Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pleasure of the eye

Why do so many people neglect colour in wine? Is it because you don't care? Is it this reverse-snobbishness that wine is for drinking and talk about saturation, hue, bouquet is pompous nonsense?

Colour is important. Different aspects of wine offer different pleasures - wine is an experience which engages all your senses. Don't laugh. Wine teaches you how to be a sensual person. So we start with colour, the pleasure of the eyes. A wine's hue is not only beautiful to look at, it offers a lot of information about the wine you are about to taste as well. The infinite shades and intensities of a wine's colour gives you clues as to varietal, vintage, age, and even vinification.

Too much for me to fully understand and explain here, but let's take the example of German riesling, shown below. White wine darkens as it ages. More residual sugar tends to lend it a more amber hue as well. With age, the saturation of colour to the rim clearly thins out. And finely vinified wine is lustrous and clear, even after decades in bottle. These are some of the things that you can determine just by eyeing the wine.

So please, do yourself a favour. You paid good money for your wine - enjoy and experience it to its full potential.


2002 Domdechant Werner'sches

1995 P.S. Baumler Becker-Erben

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