Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Complications of Wine Language

Have you ever found yourself surround by friends or even strangers and been asked "how do you like the wine" Your mind searches for those wine terms, the wine language you read about in wine reviews.

"I like the rich fruity black cherry and smokieness in the nose and the even bitter finish." Is this the description that flashes through your mind. You want to say. "It's Good I like it." Well go ahead, say it! Wine tasting does not have to be complicated. You do not have to extend the boundaries of the English language to describe the wine.

I have never understood "bright black fruit with anise dill and leather notes." Bright is a term that describes light not taste, anise dill I understand, anise can be described as having a liquorice flavour, leather denotes hmmmm okay. What if someone described the wine " with a touch of olive and saddle leather" Would you know if it was good or bad. Is a wine supposed to have a leather flavour?

What about tobacco? The descriptive term, used by some, to describe a flavour component resembling the taste of raw tobacco leaf in the finish of certain red wines. Seems to mainly apply to Cabernet Sauvignons from Bordeaux, France or the Napa region of California. " Cigarbox " is a common term often used as a near synonym especially if a cedar-wood note in the aroma is detected. (Non-smokers may have trouble with this word and its implication).

Perhaps I'm just a simple guy who likes his wine and prefers to say.. I like this wine. Its good. Most enjoyable. an easy drinking wine with fruity flavours

Don't be intimidated by the language of wine. Simply describe the wine as it tastes to you. Allow your senses to react to the wine. Wine is to be enjoyed. The wine language is unique but you do not have to know it or refer to it in order to enjoy the wine tasting experience.

The following article from the Wines of Michigan * website

The Simple Pleasures of Wine by Joe Borello

The topic of wine is fascinating and often times emotional. It is a simple agricultural product, yet many have a tendency to shroud it in mystery and complexity. It is important to realize that wine has been placed on dining tables for centuries as a natural beverage that serves as a pleasing and logical companion to food.

Few other products offer as much diverse subject matter as wine. Interests range from cultivating personal vineyards, visiting the actual property of a winery, collecting wine labels, building a wine collection of fine wines, to simply taste-testing different wine styles with friends.

Wine also combines instinctively with an interest in food. Many professional and amateur chefs are wine hobbyists because good cuisine demands wine both as an intricate seasoning ingredient and as a basic component of the dining table. Keep in mind that like food, it is important to create a point of reference for what you may like in wine. As time goes by and your tasting experience grows you will notice subtle differences in your preferences, It is helpful to seek information from others, but don't be intimidated by their opinions.

Although many hours could be spent studying the finer points of wine, it is best enjoyed as an uncomplicated subject. So, what is the best way to enjoy and learn about wine and food? The experts tell us there is no substitute for personal tasting experiences. Through taste comes the acquisition of knowledge. What better way to acquire knowledge then by visiting local wineries or gathering with a group of friends for a wine and food tasting? As you taste and compare wines you will find that not all are pleasing to you. Wine, like food, is made in many different styles to satisfy different tastes. It is up to the individual to choose the wines that best suit a personal palate and pocketbook. In North America we are fortunate to have over 900 winery tasting room facilities in which to experience a variety of tastes and styles of wine. Many of these wineries have educational tours and videos of the facilities and the winemaking process. Knowledgeable winery representatives then guide visitors through enchanting tasting tours of nature's fruit of the vine.

*this article was edited to fit our blog. Permission to use the article was obtained from Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Charles Krug 1980

There is nothing like a good friend, especially one that comes for dinner bringing a 39-year-old bottle of wine from the icon Charles Krug winery in the Napa Valley.

Charles Krug was a pioneer in the California wine industry Staring Napa Valleys first winery in 1861 and opening its tasting room in 1882.

We had a dinner party with five of our closest friends. In our house, we usually serve Canadian VQA wines along with additional offerings provided by our guest. This evening we celebrated with the 39-year-old wine with great anticipation.

Would the Zinfandel stand the taste of time? Would age be its enemy! The wine had been properly stored. The cork seemed moist. It was just a matter of opening it and tasting the wine.

Following Krug's death, James Moffitt Sr. purchased the winery in 1894. In 1943, Robert Mondavi persuaded his parents, Cesare and Rosa Mondavi, to purchase the inactive winery from Moffitt for $75,000.

The winery was named to the National Register of Historic places in 1974.

Our anticipation was heightened when the cork broke when in the process of pulling it out of the bottle. The bottom half slipping back into the bottle.

I was honoured to be allowed to be the first to sample the wine.  There was a nice aroma of black fruits. I willing say the aroma may have weakened for the years. The first sip was impressive as I swirled the wine about my mouth. Soft spicy and smooth is how I would describe the wine. We had a winner.

It was now time to allow everyone to decide for themselves if the like the wine; a 39-year-old gem. Small tasting portions were poured.  Everyone was impressed. Demands were made to fill the glasses once again.

Charles Krug would be proud. I was feeling blessed for having such good friends.

The winery is located at 2800 Main St Saint Helena .
Did I mention Barbara and I honeymooned in Napa Valley in 1992. Our saty in Napa led to our love of wine and the the establishment of Winesofcanada.com

Friday, April 12, 2019

My wife is an excellent chef. She makes some wonderful meals. However, she has never made Yorkshire pudding. My Grandmother was an expert at it. Her roast beef dinners with all trimmings along with the most delicious Yorkshire pudding were the Sunday highlights of my early years.

Over my lifetime I have been invited to many a home for dinner and until last Tuesday only one has ever served Yorkshire pudding. My dreams came true on Tuesday as new friends provided the perfect dinner.

We started with a few appetizers and a California wine not worthy of mention.  The aromas coming from the kitchen were amazing. Once seated at the table we were present with slow-cooked roast beef, mashed potatoes, mashed turnip and carrots and gravy. To my surprise a heaping plate of perfectly made very delicious Yorkshire pudding.

The wine Black Hills Nota Bene 2015. I was in heaven. Good food, good wine and awesome company. I gave the first star to the pudding second star to the main course and the final star to the wine.

Monday, April 8, 2019

If you follow this blog you will know that that I have not posted in several weeks now. I ran into a few health issues that prevented me from enjoying the numerous fine wines produces by the Candian wineries. Three Kidney stones and 2 gallstones preventing me from attending the Vancouver International Wine Festival.

I mention the medical problems only to offer an excuse. That's right an excuse for the Okanagan Falls wines.  I attended their Spring release and have to say I was disappointed in the wines. Maybe this was the result of too many medications taken in the months before the event maybe not.

Who did not disappoint and once again stood out was Wild Goose Vineyards. Their consistency over the years has been amazing.  Try their 2017 Gewurtztraminer. Absolutely is full of mouth-watering peach and apricot flavours.

Liquidy Wines Ltd also impressed. The complex blend Collage was extremely good. This winery should impress you in 2019.

The winery with one of the best locations in the Okanagan  Kraze Legz also impressed with a good cellar of wines.

The family owned  new  Nighthawk Vineyards showed a great deal of potential. The owners are Danial and Christ Bibby with Dakota Bibby been the winemaker.

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