I do some of my best (wine) drinking while sitting in my leather chair. It doesn’t matter what kind of day I’ve had, I can always sit down and get lost in the smells and flavors coming out of the swirling glass.
Among other things like topics of the day, I spend my working hours talking about wine, the wine making process, growing grapes, smells, flavors and wine and food pairings. So, you’d think I’d be done with it by the time I get home. But the that is far from the truth. I am through and through a wine guy. I think, eat, breath and live wine. Everyday.
I love putting together great wine pairings and preparing wonderful meals focused around the wines, but my favorite time with wine is the few moments I get to pair it with a glass. Only on its own will you ever get a chance to fully experience what that particular wine has to say. Food, even the perfectly paired food, will get in the way of the wine because everything you put in your mouth affects the way you taste the wine.
Only when you have a truly clean palate, and only a glass between you and the wine, can you really understand what the wine is trying to say. Because for me, every wine has something to say. Some even have a story, although some stories are shorter than others.
What I look for in a wine is multiple smells and flavors. There needs to be something for me to keep me coming back to the glass. The opportunity for something different when I stick my nose in the glass the next time. Complexity. And it must smell good. And, yes, barnyard can smell good.
Following the great smells, the wine must feel good in the mouth. I like everything from creamy and silky textures to chalky and chewy tannins (think caramel).
And finally, the wine must have a great finish. It really depends on the wine how long the finish is, but there’s something compelling about a finish that lasts and lasts. One that you can taste for minutes after your last taste. That’s assuming there are minutes between your tastes.
I love that wine is thoughtful (that is, it inspires thinking), introspective, and complete. Complete in the sense that there is a beginning, middle and end. As I said, some wines have shorter stories than others, but they all have something to say. For me, I do my best tasting after dinner in my leather chair. For you it may be somewhere else. Just make sure you take some time to listen.Your wine is trying to tell you something.