Monday, January 3, 2011


Happy New Year !
Resolve to try something new. Perhaps a wine varietal you have not yet experienced.
People often ask me how do you 'taste wine' ? How do you know the different varietals?
In my random tasting experiences, I have garnered a method based on the 'enotype of the varietal', the Davis 20 point system and my own preferences. However, if one is just beginning to explore wine, I would suggest the very logical method suggested by Terry Thies in his new book "Reading between the Vines" : take one white varietal and one red varietal - over the course of three months. You will train your palate to recognize the grape varietal from its basic characteristics. During those three months purchase wine from every region that those two varietals are produced. You will be training your palate to recognize terroir. Other variables you can study - age of vintage, whether the wine was aged in oak [what kind] or not, % alcohol, grape vs wood tannins, dryness or residual sugars and food matching. Take notes on what you find, read, taste and conclude.

Building on the basics - strengthens your knowledge, palate confidence and will lead to your individual preferences.

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