Wine flights are an incredibly fun way to compare wines side-by-side. Most wine bars offer them and they are increasingly available at restaurants. They're easy enough to do at home, though, and I highly recommend this when you have the opportunity. Just line up some glasses and pour about two ounces in each glass. Taste them blind or even with the bottles in plain view- either way it's a learning experience and a real treat.
For my birthday, I was treated to two wine flights by PB. He arranged for us to taste them blind and compare our notes. The first flight was made up of three Chardonnays from different corners of the world and the second flight was three samplings of Shiraz. My tasting notes for the white wines are as follows:
Mandra Rossa Chardonnay 2003 (Sicily):
Dark golden color
Rich nose of tropical fruit and sweet spice
Smooth texture and some creaminess
Medium-length finish of citrus, with sweet notes too
The Wishing Tree Unoaked Chardonnay 2000 (Australia):
Light, pale color
Lemony nose with light cream and pears
Clean palate, medium acidity, crisp for Chardonnay
Shorter citrus finish, but seems polished
Stonehedge Chardonnay 2004 (California):
Medium, pale gold color
Nose of melon with a touch of eggnog scent
Smooth, medium-weight texture
Finish with touches of oak and vanilla followed by an odd, bitter ending
The Wishing Tree was my favorite. While it's not my favorite style of Chardonnay because it's on the lean, crisp side, I thought it was the best made wine of the flight. The Montra Rossa was a little odd, even though it was intriguing due to its dark golden color and wild tropical fruit nose. The Stonehedge was a little too average and had an odd, bitter twist at the end.
After tasting these wines blind, PB and I were pleased to discover that we matched each wine with its country of origin correctly. It was a good education and a lot of fun! By the way, the prices were all approximately $9 a bottle. Raise a glass!