Students enrolled in my PLSC 307 class about wine must be 21 to enroll, and taking it will not make them 'wine snobs'. They will, instead, have an appreciation of what goes into making a glass of wine drinkable as well as the history associated with it from the beginning to the present day.
FARGO — You can't read about wine to decide if it is something you are going to like; you have to taste the wine and evaluate it. Something everyone else may like may not be something you'd place on your preference list. Conversely, something that everyone else considers "just a wine" is something that embraces your taste buds from sip to aftertaste. Such an enjoyable experience took place when I conducted a taste test of some of the following wines: • R.Prum Essence Riesling — Mosel, Germany
Anyone who's known me for a long time, kids me about obsessing about wine's qualities these days. "What ever happened to your love of beer?" they ask. Still there, is my reply, especially when I want to slake a thirst from working outdoors in the garden. For a relaxing repast to engage in conversation, wine bumps into first place.
Thomas Jefferson loved his wine — French wine in particular. Winston Churchill also loved his French wine, especially Champagne. Comparing the drinking patterns of the two statesmen, one would think President Jefferson tended toward tea-tottering compared to the prodigious consumption of the Prime Minister. Both men had something else in common: little regard for personal financial management.
Visit a spirit shop, a mass market wine store, or a national chain restaurant and you see pretty much the same wines: Woodbridge, Franzia, Yellowtail and other familiar names, which are big hits with the average American wine connoisseur. Go into a high-end eatery and the wine list is suddenly a strange read in most instances, with names like Chateau d'Yquem, and the prices make quantum leaps from $35 to $50/bottle to as high as $220/bottle. During a visit to Calgary, Canada, we went to an upscale Italian restaurant that had
Wine tastings where you try something different than what you typically consume can either open a new discovery of something to adopt, or a thankful realization that this was something you probably will not ever drink again. Fortunately, in this instance, the wines involved scored a touchdown in taste enjoyment. The first tasting was for 12 zinfandel wines, from 12 different wineries and different vintages, accompanied by a wide assortment of food to sample while sipping our zins.
The British Prime Minister and King Louis XV both drank bottles of Château Lafite Rothschild Bordeaux wine on a regular basis. In 1855, Napoleon instructed wine experts to classify France's Bordeaux wines, and this same wine earned a top spot as a Premier Cru, a status it still holds. The most famous bottle of this wine was supposedly owned by Thomas Jefferson and sold at an auction for $156,000, making the purchaser eventually regret such an extravagance when it turned out to be a fraud.
I've written a few times about blind wine tastings and wine tasting protocol. Someone asked me if I drank all my wine that way; see, swirl, smell, sip and savor — or spit it out. My answer is no, because the wines I drink on a regular basis don't need a thoughtful analysis every time I drink them. They are simply enjoyed. Tasting wine is for those who want to make new discoveries in a wine drinking experience.
If you are going to drink just one wine at a summer evening meal, make it one of the many good types of bubbly I have mentioned in previous articles. If you are looking for a different kind of bubbly, look to Germany for a very drinkable treat. During a recent visit to Faribault, Minn, I stopped in a local Haskell's and got in on a tasting of a never before tasted sparkler — Schloss Nicholas from Germany. This is a non-vintage sparkler that was delightfully refreshing on the hot afternoon when tasted. The taste led to purchasing 2 bottles — on sale at $10.99.
With the possible exception of Thomas Jefferson who liked just still wine — no bubbles — I think I'd be safe in saying that probably 99 percent of the wine drinking population today loves their sparkling wines: Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, and when you can get it, Sekt. Each of these sparkling wines comes attached to a country: Champagne, exclusively from Champagne, France; Prosecco from Italy; Cava from France; and Sekt from Germany.