Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Take Time.....to Smell the Wine!

About a month ago, I visited the Dragonfly Hill Vineyard, and had a delightful visit with Carol Wallace, the owner. Looks like an abundant, excellent crop coming for this vintage. That is a picture of her Ortega grapes. She also grows Auxerrois grapes. Her vines are now 16 years old and produce excellent fruit. We sat in her cool winery building and enjoyed a glass or two of her very refreshing clean and crisp Ortega Auxerrois blend. It brings you right down to the reality of what wine is all about.
Do we here in North America frantically and in a frenzy spend to much time writing, blogging and criticizing wines? There is a daily outpouring of wine reviews on the internet, mostly via blogs. Oh, you must try this wine and before you've had a chance to purchase it, the next best wine is presented for your consideration. Its enough to drive you to drink! Are we forgetting to stop and smell the roses or in this case the wines, long enough to truly understand what wine is all about?
Susan Kostrzewa over on the Wine Enthusiast's Unreserved wine blog
wrote a very good article on wine critics. The comments were equally enlightening but I particularly liked the last sentence summation of Wes Hagen of Clos Pepe and I quote, "
And in my favorite countries, those common folk are drinking wine—not because it received a good rating, but because a table without wine, food, family and friends just doesn’t seem right."
It is 110 F ( 34 C ) outside. Not a cloud in the sky and just a gentle little breeze blowing. Our Vancouver Island vineyards are basking in the sun. Its time for me to prepare some lunch and enjoy a brilliant, refreshing white on my sundeck. (click on the image)
If we enjoy the wine in our glass, after a whole year at the vineyard and winery has passed and has given us one of mother nature's great gifts, spend some time researching the winery, the vintner, the soils and get an idea of what you are experiencing. You will appreciate the wine that much more. Stop, slow down, don't just rush out and get the latest recommendation.
Life is too short, take time to smell the wine and enjoy every drop!
Happy summer time drinking!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Stop Tooting Your Horn about Biodynamic Wine!

We have all heard the litany about how wonderful biodynamic wines can be. Some people swear by them and others say it is a lot of hocus pocus. The fact is of course that any vintner going to great lengths taking care of his vineyard should theoritically produce a good wine. Its the cow horn part that bothers a lot of people and it bothers me as well but perhaps for a different reason.
I did not realize, until I did a Google search, how popular cow horn products seem to be.That takes a lot of cow horns.
Considering the fact that most dehorning of cattle is done at an early age, is there going to be a shortage of cow horns if biodynamic wine making becomes popular?
Now here is my problem. Do you know how painful and therefore cruel it is to dehorn an adult cow?
Since biodynamic growers are close to the earth, the moon and the stars, should they not also care for these creatures with horns that roam the earth?
Do they have to use a real cow horn? I am sure that with today's technology an imitation cow horn can be made. Now there is a business opportunity.
Can anyone enlighten me as to why a real looking fake horn could not be used?
In the meantime I have a wine buddy coming over for supper and I am making super sized hamburgers. He is bringing an 'organic' Malbec. No horns, no bull. Just an enjoyable night with a good wine expressing its terroir.