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Pinot Noir With Redbeard

As this is the first installment of the "Joe Wine" column for the Grape Culture site, Iíd like to introduce myself. My name is Joe Giordano, and Iíve been enjoying wine seriously for about two years. Over this time, wine has become my favorite hobby and pastime. Iím amazed by the amount there is to learn about wine, and the information thatís easily available once you start understanding how to find it. Being from Long Island, I drink a fair amount of wine from the homeland, so maybe I can even spark a little interest in Long Island wines for the rest of the world.

My goal is writing this column is to taste wines, then share the good, the bad, and the ugly with you. Iíll also be writing about the fun times my friends and I have while drinking wine.

A few nights ago, six of us got together for a pinot noir tasting. "Redbeard" is my partner in wine adventures on most nights; we both have a soft spot for Australian shiraz, but weíll try anything once. The tasting was held at his parentsí house and the weather was perfect.

We had five pinot noirs from different parts of the world. The tasting was done blind to ensure that any possible bias was eliminated. Overall, the wines were judged to be of very good quality by everyone. The attendees had varied wine preferences and experience; some of the tasters were white wine drinkers, and some preferred red. Some didnít really drink wine at all. This varied experience with wine provided a cross section of opinions and comments on the tasting. Let me run down the wines and what people thought of them:

2006 Rosemount Pinot Noir
We found the Australian selection to be very good. Itís fairly easy to find and very reasonably priced. This wine offered generous cherry flavors, and very good structure.

2004 Martha Clara Pinot Noir
We found this Long Island selection to be bland, with very little flavor. It was also slightly acidic. This is the first release of this wine, and the consensus was the price (over $20) was very high.

2004 Mahoney Carneros Pinot Noir
This was my personal favorite, and most of the tasters agreed. This wine offers multiple flavors of fruit and very well structured flavors. At around $22, this great wine was a bargain.

2005 Duckpond Pinot Noir
This wine was another excellent selection from Oregon., with wonder fruit flavors followed by a very clean finish. A great example of an Oregon pinot noir at a great price of around $20.

2004 Warm Lake Estates Pinot Noir
This selection from the Niagara escarpment region of New York was displeasing to my taste, with earthy flavors and little finish. It almost tasted like dirt. Very disappointing.

Until next time,

Joe ďWineĒ Giordano