One of the best ways to commit to your plans is to tell as many people as possible. It becomes that much harder to back down.
And I’m blessed with the best kind of friends. Almost everyone I told about the plan to write a wine blog offered me something: advice on the title, help with configuring the WordPress theme, free hosting, assistance with social media. And John Saker’s How to drink a glass of wine as a Christmas pressie.
Mary, my gifter friend, read the Cuisine magazine review quoted on the front and was sold. It says: “If you’re going to read only one book about wine, make it this one.” Done and done.
The book is informative and accessible, even for a neophyte like me. Saker, a Wellington-based wine writer, takes you to France and America as part of his story, but the focus is on wine in general and New Zealand wine specifically.
Just a few things I’ve learned from the book:
I was introduced to Robert Parker Junior, the American wine critic who introduced a 100 point rating system.
The most widely planted grape variety in the world is Airen, with 400,000 Spanish hectares. You may not have heard of it before as instead of making it into wine, it’s used in brandy distilleries.
Swirling your wine glass as part of the tasting, although it appears pretentious, is done for much the same reason as stirring a cup of tea. It helps to release more of the drink’s flavour compounds.
Bouquet refers not to the sum of smells you get from a particular glass of wine, but rather the smells aquired through the wine-making and ageing process. The smells that spring from the fruit itself are called the aroma.
Do you have some other book recommendations for me? Would love to hear them. Tweet me @winewinenz or email wine at wineylittlebitch dot com.