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Entries by Janet Hubbard (27)

Thursday
Nov212013

WINE A LIVING ORGANISM

I'm no wine expert, but I love sipping wines, talking about wine, and reading about wine. Barbara Ensrud and I became friends in the Seventies in NYC, when we both worked at Time-Life Books. Barbara grew up in Arkansas and I hailed from a small town in Virginia on the North Carolina border. She was assigned to a wine series, and soon it had developed into a passion. While in New York, she wrote columns for Vogue and other publications. After she moved to North Carolina, she taught wine tasting at Duke University, and wrote for various publications in the area. She said once when opening a talk about wine at a tasting, "Wine is a living organism." 

I've thought about that when tasting boutique wines, or wines from small vineyards. Professional tasters inhale the fragrance, then move the wine around in the mouth, their senses activated to the point that they can taste the cherry or tobacco, or lemon. It is a living organism. Experts can tell the kind of soil the grapes were raised in, and can add layers of story as they taste. A good friend who owns a wine store and a wine storage facility came up to Vermont from New York last Christmas with a friend his age (early 30s) who was starting to purchase wines to create a cellar. My daughter and I were the lucky recipients of their ongoing tasting, moving from champagne to Brodeaux and enjoying a Burgundy or two as well. (I must find that list, and add it to this blog). It was an exciting few days.

Sometimes it's only a few dollars more to purchase wines that are "alive" and that provide an experience rather than those that have been mass-produced. I'm going to talk to my friend Jack in Warren, Vermont who is director of the wine divison of The Warren Store, and have him recommend wines in the $15 to $20 category that can offer a much more satisfying experience. One major bonus in spending a little more is that the chances of waking up with a hangover go way down. 

Let me know your thoughts, and if you have recommendations, please let me know.