Ann Arbor’s Vinology Shares its Eighth Anniversary and Tips for Tastings

    Vinology exteriorMaybe the work week has just begun, and it feels like the weekend is far, far away. But a work anniversary – especially within the tough restaurant industry – is well worth celebrating any day of the week. This month, Ann Arbor’s Vinology Wine Bar and Restaurant will turn 8 years old. Owner Kristin Jonna started the hot spot at 110 S. Main as a way to highlight local wines as well as those from around the nation and the globe. Vinology serves more than 200 wines by the bottle and 50 by the glass. It also offers wine flights, wine parings as well as a full- and half-portion menu. And you’ll want to save some room – the Vinology staff is trained to play “wine matchmaker” and find the perfect complement for your meal. In honor of its 8th anniversary, Jonna is hosting “A Ripe Old Age,” an event from 7 -9 p.m. May 20, to celebrate wines as they age. As good quality wine ages, it softens and gains a range of flavors, increasing the complexity of the bouquet and palate, Jonna explained.

    Vinology will present eight wines from the ages. Six of them range back to the 1960’s and attendees will have a chance to compare and contrast the wines chosen with current choices. The wine list will feature Bordeaux, Burgundy and German Riesling options. The menu will remain simple for sampling purposes, including a selection of cheeses, charcuterie and fruit.

    “It’s a great opportunity to learn about wine,” Jonna said. “The texture and flavor varies based on region and changes over time.”

    Vinology Wine Bar and Restaurant owner Kristin Jonna.
    Vinology Wine Bar and Restaurant owner Kristin Jonna.

    In case you cannot make it and want to try a wine tasting of your own at home, Jonna offers these tips to finding your perfect match.

    1. Look at the wine. This will allow you to detect any flaws and assess its color. Is it clear or is it cloudy? Is it pale yellow (like a Sauvignon Blanc) or golden toned (like a Chardonnay)?

    2. Trust your nose. About 80 percent of what we perceive as taste is based on aroma.

    3. Watch out for flaws. Wet cardboard, cork, burnt matches, sherry or nutty tones and vinegar smells don’t belong in your wine.

    4. Be a detective. Try to classify fruit profiles into categories like fresh, dried, stewed, jammy, citrus, tropical, red or dark. Remember to seek out flavors outside of the fruit spectrum, too.

    5.  Assess the value with a price-to-complexity ratio. That means, how many layers of flavor are you getting for your dollar?