Notes on a fruity, yet harmonious, weekend | AspenTimes.com
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Notes on a fruity, yet harmonious, weekend

Stewart Oksenhorn

Notes from the overfed …I remember very clearly that first wine I tasted, early Friday afternoon – a beautiful little 1998 Sangiovese from the Monterey area. Fruity with a touch of cinnamon, nice front, strong finish. After that, everything’s a blur.# # #Are we really expected to remember years, varietals, regions, vineyards of everything we drank? Because that’s one test I’m bound to fail. And don’t tell me about carrying around a pen and paper and writing these details down; if I had an extra hand or two, I’d use them to hold more glasses and plates. And maybe a napkin.# # #More food! More food! More food! More beer and hard liquor, too. And while we’re at it, more wine, too.# # #Terms actually used this weekend to describe various wines: seamless, bashful but strong, harmonious, multi-layered, herbaceous, beautifully resolved, tanniny, depth with simplicity, cedary. And my favorite: moldy. I don’t believe it was a compliment.# # #Swish, sniff, sip, spit; swish, sniff, sip, spit; swish, sniff, sip, spit. Snack, snack. Swiss, sniff, sip, spit. Stagger, slump, snore, snore, snore.# # #Best booth of the Classic: The Maker’s Mark spread. Shots of Maker’s Mark on the left; Southern baked ham slices in a Maker’s Mark sauce on the right. No real need to ever leave.# # #Hey, no fair moving the Grant Tasting Pavilion entrances/exits from Classics past; I finally had it figured out. Do you have any idea how much time I spent wandering around trying to figure out where I had entered?# # #A big nod to The Little Nell kitchen staffer whose job it was to skewer the quail and vegetables onto those tiny lavender twigs for the Best Student Chefs event. Obviously, the dish would have tasted just as good on more conventional, easier-to-work-with skewers, but the effort is impressive. Just a hunch, but I’d bet that the person who came up with the idea was not the same person who had to do the skewering.# # #Please tell me that wasn’t really rabbit. Please.# # #Most dangerous booth: the Tequila spread. They should impose a time limit on some people.# # #You really can never get too many crab cakes, can you?# # #I understand members of the Slow Food Movement – people who advocate eating extremely slowly – were part of the Classic this year. A noble idea, but not really practical at Food & Wine. Those Grand Tastings are only an hour-and-a-half a pop. With all due respect, I’ll continue wolfing it down fast as I can. There’s a lot of territory to cover.# # #Do people really go out to eat at night after two daily rounds of the Grand Tasting? Why?# # #I have no opposition to expanding the Food & Wine Classic to twice a year. But probably no more than that.


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