Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Random Thoughts on Wine

(Photo Credit: Oceanrudy/Flickr)

Wine is the drink of the gods, milk the drink of babies, tea the drink of women, and water the drink of beasts. John Stuart Blackie

I read this quote by a Scottsman and couldn't help but laugh. I haven't been able to ascertain the date of the quote, but clearly it's not contemporary. I think a modern man or woman could easilty take objection to every assertion: there are no gods, milk isn't good for babies, tea is for anyone who likes tea you sexist a#@ hole, and water's good for everyone, unless it comes in a plastic bottle. I'll take it for what it is and agree with no fewer than two of the assertions, which two will have to remain a mystery.

I read an interesting article on Slate today about the growing Chinese wine culture both drinking and also producing western-style wines. It's both exciting to see this evolution of the culture, democritization through wine, but it's also emblamatic of the overall globalization of food and beverage around the world leading to great expansions for popular products, but also an extinction of some less popular beverages in far off places. Like much of China's rapid growth it's likely that progress will once again come at a great cost to tradition.

I've fallen behind on posting wine reviews; here are a few of the bottles pulled out of the cellar recently:

#005 – Martin Coday – Albarino, 2006, Spain. Cork: plastic. Color: pale straw. Nose: citrus, peach, slightly metallic. Taste: Slow to open and a bit flabby at first with stone fruit, melon and citrus at the end. Finish: Slight minerality followed by a mouth coating buttered popcorn. Price: $14.00. Recommendation: An exotic choice for the oaked California Chardonnay crowd. Not counting myself one of these individuals this bottle will not again appear on our table. I couldn’t seem to find out about the fermentation process, but would swear that the wine underwent malolactic fermentation.

#006 – Hentley Farms Mallee Sands – Chardonay, 2006, South Australia. Cork: screw cap. Color: golden delicious apples. Nose: Oak, citrus, and minerals. Taste: Stonefruit, citrus, minerals. Finish: Pineapple fading to minerals, greasy mouth feel. Price: $14.00. Recommendation: Pass for all but the most devoted Chardonnay devotee.

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