Friday, August 1, 2008

Wine Taste and Tasting

I've been reflecting more on the conversation I had with my buddy Mike at dinner last Monday, and that I wrote about in my previous post.

He's recently become a wine enthusiast (I use that because I can't spell afficianado correctly) and is very excited about trying different wines. He was most enthused about the 2005 Caronne Ste. Gemme he tried, and he told me very clearly why he thought it was so good.

I thought about the wine reviews I've posted on this blog. I mentioned before how I feel they are pretty boring (although at least you get to see what music video I think pairs up with the wine), and they still seem that way.

Mike asked me if I am able to discern details about the wine I am drinking, like what year it is, what winery, etc., and I said no, not at all. I can often tell the grape variety but even then, the way so much wine is blended or handled or adulterated or just plain abused, along with all the other variables involved, that I am not always sure.

Somehow I had the notion in my head that just because I publish a wine blog and have been drinking wines for a relatively long period of time, that I ought to be able to identify wines and provide expert tasting notes, etc., and to admit to not being able to do so, or to not do so with the grace and ease of an "expert," is shameful.

Can I discern the difference between two varietals? I dunno, maybe. Can I tell you what I like and don't like? Most definitely. Can I tell you why I like or don't like a wine? Most definitely. Can I tell you if a wine is of good quality? Perhaps, especially if it is of poor quality, like watery or has off flavors, etc. I can also at least tell you what my opinion is for the other ones that aren't so obvious.

So what the heck am I getting at? Get to the point, MonkuWino!

The point is, I think my reviews should be geared more towards if I liked a wine and why or why not, instead of trying to be so dryly descriptive. That's what the reader deserves to know. If you simply give a rating to a wine or say you liked or hated it but don't say why, then it is pointless. Two people can both eat the same taco (mine from Tito's in Culver City, please), and one can rave about how good it is and the other can say it tastes like garbage (which describes common reactions to Tito's tacos). The exact same tastes, but different opinions. So you need to know why a person says what they say.

It's fine to be objective about the smells and tastes one finds in a wine but the fun is in the subjectivity. Just say why, though. So that's what I am going to try and do.. stop being so, so, uh, stiff and generic.

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