I learned some things last night, y’all.
For example: there are three kinds of cork which make up a champagne cork. When a cork goes into a bottle, it’s cylindrical, but all three kinds of cork expand at different rates, and then it takes on that champagne-cork shape.
Also: white wines might be described sometimes as “buttery” or “toasty,” because of the interaction with yeast. Makes sense. Reds are more likely to be described in terms of spices: clove, nutmeg, and so forth, with maybe even sort of a “grilled meat” note. “Complex” might be a better descriptor than “funky.” There’s a method to this, with some artistic license.
I haven’t been a wine girl for a year or two now. I had a bad reaction to a red wine recently, in that it caused red splotches all up and down my arms within a matter of sips, and then I just quit trying to like it. Whites are all sugar, sometimes, and for the calories, I’d rather just have a Coke. I gave up and switched almost entirely to beer, and of course anything that sparkles. We were talking about champagne last night, and one of the girls admitted she felt bad because she didn’t really like champagne. I admitted to feeling bad because I only like champagne. “Is that trashy?” I asked. “I feel like that makes me a little bit trashy. It’s only worth it when there are bubbles.”
But after the wine tasting I went to last night at The Wine Feed, I’ve expanded my palette. I’ve also expanded my vocabulary, which is helpful; otherwise, it’s hard to get your mind around what you like, and what you don’t, and why. Philip, who is co-owner of The Wine Feed, did the pouring and the very patient teaching. He was a good sport about all the girl talk going on, which increased rapidly as the glasses were emptied. Beyond the wine vocabulary, I thought it was fascinating to learn a little bit of wine science. There’s chemistry, of course, and botany, and physical geography which impacts how the grapes grow, and where. Philip explained that running a vineyard has to be regarded as a long-term venture; long-term, as in generational. It’s such an interesting notion, in this age of immediacy, to consider the history of a grape, a vineyard, a family business.
Also cool: the wines at The Wine Feed are pretty carefully curated, so you’re likely to end up with something great which you won’t find at the grocery store, but won’t break your budget. (If you’re in a pinch, they’ll deliver your wine by bike, so give them a call.)
All in all, it was a great evening of chit chat and education. I met some fabulous, friendly Triangle blog ladies. And, of course, I took home a bottle of something bubbly for later.