Forget wine country. This Friday at Loon Mountain we’ll be hosting Wine Days of Summer, our first-ever wine tasting event. I haven’t researched this or anything, but I’m pretty sure that ziplining through the forest prior to wine tasting heightens the experience. I’m just saying.
With that in mind, you’ll be glad to know that you’ll be able to sample more than 60 wines this Friday, including local New Hampshire wines from The Vineyard at Seven Birches, LaBelle Winery, and Zorvino Vineyards.
Friday’s event will be way bigger than just a wine tasting, though, with tons of hors d’oeuvres (think mussels, duck, grilled shrimp, a chocolate fountain) along with live jazz music and art. Admission includes a gift bag with a Loon Mountain wineglass and corkscrew, and we’ll raffle off lift tickets, summer adventure packages and more throughout the evening.
Since wine tasting is new to us, (though we are experts when it comes to the Paul Bunyan Room’s 44 beers) we’ve been scouring the internet for tips about how to make the most of our wine tasting experience. Here are six rules to follow, straight from the minds of the world’s best sommeliers, oenophiles, and Wikipedia contributors:
- SEE – Take a minute to look at the wine before you taste it. Get a sense of its color and thickness. Appearance can tell you a lot about a wine, giving you information about its age, the grapes used, etc. For instance, a Merlot will appear ruby red, while older white wines will have a golden tinge.
- LOOK – Take time to sniff out the wine’s aroma before you drink. Swirl the wine around in your glass for 10-12 seconds and then sniff. What’s your first impression? What do you smell? Next, stick your nose deep into the glass (we won’t laugh) to get a deeper smell. Some wines can give off aromas that resemble flowers, fruit, vanilla, or even leather.
- TASTE #1 – This tip seems pretty obvious (we’re talking about a wine tasting, after all), but there’s a lot to think about when you taste a wine. First off, don’t guzzle. Take a small sip, and then throw your table manners out the window by sucking the wine back in your mouth a bit. This will aerate the wine, and release more of its flavors.
- TASTE #2 – As you’re swishing wine around your mouth, ask yourself a few questions: How does the wine feel? Does it make your tongue tingle? Is it smooth and silky? If you taste hints of vanilla or nuts, that could be an indication that the wine was aged in oak barrels.
- TASTE #3 – Professional wine tasters usually spit out their wine, but that’s entirely your call. Whatever you do, make a note of the wine’s finish, or aftertaste. Does it inspire you to take another sip, or reach for the mouthwash?
- TAKE NOTES – If you really want to make the most out of a wine tasting, you’ve got to be that guy (or girl) and take notes. With more than 60 wines to try on Fridayt, it’ll be tough to remember what you really liked without a taking a few notes. We promise not to quiz you at the end.
WHAT: Wine Days of Summer
WHEN: Friday, August 17, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
WHERE: In front of Whistlestop Café at the main base area.
COST: $35 in advance, or $40 at door. To reserve tickets, call 1-800-229-LOON, or purchase tickets on site at Loon Mountain Sports.