Gleanings: 1-4-16

The anecdotal hits, they keep on coming:

• I should know better than to do this, but I went to the Wine Spectator site to check out the tasting notes on a wine I Ussegliolove, the Pierre Usseglio Mon Aieul, and one of the descriptors was “singed alder.” W. T. F. Also. Bite. Me. I almost wish upon this reviewer what my friend Mark calls “singed testicle fuzz.” As Terry Theise has noted of such delving-too-deeply characterizations, “this is why the hate us.”

• I’ve mentioned before how much I love Shafer’s “Line on Wine” missives, in which the ever-clever Andy Demsky compiles and communicates fun facts and figures about our favorite beverage. Some gems in the latest email: A Bordeaux winery has made its cellar nuclear-bomb-proof … Wine consumption in Africa is rising five times faster than on any other continent … Roman adults back in the day consumed an average of one liter of wine per day … and much more.

You can (and should) subscribe to the newsletter here. But wait, there’s more: Additional tidbits are available on Twitter: @LineOnWine.

• I’m a huge fan of the Drouhin “Vaudon” Chablis, Year in and year out. It really works as an introduction to Chablis Vaudonfor the unfortunate souls who have not delved into the region’s wines. It’s got just enough of the mineral/chalk that identifies it as a Chablis, but is more recognizable as a chardonnay (thus a good “bridge” for domestic chard fans).

So we had one out at Thanksgiving — I believe strongly in providing a range of wines on the table — and it didn’t get finished. And when I sampled it the next night, it tasted more like a New World chardonnay (and even a little bit viognier-ish) than a Chablis. If anyone has a remote idea why this would be, lemme know.

• I’ve been catching up on some articles I had squired away in 2015 and came across this swell quote from a Vinous Melkainterview with wine consultant extraordinare Philippe Melka:

“A lot of what makes up the wine business is almost counter to the American mentality; it’s counter to what they have learned and what they understand. It doesn’t make sense to some people that they have to wait, wait, wait in the wine business. They have to plant their vines, and then wait for the fruit, and then wait for the wine to be in the barrel and then wait for it to age in the bottle. This is a difficult part of consulting — teaching people to wait for something special when they are used to getting what they want right away.”

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