Genesis Merlot (2008, 14.2%, Columbia Valley) is actually a division of Hogue winery, a leading wine name out in Washington State. I figured with a name like “Genesis” it would be a big, epic wine. After all, there were a LOT of epic things going on in the Book of Genesis (creation of the world, Adam and Eve, Sarah giving birth at 90 – how in the heck did she do that anyway? It was hard enough at 28.) So it was with eager anticipation that I opened the bottle, took a quick sniff, and got a noseful of jam followed by rubbing alcohol. Huh? Nah – the glass must have some kind of residue in it or something. So I switched glasses. Oh dear oh dear – there it was again. I kept trying to convince myself that it was actually a minty eucalyptus. But no, to be perfectly and rather painfully honest, it was totally astringent – just like rubbing alcohol. (And any mom who has gone through ear piercing with their 7 year old daughter knows that smell – trust me.)
OK, I was trying here. But this Merlot was just not doing it for me. True, it was a bit oakier than I usually like my wine to be…but I’ve gone oakey before and enjoyed it. I just couldn’t warm up to it. Even pairing it with said roast didn’t seem to help too much. All I could get out of this one was tannins and wood. Not exactly what I had in mind from an epic.
Which brings me to the whole idea of the first whiff of a wine. If your nose is truly leading the way in your wine tasting, it makes sense that this wine would not wind up on my Top 10 (or 50) list. That astringent smell just couldn’t overcome the taste, which is one of the first lessons you learn when your start tasting wine. Our sense of taste is guided by our sense of smell. The nose knows, and this time, my nose said, “No thank you.” And my taste buds agreed.
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