jamie goode's wine blog: Enjoying wine

Monday, September 10, 2007

Enjoying wine

I'm sipping the remains of the Karthauserhof Spatlese I blogged on yesterday, as I prepare to wrap up early and go to bed. It's showing grapefruit and melon tonight, with a hint of honey. Just shows me how imprecise the language we have for wine is.

But the point of this post is that I wanted to share how much I am enjoying wine at the moment. It's not always the case. My enjoyment of wine goes through phases.

Most wine is pretty ordinary. In fact. I'd go so far as to say that 90% of all wine is crap, and you shouldn't waste your words on describing it. Enjoy it for the alcoholic buzz it gives you, and don't let it linger too long in your mouth.

Like the Papaya wine Fiona and I once ordered in Mombasa (largely because Fiona doesn't do beer, and because it was the only 'wine' we could afford). The only option there was to serve it ice cold and knock it back - don't take a sniff, because as it warms up in the glass it releases the heady aroma of horse's urine (well, what I imagine horse's urine to smell like).

In the pursuit of serving my readers, I'll frequently plough through a batch of samples and then end up depressed, and hating wine. There's no joy to be had in many commercial wines, which offer industrial, processed flavours and no personality at all.

If I go through a sustained period of opening and drinking crap wine, I begin to wonder why I'm bothering to write about wine at all. But of late, I've been lining up bottles that have turned out to have something to say. Bottles with personality; a sense of place. Wines that seduce; wines that thrill.

I still believe (and know) that most wine is rubbish, but it's that small proportion of bottles that have real character and merit that make me realize that there's nothing I'd rather do than pursue interesting wines and be paid to write about them. Except, perhaps, playing in a rock band...


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