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Tannin Booth

I can think of worse ways to spend a beautfiful Friday afternoon than tasting a variety of varietals.

Our hosts Tim and Tish put on quite the event ... a little education, a few tasty nibbly bits and some very enjoyable wines.

Here was this afternoon's sampling ... you can't go wrong with any of them.

1. Georg Breuer, Riesling, Charms, 2001 (Germany)-- I'm not a big Riesling drinker (I prefer red to white), but this was crisp, dry and a little apply. Maybe some pear. It tasted like autumn.

2. Rockbare Shiraz, 2001 (Australia) -- Fruity start (what does a blackberry mixed with currant taste really taste like?) with a bit of wood. I'm not even going to go with the "fruit with wood" reference. Nope, you can't make me. This wasn't as syrupy as other shirazes I've had. I'd drink it again.

3. Pago Florentino, 2001 (Spain) -- A spicy red that reminded me of Rioja, only a little classier. Turns out the grape is a Tempranillo, a cousin to the Rioja ... the Cathy, if you will, to the more Patty-ish Marques de Caceres that I've taken a fancy to over the past few months. (I just can't get away from Neely today, can I?). We bought half a case. Come over and have a taste, it's good.

4. Ateo, Piccolomin, 2000 (Tuscany) -- A lighter blend of Chianti and Cabernet. Not my favorite, but I like that the name means Athiest. Send the Pope a bottle; it just might do him in.

5. Chateau Cos d'Estournel, St Estephe, 1989 (Bordeaux) -- Oh. My. I know taste is subjective and all, but this was perfect. Earthy, well-aged, rich ... it'd be amazing with a big tasty hunk of meat. Or a cigarette (Day 2 on the patch, thanks for asking). When I grow up, I want to be this wine. Many thanks to Tish for busting this out of his private stock for this event.

If one were to be a wine whore, one would swallow if given a case of this. I'm not sayin' ... I'm just sayin'.

6. Chateau Mongravey, Margaux, 2000 (Bordeaux) -- a younger Bordeaux, a little fruitier than than the previous, but lovely nonetheless.

7. Justin Isosceles, Paso Robles, 2000 (California) -- smooth, sassy, a little fruit, a little earth, maybe some caramel?. Really yummy. We bought a couple bottles of this as well. I'd drink it all the time, but it's a little pricey.

The good folks at Union Square are having a big ol' wine tasting tomorrow afternoon. Anybody wanna go with me before I head over to see Andy's show?