Stoller Pinot Noir 2011, Dundee Hills
Stoller Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, 2011
Here is a good example of a wine that will help you define your emotions when you taste. Remember, wine is emotion in a glass. We identify our emotions quickly when we taste a wine (or anything, for that matter) with the shallow evaluation of, “Oh I like this one,” or “I’m not impressed,” or at the negative extreme we blurt out, “I hate this!” as we ingloriously spit it out.
Do we often enjoy the experiences of wine that lay in-between these polarized reactions? All our experiences are emotions and we need to get in touch with our emotions better in order to enjoy food and wine more. We taste with our emotions, in the final analysis, and they are where we make our judgments of the wine or pause to dig a little deeper into their vast repertoire of experiences to find what it is we are enjoying or detesting. To quickly enjoy or detest is to simply scratch the surface of our emotional reactions and leave out of the moment the many other reactions that our emotions want to give us.
So, here is how we do it most of the time. First, we pour a glass, sniff, and say it seems to be good. Then we taste and confirm: yes, it is pleasant. And then we swallow and forget it. Let’s do more. As I said, this is a good wine to help you take a deeper journey into wine appreciation — your appreciation and enjoyment.
It is a red wine that you might agree is light and bright with no offsetting flavors or faults. Start with a simple judgment. In your opinion, is it red fruit that you are reminded of, like strawberry, raspberry or red cherries? Or is it dark fruit, like blackberry, blueberry, black currant, or boysenberry? I think it is red fruit. Red, not black, and they are bright red berries. Now, you are on a journey with your emotions. What are your experiences of red berries and wine that reminds you of red berries? There’s more here as you think about it. Doesn’t this light, bright wine remind you of sunshine, dancing in the fields and creating moments of pleasure and light heartedness you have enjoyed? The flavors of this wine are assembling experiences in your mind, aren’t they? They may make you feel light-hearted, making your thoughts more dance-like and receptive. Wine begins an emotional journey that we should not miss, just like a steak can change the landscape of your mind if you will let it.
What of this wine? It is Pinot Noir alright, light and bright with red berry flavors a plenty, a little spice, and reminders of cedar and vanilla. Each facet can take you on another journey. You may find more and that’s the wonder of wine-tasting: we all taste differently. Taste again and let your mind wander among its many reminders of flavors and impressions and you will enjoy the wine all the more.
Emotional rating? Well, you can describe your journey.