Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Small is Beautiful

The saying goes that wine is "about place."  The French call this terroir.  It's about where the vines grow and what characteristics come thru in the wine.

For some "place" becomes an impressive chateau with formal gardens and fountains.  This shifts the focus from the vineyards to the "image" of fine wine.  Unfortunately, the "image" is often better than the wine!

When you drill terroir down to the vineyard and the people that tend it you will find an honest relationship between vine and wine.  Here in Oregon we are fortunate to have a healthy culture of family-owned wineries.  At this level the "place" is often a small vineyard tucked in a little river valley surrounded by mountains.

This photo is of  Cricket Hill Winery, pretty much on the edge of wine country.  These are the wineries that I seek out to discover the true character of Oregon wine.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Look into the Wine Crystal Bowl

Yes. You can drink your wine from a plastic cup, if you must.  But if you want to actually taste the wine then you need a crystal glass.

Before you dismiss me as another wine snob, there are very practical reasons why you need a proper wine glass to get the most from your wine purchase.  A nice crystal stem runs $10 a stem.  When tasting, opt for the stem.

The secret of crystal (and you can get lead-free crystal) is that it is not smooth inside the bowl. It actually as tiny little "crystal" edges that the wine bounces off when you swirl the wine in the bowl.  This releases the aroma esters that we perceive as wonderful fruit smells.  So now you know.  If you paid more than $2 for that wine, enjoy it in a crystal stem.