Monday, February 27, 2012

the air that gives it life

When we talk about a wine opening up, we talk about the stems used, serving temperature, whether it's been decanted (or not), and general ambiance. But do we ever really consider the actual air that the wine is in contact with? Surely, as air is different in Toronto as it is in Hong Kong, that must affect how the wine reacts. And not just with climate, but things like the air's humidity, pressure, pollutant levels. Just as they say coastal areas smell of the sea, surely the quality of air the wine is in contact with affects how it is perceived.

So the question is . . . when filthy rich people taste 1961 Cheval Blanc in Hong Kong, are they tasting the same thing as in New York? When a gnarly old vigneron in Chambolle-Musigny tastes in his cellars, will it be anything like what ends up (in bottle) in San Francisco? Not suggesting that any one will show the wine in a better way . . . just differently.

Maybe tasting notes should include a line about the environment the wines were tasted in. It would certainly be an interesting exercise, to compare tasting notes of the same wines, but tasted on different continents. Who wants to sponsor my wine-around-the-world experiment?


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