So on Saturday we talked about rim variation, gas evidence, and sediment. Hopefully the information I shared answered any questions you had about how these characteristics come about in wine and food, but if not please comment below!
Today I am going to give you a little evidence of these characteristics in wine. I feel super guilty because, while I did go to the Vertical Tasting at Barboursville Vineyard on 4/12, I got so caught up in the fun of tasting that I completely forgot to take any pictures!! Instead, I am going to show you some other wines that I’ve been quite fond of, and maybe you’ll feel inclined to explore them as well.
So, Let’s get started!
To show rim variation I chose a red and a white. The first is from Mt. Vale, a winery from Galax, Virginia on the border with North Carolina. It was a 2013 vintage called Misty Morning for the lovely morning views seen from the tasting room. The wine is comprised of 100% petite manseng grapes and is made in a semi-sweet style that is great with spicy foods, particularly cajun foods.
You can see in the photo here that the wine is a medium concentration golden color in the center, but fades to almost a straw tone around the edge. Because of its colorization this wine made it somewhat easier to note the gradation in the rim variation, however if you were to try this with a New Zealand style Sauvignon Blanc or italian Pinot Grigio, you would have a much more difficult time.
I also opened a Nebbiolo, my favorite wine to look at. (Though I don’t mind drinking it either 😉 This wine was from a small family owned vineyard in Neive, Italy called Poderi Elia which was founded in 1890. It was a 2012 vintage, so a little older as is to be expected from a red wine, though still young for a nebbiolo. This wine was definitely a drier style red wine with beautiful tar and strawberry notes. If we had thought to have any food with it, it would have been fantastic with grilled meats or lamb; however we simply drank it on its own.
If you look at the reflection of light on the paper underneath the glass you can see a halo of golden or amber light around the edge of the almost maroon center colors. This is almost a guaranteed indicator that the wine you’re drinking is primarily the nebbiolo varietal. Occasionally you will even see this coloring in a rose made from nebbiolo grapes. (Those are particularly delicious as well)
To express gas evidence I opted to go with one of my favorite styles: Prosseco. The style of Prosecco is indigenous to Italy, however they can be made anywhere, and brut or extra brut are the most common sweetness levels, though this can vary depending on origin and style. The wine I chose was called Presto. It was non-vintaged, meaning not meant to be aged, brut, meaning only a small amount of sweetness, and also DOC meaning it follows all of the guidelines for prosecco production in its region.
It is difficult to take pictures of bubbles as they are forming, without it coming out blurry, so this photo session was fun and challenging. You can see the way the small, compact bubbles form on contact and cling to the edge of the glass. These bubbles did tend to disappear very quickly, and on the palate the wine felt almost flat, even when I would swish it around my mouth.
Now, I thought that finding a wine that would express sediment would be a bit more difficult, at least from my own collection at home, however this wine surprised me. Mt. Vale’s 2012 Table for Two is a red blend made from estate grown Cabernet Franc, Marquette and Frontenac. I had originally pulled this wine out to show the color variation because it is lovely, bright, and young, so the gradation isn’t as obvious as with the Nebbiolo, however, when I poured the last glass, there was a fair amount of sediment in it. It is a lovely fruit forward wine with intense raspberry notes and a hint of sweetness, but less than 2% residual sugar. (Sugar left over after the fermentation process) I normally wouldn’t associate such a young wine with sediment, but that just goes to show you, don’t judge the wine by its vintage, they will often surprise you!
The first image here shows you the lovely color of the Table for Two. In the second image, you can see the sandy sediment pooling in the turn of my glass. Most likely this sediment came from the fining process that Noel, the winemaker and owner of Mt. Vale, used to finish the wine. It is also possible that the crystals formed after bottling due to continued chemical process happening in the bottle. Either way, the amount of sediment was very small, but a happy surprise.
So, I thought this was a really fun project. I highly recommend, again, if you can find a vertical tasting take advantage of it, or if you happen to have multiple vintages of the same wine in your own personal cellar, perhaps you can host a tasting for your friends. Look for the color differences and seek out sediment.
Next week I will be talking about Extract, Staining, Legs, and Tears! Also, World Malbec Day is tomorrow 4/17, so don’t forget to get down with this “bad” grape and keep an eye out, I may do a surprise post!