maybe people immediately put them in water to keep them white. No matter what, you’re going to have to soak the meat. This is how you rid the acorns of excessive tannins.
Tannins are a bitter organic found on things like tea plants and grapes. In small amounts they are fine but they cause bitterness. They also, in large quantities, cause constipation and can trouble your teeth. This is one reason to avoid eating acorns from the tree.
Ridding Acorns Of Excessive Tannins
The most water friendly way to deal with acorn tannin is to shell, then dry your acorns. Do this by placing them in a layer on a cookie sheet and setting in the sun. No yard? Do it in an oven set to “warm” (or your lowest setting). Once you dry the acorns, grind them in a food processor. Pour one cup of the meal into a glass jar and then add 3 cups of water. Shake the jar once a day. Then wait 12 hours. At that point pour off the water and then replace it and do this again. It can take a week or two but is the most water friendly way to minimize the tannins and get, when done correctly, acorns that taste like chestnuts.
A quicker way to do this is shell the acorns into a pot filled about 2/3 with water. Once you’ve put in about 1/3 shelled acorns let it sit and when the water turns dark, pour it off and replace it. Do not use this as cooking water – the tannins are too high – use it as plant watering water instead. This is a quicker version, taking about 3 hours, less if you boil the water. This is great if you have a garden or extensive indoor plants.
What Can You Do With Acorn Meat?
Acorn flour makes a great, earthy flavored base when baking. In fact, the water in the jar method of getting the tannins out aids in your flour making process because it activates a gluten-like compound in the nuts. More importantly, though, you can make wine from foraged acorns. So get to foraging!
I don’t write about it but I have a “real” job in addition to writing. I’m Director of Content for an amazing, 100% remote digital marketing firm. Once a quarter we meet up in someone’s city. As I type this (on Tuesday, the 10th) people are flying and driving toward Bennington for three days of collaboration. Rather than rush through my first review, I want to give it the care and attention it deserves so I’m delaying the post until next Friday.
There’s A Giveaway!
Come back next week for a review of Giving Brush, a sustainable toothbrush with a mission: to get one quarter of the world to stop using traditional, wasteful toothbrushes. Friday will also launch the first Oethical Oenologist giveaway, open to residents of the U.S.A.
The other day a colleague and I got on the topic of Kalimotxo. If you’ve never heard of it, Kalimotxo is a popular red wine cocktail amongst Basques. It’s simple to make. First pour out half a can of Coke, then replace it with red wine.
Below you’ll find the ideal Kalimotxo based on the state you call home.
Grapimoxto will soon take over The Heart of Dixie. It doesn’t have caffeine so you can drink it all night long. Just dump half that purple fizzy drink and replace it with one of the delicious offerings from White Oak Vineyards, like their Norton.
Pepdenmotxo is where it’s at in The New Frontier. Make it by dumping half your Pepsi (Pepsi has a bottling facility in Alaska) and replacing it with Zinfandel from Denali Winery. Denali gets grapes shipped from all over the world and turns them into wine. You can make this even sweeter by replace the Zin with Port but your dentist will not be pleased.
Residents of The Copper State love their Cactus Cooler. And while Roan Red is a great choice when buying a bottle from Pillsbury, the 2014 Chenin Blanc is the wine for your Coppermotxo.
There’s nothing natural about Grapette, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t drink it in The Natural State (um, that’s Arkansas’ nickname, I’m not promoting you walk around naked drinking this). The soda, now put out by Sam’s Club, is 1/2 of a Gredelweiss. Just replace the dumped blue juice with Edelweiss from Weiderkehr Wines, a Swiss run producer in Arkansas. What’s it called? A Nachomotxo!
A&W and The Golden State go hand in hand but don’t reach for the root beer. Instead, grab a cream soda, dump half and replace with some 2016 Viognier from Sunstone Winery. This one’s so good I’ve baptized it the Oh Voy Motxo.
The Centennial State will soon be raving about the Izzmotxo. Pour out half of a grapefruit Izze and replace it with Riesling from Plum Creek. The grapes are picked by hand. Fancy.
Next summer, Connecticuties are going to be sipping one thing and one thing only on daddy’s yacht: Berrymotxo. Replace half of a Foxton Park Seltzer with the award winning Dry Summer Rosé from Sharpe Hill. This gorgeous spritzer is seriously worth checking out and a gorgeous color to boot. Connecticut is apparently called The Land Of Steady Habits. Make the Berrymotxo yours.
This ‘Motxo ain’ no small wonder. Take half an Old Dominion Root Beer and match it with a red from Nassau Valley to enjoy the official cocktail of Delaware: The Firstmotxo.
Apparently y’all like your Big Gulps so let’s make a Sevosmotxo! Fill that Big Gulp cup halfway with Coke and then switch to Florida Red (dry) from Monticello Vineyards to complete the new official cocktail of The Sunshine State. P.s. If you’re into wine sans cola, be sure to check out their Magnolia – a favorite among wine writers everywhere.
