Lugging an overstuffed haversack (and one claimed item) through the Denver airport, you ability brainstorm my contentment aback I spied a slightly-swanky, wine-focused lounge alleged Vino Volo. Translation: “wine flight.” The name is about too perfect. Afterwards fending off the consistently appetizing Pu pu platter-induced ache affliction I acquaintance aback accidental any Panda Express, I endeavored to analyze what I could abandoned brainstorm was activity to be a absurd apology of a wine bar. I was animated to be wrong.
Started in 2004 by a wine lover and, I assume, common flier, Doug Tomlinson, Vino Volo can now be begin in about 40 airports beyond North America. The nice affair about “Wine Flight” is the wine flights; acceptable tasting pours of “World Value Reds,” “California Kings,” “Rosé All Day,” and “Celebration Sparklers.” Perhaps I had done a little too abundant adulatory in Boulder the night before, so I autonomous to try the “Art of Blending” flight afore my flight. Three tasting samples, all reds, for $16. Considering I was in an airport area a abhorrent pre-packaged Wolfgang Puck sandwich will run you upwards of $12, I begin this to be absolutely reasonable.
Each bottle comes with tasting addendum advertence area the wine sits on a fruit-to-complexity scale, with a four-square blueprint agreement anniversary wine, like a angle in the TV bang zone, into the categories “bright, rich, ablaze or brooding.” I don’t usually run into wines declared as “brooding,” so I asked what it meant. “See these teardrops on the ancillary of the glass? That agency it’s brooding,” my server said. Those are alleged “legs” and generally announce how abundant booze a wine has. That is not, however, how the Vino Volo website describes brooding. It reads “wines that accept attenuate bake-apple but are abounding of added circuitous flavors such as oak, smoke, chocolate, aroma or flowers…” A ample definition, but I accept I am a fan of “brooding” wines.
The first, and the best of the three (in my, and my server’s opinion) was the 2016 Barbera alloy from Carlin de Paolo from Piedmont in Italy. It landed a bang on the bend of affluent and brooding. The accompanying coaster declared the wine thusly: “black cherry, and cranberry addendum acclaim orange peel, white amber and herbal notes…” I don’t disagree. But I add that it smelled like leather, tobacco, and agrarian boar, with hints of animal excrement — specifically afterwards a night area you ability accept had too abundant wine or Pu pu bowl and still accept a hardly anxious stomach. And I beggarly that in the BEST way possible. It’s a base amulet I accept with assertive wine scents. Real wine writers added appropriately accredit to this aroma affectionately as “barnyard” or “forest floor,” but why euphemize?
Before I tasted wine cardinal two (which has absolutely beneath “number two” on the nose), a brace from Little Rock sat bottomward aing to me at the bar. These two accept visited a few Vino Volos and adulation them. They’ve got the aboideau cardinal memorized area you can acquisition the Vino Volo at the airport in Dallas. The admirer was active up for the Vino Volo app, which offers you an “off the list” $2 aftertaste of article appropriate and an “amuse bouche,” which today was avocado. He saw me demography tasting addendum on the Hotel Boulderado agenda pad that I blanket out of my room. I additionally blanket the baby bed-making kit from the room. I’m sorry, Hotel Boulderado. The brace had spent the accomplished weekend bubbler Veuve Clicquot and added adorned wines at my hotel’s bar. We talked wine, air travel, and Boulder. It aloof so happened that he was one of the bodies amenable for reimagining the Boulder Theater, area Graham Nash had played the night before. As the admiral of the lath of an ambitious to be agnate amphitheater in Turners Falls, it was accidental to acquisition addition with alongside passions.
The additional wine, and the additional best wine, was a Grenache abundant 2015 Cote du Rhone from Paul Jaboulet Aine. It was declared by its agnate coaster as accepting “bright addendum of blackberries … this wine finishes with hints of cedar and white pepper.” I gotta up my white pepper game. I consistently anticipation the white being aing to the pepper was the salt. This was a archetypal Cote du Rhone, with a audible dustiness and a adumbration of amber powder. It was addition accomplished amusement in this airport oasis.
The adept Vino Volo brace agilely beatific a additional annular bottomward the hatch, so they could t their flight aback to Little Rock — with a acceptable layover at the Dallas Vino Volo. A woman stormed in attractive for a martini. There are no affair on the list. She raced out. “Sounded like she bare an emergency martini,” I said to the wine high-hat at the end of the bar. “She charge accept aloof gotten off a agitated flight,” he said back. She seemed shaken, but not stirred. Addition woman came in and looked at the small, local, ability beer account and d beneath her animation that they didn’t accept any Coors. We were in Denver. Tap the Rockies.
The final wine in the pre-flight flight was a Merlot alloy from Gundlach Bundschu in Sonoma. A Merlot alloy of what? They don’t say. Appear to anticipate of it, aforementioned with the Barbera. One can cautiously accept that the Cote du Rhone is Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. But what are they aggregate with the Barbera and this Merlot? I accept my guesses, but I’m apperception a lot of accidental wine drinkers appear into this place. Maybe they’d like to know? While Gundlach Bundschu is a acclaimed name in the wine world, this was underwhelming to my palate, too fruity and chocolatey, but a actual acceptable academic representation of a red California blend. What can I say? I’m an Italian-American, Francophile wine snob.
Stumbling aloft Vino Volo was like accepting bumped to aboriginal class. With its agilely generic, but inoffensive, décor and not-overly-irritating bland applesauce soundtrack, it acquainted evocative of the canicule aback bodies would get dressed up to fly. Though there were a lot of jeans and t-shirts and shorts in there. Myself included. Well, not the shorts. I accept not sunk that low. Shorts are for the home, the beach, and for the awkward times one decides that they are activity to exercise in public. But there was chic in their glass. The wines are bigger than you see in best restaurants, let abandoned best airport restaurants. I was blessed to acquisition it, sandwiched amid all the Sbarro’s and Chick-fil-As and Starbuckses. Too bad there was no Vino Volo for my layover in Charlotte. There is one in Boston. Maybe I’ll reroute my flight home to Hartford and go accept addition wine flight at “Wine Flight” Logan.
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