Yesterday, Sonja and I drove to Orlando for the day, abandoning our beachfront solitude for throngs of humanity at a commercial hell called “Disney Springs”. We ate, took a boat ride, searched in vain for a Starbucks Disney mug, and bought gifts for the kids — plush Mickey and Minnie Mouse toys. By the time we were finished wading through people and spending money, I needed a glass of wine.
We met up with Odedi, a fellow Vivino rater and wine blogger, at The Wine Room in Winter Park. Odedi is like me, one of those reviewers who is, as a friend of mine once put it, “a big deal amongst the people that nobody has ever heard of.” In fairness, though, a lot of people have heard of Odedi. His blog is very popular and his reviews are on point. Though yesterday was our first time meeting in person, over the years we’ve come to know one another through reviewing and have found that our palates are typically in sync.
Together, and with our wives, we whiled away many hours, sharing rich conversation, artisan cheeses, thoughts on the industry and, of course, wine. But something fun happened. Odedi uses a hundred point scale while I have ceased to do so, but last night, when pressed, I went back to it for three wines which together we selected. Odedi and I scored without discussing and revealed our scores to one another after each wine to see if we were still in sync. Here are the wines:
The Biltmore 2016 Riesling from, of all places, North Carolina. A beautiful petrol nose, pale straw color, and luscious, sweet stone fruits on the body. Everyone enjoyed it.
Odedi’s score: 88
My score: 88
Our wives were entertained that we both gave it the same score. I was a bit relieved, given how rusty I am with using the system. We tried again.
Odedi has much experience with Israeli wine, while I have comparatively little. We decanted this for over an hour, then enjoyed. Rich and flavorful with a plethora of dark fruits, leathery notes, dried fruits, currant, blackberry, hints of tobacco, it is what you’d expect from the warm desert climes of the Golan Heights, and it is beautiful.
Odedi’s score: 93
My score: 93
Our final wine of the evening was a Markham Merlot. By then it had gotten dark and I’d run to the rental to get Sonja her jacket. Velvety and laced in vanilla, I enjoyed it a lot, but enjoyed the conversation far more. When asked, I replied:
My score: 91-92
Odedi held up his phone. It read: 90-91
Tasting with a legend is always fun, but the inclusion of our wives, beautiful ambiance, and so much in common made it a truly memorable evening. We hated to leave at all, but a ninety minute drive made it imperative that we go. We paid our checks, embraced our new friends, and promised to be back soon — begging them to join us in Nebraska sometime. We hope they will.
Cheers to new friends,