The Peach State doesn’t have peach soda as its favorite. Nope! Georgians love Coca-Cola. So make a Empimotxo with Coke (the way the Basques intended for it) and the Cabernet Franc from Tiger Mountain Vineyard.
Wine lovers, the pricey Petit Manseng is making waves so grab a bottle of that too, but drink it like you would another white – don’t mix it.
POGmotx offers even more of a twist on the ‘Motxo staple because the base drink, Pass-O-Guava nectar, isn’t carbonated. This ‘Motxo is still bubbly because the nectar is mixed with Hula o Maui, a sparkling pineapple wine with notes of bubblegum from MauiWine. Aloha!
The Gem State is known for Iron Port, a spicy, rootbeery cola. Match it with some Hells Canyon Syrah to enjoy a Diablomotxo.
The Prairie state may sound dull but its drinks are anything but. Dump out half of that Green River and pour in a nice bold red from Pheasant Hollow for a spicy Lymotxo.
Who’s here? The Naughtymotxo! Dump half of that Triple XXX and replace it with the 2016 Chambourcin from Mallow Run. Spicy goodness perfect for fall.
The Hawkeye State is home to Sioux City Sarsaparilla. It’s not root beer, but a delicious blend of mint, licorice, cola goodness. Mix it in equal parts with some Behind The Shed Red from Jasper Winery and you’ve got Iowans new fav, the Shedmotxo!
Kansans know that it doesn’t get any better than Lost Trail Root Beer. The soda has been made in Kansas since the frontier days. Wait, it does get better. Make a Cockadoodlemotxo by adding Peckerhead Red from Grace Hill Winery.
Get lucky in Kentucky! Just dump half that Ale-8-One and replace it with Barrel Aged Blackberry from Wight-Meyer Vineyards and you’ve got Jim, James, Paul & Tyrone’s new favorite drink, the Okonokomotxo.***
Time for a Punchymotxo. Dump half of that Delaware Punch, Louisiana’s fruit punch (which is heavy on grape) soda and add Le Trolley from Pontchartrain Vineyards. You’ll be singin’ like Judy in no time when you “chug chug chug like the motor.”
Mainers love Moxie, the bitter bubblegum tasting cola that originated in Massachusetts. It’s even the state’s official soft drink. Pour out half and replace it with Black Smiths Winery Syrah and you’ve got a Moximotxo.
Grab your Shasta ginger ale and add Albarino from Black Angle Vineyards. That’s all it takes to draw a line in the sand. One that lets the rest of us know that Little America’s new fav cocktail is the Shalbamotxo.
Bay Staters can’t get enough Polar, which doesn’t just make seltzer. Nope, they make more flavors of soda and seltzer than you can shake a stick at. Independent and Worchester-based the drink is beloved by those in and around Mass. Make a Wikkedmotxo by replacing half a diet double fudge with Cab Franc Reserve from Running Brook.
From the mitten? Try the Faycamotxo. Just dump half your Red Pop and replace it with cava.
Not a red pop fan? Dump half that can of Vernor’s and replace it with Moscato or Sauvignon Blanc. That’s right, Michigan gets two ‘Motxos. That’s because I lived there and know that Michigan takes its rivalries seriously. I don’t want to piss anyone off. So, uh… Go, BLUE! (And Sparty on!).
Know what I could gopher? A Minisodamotxo! Pour out half that Sun Drop and replace it with Frontenac Blanc from Saint Croix Vineyards and you’ll never want to leave The North Star State.
Since 1897, residents of The Hospitality State have been enjoying Barq’s Root Beer. But forget the scoop of vanilla ice cream the next time you’re enjoying the bite. Instead, pour in Dry Noble from Old South Winery – that’s how you make a OneMissimotxo.
Missourians want to show you how they ‘Motxo. Match half that bottle of IBC root beer with Chardonel from Augusta Winery to make a Mizzeruhmotxo.
The Treasure State is home to the Cherrymotxo. Enjoy the sour cherry flavors of Flathead Lake Soda with Monster Red from Mission Mountain Wines.
Kool-aid is the official soft drink of The Cornhusker State and the first still ‘Motxo on our list. Still waters run deep, though, especially when you mix up raspberry Koolaid (the inventor’s favorite of his six original flavors) with Irish Jig, a light white wine from Mac’s Creek. The history of Kool-aid is fascinating so the name gives a nod to the inventor: Perkimotxo.
Nevada is home to the highly caffeinated Xyience, an energy drink. Make a Sagemotxo* in honor of the Sagebrush State by combining Tangerine Xyience with Riesling from Churchill Vineyards.
Is it a mountain? Maybe. It’s definitely a soda brand. Grab your Squamscot Yup or Half and Half and mix in an equal amount of dry white from Candia Vineyards****. Yup is lemon only while Half and Half is tempered with grapefruit making the Puckermotxo a Granite State citrus lover’s cocktail.
The Gardenmotxo blends Strawberry wine from Natali Vineyards with Boylan’s black cherry soda. A delicious berry concoction!
