Digging through old stuff and unearthing new goods, up here and Down Under:
• I’m still sorting wine papers and files and came across this interesting quote from Larry Stone, then the general manager of Rubicon Estate, regarding tasting fees at wineries: “There was a time that the tastings were free … then wine got very popular. Now, we’re trying to be creative about how to attract the real wine enthusiasts and not the partygoers.” Anyone who has been at a tasting room when a bachelorette party was there can understand and maybe even empathize.
• This originated in Kiwi Land but is intended to be universal. I don’t agree with everything, but any list of 10 wine myths provides great fodder for discussion, and this one includes a nice keep-it-simple quote from someone named Brendon Lawry: “Your palate is in your mouth and mine is in mine.” Plus it’s always fun to see the word “stickys” in a newspaper article.
• For a few years now, I’ve been hoping for a comeback for Aussie wines. Not because I want more critter-labeled fruit bombs, but because I semi-regularly get to try wines that represent what that market segment should be pushing: distinctive, mostly non-shiraz wines that reflect their origins rather than a spoofulated formula. Finally, it seems, the folks down there are starting to move in that direction.
• We cork dorks of a certain age might have no greater fear than the eventual, inevitable waning of our senses of smell and taste. In a recent Decanter piece, there’s encouraging news from Professor Barry Smith, the director of the Institute of Philosophy at London University’s School of Advanced Studies: “Recent research by Thomas Hummel in Dresden, a leading neuroscientist of olfaction, shows that if people practice their sense of smell by smelling four essential oils – say, eucalyptus, lavender, rose oil and lemon, last thing at night and first thing in the morning – they keep their sense of smell longer and remain more acutely sensitive. It’s use it or lose it, as far as the brain is concerned.”