Tin Barn Vineyards | Amy Tsaykel

Strength in Numbers

In Uncategorized on 09/04/2009 at 5:06 pm
Amy & Gilbert Tour

Amy (that's me, second from left) giving a cellar tour to a Corrugated Club member & friends

“It is not so much our friends’ help that helps us, as the confidence of their help.”  ~Epicurus

During the course of my two months in the tasting room, I’d have doubled my pay if I collected a nickel from every guest who wanted me to tell them what they were tasting.

“A bit of guava?” one woman queried about the sauvignon blanc, adding, “Is that right?”

Right? Rest assured that here at Tin Barn Vineyards, there are definitely no tests. Usually, when a guest identifies something unusual in the wine, I grab a glass and pour a sample for myself. As wine engages the senses, though, subjectivity kicks in.  There are no right answers …and  I don’t know what you’re tasting.

When it comes to experiencing wine, “you’ve just got to go with your gut,” shrugs our winemaker, Mike Lancaster.

Yet it’s only natural that we want to share the things we love.  Enter the tasting partner.

Last weekend, while Tin Barn was hosting a spirited group of visitors (pictured above) a conversation arose about the best type of tasting partner. We could just as easily have been pondering romance:

“The person I want to taste with? They should be pretty much like me,” said one woman. “Not agreeing with me all the time … but most of the time!”

“What if they helped you taste something you would have overlooked?” I countered, “Couldn’t a difference in perspective change your whole experience?”

A few hours later, I wound up pouring for my dear friend Krista , whose taste for wine is actually similar to mine. She wants only a hint of structure, prefers dark over bright fruit, and is easily seduced by smoky and deep flavors.  I admit that comparing notes with someone so in tune with my palate was validating.

But I couldn’t help but think back to that rookie winemaker from up the road who I served a few weeks ago. Let’s call him my oenological “missed connection”.  As he tasted, a striking similarity arose: it seemed we both thought about a wine’s character in terms of climate, rather than soil. (Many guests have remarked about my tendency to do this.) But he also found very unusual tasting notes  that I wouldn’t have ever identified–which I really appreciated.

I was leading a tour as the young winemaker headed out the door, but I secretly want to  give him my card–not for a candlelit dinner, mind you. I had wine on the brain.

Sharing a love of wine and learning from others is what this blog is all about. It happens much more naturally in numbers.  So grab a friend (or six), check your gut, and head to a  tasting room where your curiosity and  desire to learn will be rewarded, not tested.  I know just such a place….

  1. Hi Amy! I am enjoying your blog so much! Thanks for the beautifully written reports and the insights! I hope you develop a large following and it brings new tasters and old friends into Tin Barn so they can share the experiences with you! See you soon! Vickie~

  2. Hi Amy I know we were at the Tin Barn a little over a year ago for my niece’s 30th b-day celebration. We had such a terrific time and the presentation was fabulous. I just finished the last bottle of wine which means we have to make another trip to see you guys. I hope this year is a very prosperous year for the Tin Barn Vineyards. Good luck and we will see you soon. Jack

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: