Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Do you have your glass? You do! Good, but might I ask what type of glass it is? If its a carefully selected, wine matched Reidel glass then I guess you really have been boning up on this stuff. But hopefully you didn't spend too much, and you aren't too clumsy!

What glass do I use, you ask? Well for a number of years I have been using the ISO tasting glass. I first started to use the ISO because it handles well and takes a reasonable amount of wine, especially for tasting, and it seemed to work well for most wines. Oh, and compared to Reidel an ISO is cheap. And in comparative testing the ISO does pretty well against wine specific Reidels.

Of course Reidel is correct when they state that a wine glass should be:

with a cut and polished lip
and, made of lead crystal

But what's the bit about the stem? Well that's were you hold it! So my question to you is does the attractive lady on the Reidel home page know how to hold a wine glass?

Friday, February 06, 2004

Where were we?
Ah, yes. Learning to taste. Classes and books are essential, but nothing beats drinking wine! Correct? No, not entirely. There is more to tasting than simply pouring wine down your throat. We will cover a lot of information on tasting as this blog matures with age, but for now the simplest approach to tasting is to use the 5 s’es. And they are?

Slurp – there has got to be a better word for it!
And Swallow.

And where did you learn this? Funny that you should ask. It was revealed to me on a slow boat going up a river. No, that’s not entirely correct I’ve known about the 5s’es for some time, I’ve just never thought of them as the 5 s’es. That’s not very clear is it? ……….Moving on. The 5s’es were used to demonstrate wine tasting while we were on a recent river/vineyard tour of the Swan Valley in Western Australia. It seemed to be a very simple approach to something that I can make extremely complicated; which will be made evident in the following days, weeks and months.

In the next posts we will go through all five, in detail! So come prepared with your nose and mouth, a glass and an open bottle of wine.

Monday, February 02, 2004

“Learning” how to taste wine takes many different forms. My first real experiences were in a series of classes run by Andrew Pirie in the 1970s. Very interesting stuff because much of the material was from his PhD studies which pointed the way to Tasmania and Pipers Brook as a region for cool climate wines. One of the best Chardonnays I’ve tasted came from Pipers Brook. The vintage I’ve forgotten but the place was Hobart at the end of 1986 or 1987. And the taste was……well it is just a memory now. But Pirie’s lectures and tasting provided me with the realization that wine was more than liquid in a glass. There was stuff to learn!

And where do you learn. At the feet of the master, of course! And if that’s not possible then you read his book. Which book? This book. Buy yourself a copy. Buy a friend a copy. Include a little note that says:

The ancient Greeks thought wine the nectar of the Gods
Pity the Gods
They never had the pearls of wisdom in this little book