I wish I had some great story about how the first time I tasted Penedès was when I went on some luxurious vacation to the coast of Spain. Well, I have never even heard of Penedès. If I wasn’t in the wine shop standing in the white wine section, I couldn’t have even told you whether it was a white or red varietal. So, when the woman helping me with my selection said, “How about a Penedès?” I awkwardly said, “Oh yea! Of course! A Penedès!” Considering my selection criteria consisted of (1) a white wine and (2) a varietal that I’ve never tasted, I was 2-0 and on track for this week’s 52 Weeks of Wine selection!
Equally awkward was the tasting portion of this wine. With two small kids, sometimes I have to photograph the bottles and wine at random times of the day when the lighting is right and in this case, it was at about 10am on a weekday. Though I would have loved to drink the wine at 10am, I had a lot to do on this particular day and I had been battling a cold, so I knew that the combination of a DayQuil and a glass of wine would probably put me back in bed. So, I placed the entire glass in the refrigerator and decided I would enjoy the tasting with my husband when he got home from work. Well, as he walked in from the garage he already had a beer in hand, so I kicked off the tasting on my own though he promised to join me after his Coors.
I privately took notes, not wanting to influence his opinion of the wine for his tasting with the intent of sharing and comparing afterwards. So, post-Coors, he goes through the steps that I insist on with regards to tasting (look, smell, taste, think), and I quickly ask him what he thinks of the smell. He had a very generic answer, and I immediately respond with, “You don’t think it smells like cat piss!?” He’s shocked and insists that it must be because I have a cold. But then he smells my glass and sure enough, he agrees that it smells like cat piss. I smell his glass, it smells refreshing! What the heck?! We’re dumbfounded and can’t figure out why my glass smells awful. Ohhhhhh….it’s been sitting in the refrigerator all day. Apparently it absorbed odors in the fridge. Fortunately, my wine tasted just the same as his, but the smell was a different story! So, I grabbed myself a new glass, poured some more Penedès and started over with the tasting!
The second tasting went much better than the first considering the smell alone was fresh and floral. The taste is also floral, refreshing like a Sauvignon Blanc only lighter, and more depth than a Pinot Grigio. This seems to be the exact varietal that incorporates my favorite aspects of the common white wine varietals!
I purchased this wine at The Wine Gallery and Gourmet for $10 as part of their 6 bottles for $60 deal. We had a wonderful, alfredo-based pasta with chicken, sundried tomatoes and artichoke hearts that this Penedès paired perfectly with!
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on a Penedès and maybe even seeing a photo of you enjoying it!