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by Fred McMillin
for August 2004

Wine

 

The Tastebud Club

"Supertasters have as many as 100 times the number of tastebuds as poor tasters. Two thirds of Supertasters are women."

—Yale University Study by Matt Kramer (Wine Spectator)

 

How to Spot a Supertaster

After teaching wine appreciation for 38 years, I can spot rnost supertasters. They make no big deal of tasting. They simply swirl, sniff, sip and then speak, telling you confidently the characteristics of the wine. End of analysis. Here's the latest supertaster I've met, a woman named...

Lora Petroni

Lora's parents, owners of San Francisco's famous North Beach Restaurant, started their Sonoma Valley vineyards in 1991. They were soon making trial wines, and Lora, in her early 20s, was one of the tasters from the beginning. She can tell you about the finest points of every vintage since. What's her tasting technique?

Quiet. Supertaster at work!

Lora holds a good sip of the wine in the front of her mouth for eight to ten seconds, and then lets it gradually slip down both sides of her month. So here's her report on the family's Sangiovese,which was, incidentally, the best Sangiovese my panel tasted last year! 1999 Petroni Poggio alla Pietra Sangiovese Grosso. First, decant and wait 15 minutes. Then you will find a red wine she describes with these words: "fruit forward, elegant, full body, immediate appeal. It says drink me."

If you'd like to compare your palate with Lora's, call the winery at (707) 935-8311.

However, if you can't get the Petroni, here are some other recommended Sangioveses. The highest rated wine is listed last. That is, the further you read, the better the bottle.

 

Good-Sippin' Sangiovese

Rank   Wine
8th - Gitano Sangiovese, Chatom Vineyards, Calaveras County, 2001, $12
7th - Sangiovese, Field Stone, North Coast, 2000, $18
6th - Sangiovese Reserve, Castoro Cellars, Central Coast, 2000, $17
5th - Sangiovese, Chateau Julien, Monterey County, 2001, $10
4th - Colline di Sassi (half Sangiovese), Pepi, Napa Valley, 1998, $25
3rd - Brolio Chianti Classico (100% Sangiovese), Importer —W. Grant, 2001, $18
2nd - Sangiovese, Columbia Winery, Yakima Valley, Red Willow Vineyard, Washington, 1999, $25
 

And the best Sangiovese...

 
1st - Sangiovese, Chameleon, Napa Valley, 2000, $17
 
 
About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at either San Francisco State University or San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.

 


 

 
 

This page created August 2004

Copyright © 2004
electronic Gourmet Guide, Inc.

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