The wine relative

Nov 18 2012, 20:40 IST
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SummaryI am in Italy, where I have been invited to judge for ‘the most selective’ wine competition in the world, organised by Vinitaly.

The relativity of all the elements that make up wine is critical. Here are a few factors that can influence how one perceives a wine and how, in almost all cases, they shouldn’t

I am in Italy, where I have been invited to judge for ‘the most selective’ wine competition in the world, organised by Vinitaly. The idea of a wine relative in this country amounts to an Uncle Pio, who lives down the road and has made the same red wine that is drunk only at Christmas with the rest of the family, and the rest of the year is used to strip paint off walls, or keep the livestock headilywarm. Far from such, my rant is about the relativity of all the elements that make up wine. Here are a few factors that can influence how one perceives a wine and how, in almost all cases, they shouldn’t.

Colour

Racism goes beyond people. How can we let the colour influence our perception of aromas and taste that is yet to come/form? Sure enough wine is art and hence must involve aesthetic but it isn’t exactly a visual form of art or, for that matter, at all. Judging a wine by its colour is likely to spring many a surprise during blind tastings.

Legs

I have always maintained that wine or women, such commentary is generally lewd and does nothing to ameliorate ones social position. Legs are the tracks left by wine when, upon swirling, it trickles down the inside surface of the glass. Depending on how the glass may have been washed, or what was in it before, or the ambient temperature, these legs can vary and are not a good measure of quality by far. If you must comment, go with the nose – nothing defines a wine more, especially on the after-taste when the aromas and flavours that one may have detected on the nose re-emerge in a lasting, classier composition.

Sweetness

Sugar, I admit, is a lovely winemaking tool. It is like that magic wand in photo-correcting software that just always knows what to do and make the picture more vivid. Sugar masks flaw, accentuates fruitiness, and lends a sense of body and weight to the wine on the mid-palate. But its presence shouldn’t immediately be attributed to any one of those reasons. Many a time, when handled well, sugar will add a certain je-ne-sais-quoi. It is not undignified

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