September 16, 2005
I don't drink enough.
It's an odd sort of a statement, but it's a good lead-in for bringing up tonight's topic.
I'm a wine geek. And I'm hoping to work within the industry. As such, some of my drinking these days falls into the "critical" variety. In my last post, I showed you a passel of sites that can help build your academic knowledge of wine- through them you can become acquainted with regions, varietals, wine making styles, etc. But there's no substitute for experiencing wine directly with your own senses. Hence, my seemingly lush proclamation above. Sometimes, I'll even spit, though I'm sure my writing becomes more entertaining when I don't...
There's plenty of places online where you can get a walk-through of how to critically evaluate wine. And if you're interested in a beginner's reference book to have and to hold, I'll recommend Andrea Immer's Great Wine Made Simple, the second edition of which is coming out in a couple weeks. Her classification system makes a lot of sense to me as a foundation to build on- she focuses on a handful of common and popular varietals, expands to geography and winemaking styles, and throughout reinforces the academic knowledge with solid suggestions of exemplary wines to taste.
Stormhoek presents a great opportunity for the budding wine geek. Granted, for now, it's something that might not be available in your neck of the woods. Nick and the rest of the team are working to bring it to the US, and if you're in a spot to take advantage of Hugh's giveaways, do so. This is a unique phenomenon. All too often, the only time you'll get to compare your tasting experiences with another person is when you see a shelf-talker (the little piece of paper in the store with a quote) from some famous golden palate. Stormhoek's different. I'm not aware of any other particular wine that has had so many different people talking about their experience publicly.
Wine is a great excuse to slow down. Most folks drink wine with a meal, with friends and family, in social settings, etc. So next time you raise a glass, why not seek to put a little more knowledge around what's inside?
Posted by at September 16, 2005 5:04 AM
For something just a touch different, try Trio from Concha Y Toro in Chile, available in Tesco (not that I work for Tesco, just that's where it's at). Really chewy, yummy, and if you're a wine buff, a little unusual!
Posted by: Mike Cunningham at September 17, 2005 5:03 PM