You’ll be enchanted when you go pretty close to the original by mixing zero sugar cola from Blue Sky with any of the amazing sparkling wines from Gruet. The producer specializes in sparkling wines made using the Champenoise method. Which wine will be half of your Champaymotxo?
As a kid growing up on Long Island I loved a Dr. Brown’s Black Cherry soda. As an adult I switched to the diet version. Mix either with Bedell Cellars First Crush White and let your Long Island accent shine through when you say you’re having a Lawnguymotxo. Masticate the hell outta those vowels, kids!
Y’all like your Cheerwine in The Tar Heel State, so make a Cheerrimotxo by blending Cheerwine with the Sour Cherry Cider from McRitchie.
No one has data on North Dakota’s favorite soda, but apparently their state drink is milk. Allow me to introduce the Mysterymotxo, The Official Kalimotxo Of The Roughrider State.** Half cream soda, half Cread. What’s Cread? A cranberry mead from Pointe of View Winery!
First and foremost: GO, BLUE! Now that that’s out of the way, Ohio is home to Persimmon wine from Vermillion Valley Vineyards. Make a Buckeyemotxo with equal parts Cherikee Red and Persimmon wine.
What do you get when you mix Dublin Dr. Pepper with Staghorn Red from Nuyaka Creek? A Soonamotxo. Dublin Dr. Pepper is made with cane sugar and found at soda fountains around The Sooner State. Staghorn Red has plum notes that pair perfectly with the deliciousness that is Dr. Pepper.
You’ve probably never heard of this ‘Motxo, but Portandians drank the Polybimotxo before it was popular. Pour half of that Thomas Kemper Dark Cherry Soda into a mason jar and refill with some 2015 Provocateur WV Pinot Noir.
The Ocean State doesn’t just have crisp, salty breezes. It’s also home of the Fizzimotxo. One part Yacht Club Peach Seltzer and one part Greenvale Vidal Blanc is all you need to enjoy your time on the water.
The Palmetto state likes it hot. That’s why Blenheim Ginger Ale #5 (hot!) is a favorite soda. Combine that kick with Viognier or White Merlot from Victoria Valley Vineyards***** and you’ve got a Spicymotxo, y’all.
The Bigamotxo is a sweet, heavy ‘Motxo that will fuel your night. Pour out half of that can of RC and replace it with KB 814 from Arrington Vineyards.
Just what the doctor ordered, a Doctamotxo. Texans love their Dr. Pepper so split it with a friend and top each glass off with Meritus, a Cabernet Merlot blend from Fall Creek Vineyards.
Utah’s large Mormon population can’t enjoy caffeine or alcohol but their favorite soda is Sprite and I don’t want them to feel left out. Enjoy a half can of Sprite and call it a Notamotxo. For those who like to imbibe, make a Hivemotxo by replacing half of a can of Sprite with Castle Creek Winery Chenin Blanc.
You guessed it, we’re very proud of our maple syrup here in The Green Mountain State. Pour out half of your Sweetwater Maple Soda and replace it with Shelburne Vineyard’s Louise Swenson Dry White. And, of course, it’s called the Maplemotxo.
Like North Carolinians, Virginians love Cheerwine. Match that cherry goodness with Cabernet Franc from Jefferson Vineyards for a Presimotxo.
Bacon soda. That’s right, let’s get to the important stuff. Washintonians love Jones Soda and Jones Soda comes in Bacon. Have a Six Degrees of ‘Motxo by splitting that bacon fizz in half and matching each with an equal amount of the 2014 Sequel Syrah from Long Shadows. This wine is brilliant, so be sure to enjoy most of it the right way.
Congrats, Mountain State, you presented the most difficult challenge. You seem to enjoy Mountain Dew. This required a lot more research than the other drinks. Here’s proof!
When you’re ready to DoTheMotxo just replace half of your glowing bevvy with some Forks Cheat Cabernet and uh, enjoy? I can’t be held responsible for this one!
Cheeseheads love their Sprecher root beer and, lucky for them it pairs perfectly with Botham Vineyards’ Big Red, a bold red that captures the sass of Wisconsinites perfectly. The Huddlemotxo will be a huge hit at your next tailgate.
When I hear “Jackson Hole” I think of the iconic diner where we ended up after far too much to drink many, many times while living in New York City. Cowboy State residents and skiers know better. But those who know best of all? Lovers of the many interesting flavors of Jackson Hole Soda. It was tough to decide but at the end of the day the Yeehawmotxo is equal parts Strawberry Rhubarb Soda and S.O.B. from Table Mountain Vineyards. The wine is a semi-sweet raspberry wine.
What’s Your Favorite Kalimotxo Recipe?
Thanks to Thrillist for doing my homework for me on the soda front and Pure Wow for compiling wines from each state. Let me know in the comments and on social: how do you ‘Motxo??
Special thanks to MT for getting us on the topic of Kalimotxo.
*Or don’t. Energy drinks are scary.
** Not really.
*** My Morning Jacket is one of many things that comes from KY that I love. If you haven’t checked these guys out yet do it!
**** This site is currently infected so no link!
***** This site is down at the time of this writing.