Day 322

It’s official. I am not a wine person. I can appreciate them, but it appears the ones I like will still gift me with a headache (not a migraine, thank the gods!). This was brought home to me during Monday’s Sensory class on sweet and fortified wines.

I had always wondered what the difference was between these two classifications – now I know that sweet wines occur when the grape is dehydrated through freezing, dehydrating or through “noble rot”, and the fortified wines have a distilled grape spirit (brandy or a neutral) added either during or after fermentation.

Our tasting flight included(from left to right)

  • late season Vidal
  • Hungarian Tojaji
  • Mead
  • Cabernet Franc Ice Wine
  • Fino sherry
  • Tawny port
  • Vintage port
  • Oloroso sherry

Sweet and fortified flight


We paired them with pate, blue cheese, chocolate cake and lemon curd.

My favourites definitely ran to the sweet rather than savoury flavours; I really liked the cab franc ice wine and the tawny port the best, and could take or leave the more briny/bitter taste of the fino sherry or the soy sauce/olive flavour of the oloroso sherry.

These were big spirits; the combination of the sugars and high ABV (11% to 20%) plus the blue cheese was enough for my system to say, ok, enough. It was bad enough that I called it quits after Sensory, and missed the History class on the rise of craft beer. I’ll have to catch up on that through the slides later.

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