We first chatted with Andrea back in 2010, but recently caught up with her again at the Flavor! Napa Valley Festival as she hosted a blind tasting competition, with the very tasty prize of BusinessElite tickets on Delta. We didn't win, but we did manage to gather a few tips from her:
On a good Chardonnay: "If your mouth is like a showeryou're just salivating that muchthat's an indication of good acidity."
On blind-tasting a wine and deciding if you like it: "Remember the acronym 'FEW,' meaning 'Fruit,' 'Earth' and 'Wood.' For example, are you tasting purple or red fruits, is there any earthiness to it like soil or mineral, and what about oakiness?
On which wine to order on Delta right now: "The must-try is the Pinot Noir on the transcons; it's not from Napa, but there are those as well."
Andrea specifically speaks of Inception Wines out of Santa Barbara, whose Pinot Noir was developed by a former sommelier at Wolfgang Puck's flagship restaurant Spago Beverly Hills. For Napa wines, have the flight attendant pour you a taste of the Fume Blanc from Robert Mondavi, the Syrah from La Sirena and the Merlot from Charles Krug Winery.
As a lovely little early holiday present, Delta just recently released their 2013 BusinessElite global wine list curated by Robinson. Check it out below, and do note that California still makes quite a good showing in that international line-up.
Swirling after sniffing, before sipping.
We attended Flavor! Napa Valley as a guest of Napa Valley Tourism, but rest assured all photos, opinions, and inebriation is our own.
[Photos: Cynthia Drescher/Jaunted]