USA Chardonnay All the Way By Don Merlot
Once the Classical (Old World) was moved off its throne, the New World defined wine through grape varietals. Mixtures as in Bordeaux notables became blended wines. California calls them meritage.
Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon ore planted from California to Australia.
Pinot Noir in Oregon can match their names sake in Burgundy. Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand has become as notable as its Loire family. The most planted white wine grape is Chardonnay, and in the USA the most popular red grape is Zinfandel.
Is red Zinfandel that popular? No, it is not, but blush wines are more popular than any red. Blush wines are rose.
So how do we get rosé? Well we follow the first same steps of red wine making. We need to squeeze some of that tannin from the grape skin.
White wine, rosé wine, and red wine: All are defined by their variety of grape (varietals) and lack of tannin or light to heavy tannin.
What happens on you first trip out of the USA?
Whites, reds, rosé and sparkling wines and sweet wines are grown in the best wine growing regions of:
British Columbia – Okanagan valley -– Top performers are: Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon.
Do not be intimidated by going into an environment that does not have the wine labels you know.
New World savants and oenophiles have really pushed the spectrum of wine and that is good.
Classical approach as in white meat and white wine or red meat with red wine are being challenged with new fusion menus. Alsatian Gewürztraminers has been matched to the Indian Raj curries. Argentina matches its Malbecs to its Churrascos. Chile matches beef Churrascos; its Carmenère Reservas. Peruvian Ceviche to a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc. Chilean Sea Bass, to a barrel aged reserve Chardonnay. Guacamole, to California Chardonnay.
My own curiosity about wine tasting was developed back in the '60's by my mentor; and after some years, I took wine courses and read books, because when I read wine reviews I felt was missing something. I took the Wine Spectator School courses and that really defined my thoughts on what wines are to me and which my favourite wines are. I suggest if your curious you take a look at a wine tasting course. You have to educate those taste buds.
Continue being curious about your taste in wine. Do not be persuaded by what other people like, or what they are trying to sell you. If you buy a good bottle of wine and know it has rave reviews, but when you taste and savor it lacks compatibility with your food, remember that wine is like a condiment to your food and it should blend perfectly as it passes through your mouth and your aroma detector - Olfactory epithelium. It does not mean that a great wine will make a great meal. Another rule to include in the rule list noted by my first mentor
If you take a trip for two weeks you can come back and write a book. If you take a trip for two months you can come back and write ten pages of observations. If you take an extended visit for two years, you will come back confused.
Wine is that way, the more and more you taste red and white wines and match them with foods the more one becomes confused – good and bad. But eventually it all comes together.
My first mentor loved Art Buchwald. So my last parting shot is this: 'When it came to writing about wine, I did what almost everybody does – -faked it.'
(Don Merlot and Ron Alonzo are one in the same).
Thursday, 25 June 2009
Fly on the Wall
Labels: Alonzo Ron