Report: Anti-Classics Tasting, Fortified Wines

Inaugural “Anti-Classics” tasting, showcasing fortified wines.

A new tasting group has emerged, from the creative stewings of Medium Plus. This group is dubbed “Anti-Classics”, and focuses on styles of wine rarely showcased in traditional tasting group formats. From sparkling to rosé, some of the most expressive types of wine in the world are featured.

The group meets once a month at 7:30pm in Phinney Ridge, on the 4th Tuesday. The cost for the group is $30, pre-paid via the Medium Plus website.

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Here’s how the tasting works:

  1. The group discusses each wine “open-style”, meaning that the identity of the wine is not hidden. The style, history and structure of each wine is described in-detail, for future reference. This process takes about ten minutes each, per wine.
  2. Following a thorough descriptive process, the group goes into “blind tasting” mode:
    1. Person 1 pours a glass of wine, out of sight from the group.
    2. Person 2 describes the smell and taste of the wine, as carefully as possible.
    3. Person 3 assembles that information, thus arriving at a conclusion for the wine. A reveal is made.
    4. After a brief discussion, the process rotates, so that “Person 2” is the new “Person 1” in the group, and the blind tasting continues until each group member has practiced the exercise.
    5. Via this process of description-to-deduction, group members thus learn deeply about the character of each wine style. With this knowledge, they are able to describe the wines both in the context of blind tasting, and to guests in a service setting. Everyone has fun too!

This week, the focus was fortified wines. The wines that were poured:

  1. NV, Rey Fernando de Castilla, “Amontillado Antique”, Palomino Fino, Jerez-Xerez-Sherry, ES, 18% ABV.
  2. 2005, Julien Labet, “Les Vins de Julien, Macvin de Jura, Vin Doux Naturel”, Savagnin Blend, Jura, FR, 18% ABV.
  3. NV, Giulio Cocchi, “Cocchi Rosa Americano Aperetivo”, Brachetto d’Acqui blend, Asti, Piemonte, IT, 16.5% ABV.
  4. 2010, Dom. des Bernardins, Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, Muscat Blanc et Rouge à Petits Grains, S. Rhône, FR, 15% ABV.
  5. NV, Henriques and Henriques, “15 Years Old”, Malvasia, Madeira, PT, 20% ABV.
  6. 2011, Van Zeller, “Quinta Vale D. Maria”, Touriga Franca blend, Porto, PT, 20% ABV.

Membership for the group is open! Please sign up to learn more: