Monday, December 26, 2011
Learning About Wine One Grape (or so) At A Time
It did not take me long to notice that, even though I had made a conscious decision to take my wine knowledge to greater heights, while in class I found myself watching the clock through lecture waiting for the time when we put the books away and started tasting. While it is certainly important for someone in the trade to know about regions, climate and soil, most people just want to get down to the business of discovering their own tastes - likes and dislikes.
What I also found is that nearly every wine course, whether it be formal classroom or via the “over-the-counter” book, is organized by region, not by grape variety or type of wine. However, when a customer goes into a shop looking for wine, nine times out of ten they are asking, “where are your Malbecs” or, “can you recommend a good Malbec,” versus, “where are your wines from Mendoza?”
I am not saying it is a waste of time to learn that a Pinot Noir from California is going to taste more like red fruit and less like earth than the same grape from Burgundy. Once you find that you like Pinot Noir, this is an important distinction. If, however, you find that you just don’t care for Pinot Noir as you much prefer the fuller-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon, the difference between a Pinot from Paso Robles and one from Oregon means nothing.
So get out there and start learning about wine one grape (or so) at a time. Get to know your wine merchants and, “get thee to a tasting.” Find what grape you like first, then start exploring the regions they do well in. The next step is to take note of the key words on the bottle that will tell you what is inside. If you find that you like a French style of Merlot, know the names “Pomerol” or “St. Emilion.” If you find that you don’t care for Merlot at all, don’t waste the brain space.
One grape at a time - http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l99f8snhSp1qz7tyk.jpg
Girl confused - http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l99f8snhSp1qz7tyk.jpg