Smelling Oak in Wine

Hey Readers!

stack of barrel

Recently, I’ve been strong arming my friends into drinking more Chardonnay. This isn’t because I particularly love Chardonnay myself, but it is the most versatile style of wine. Chardonnay is essential a blank canvas for a winemaker’s personal style. Unlike other wine varietals, it doesn’t have a lot of flavor on its own, so the implements used by a winemaker really have the opportunity to shine and showcase their knowledge and skill. Through this exploration of Chardonnay, I’ve had the opportunity to explain the various impacts of oak aging on wine, especially Chardonnay, and the differences that even the origin of the oak can create. Continue reading


Organic Versus Inorganic Flavors In Wine

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Last month, we talked about fruit flavors and conditions in wine. I was even able to share a few examples. This month I want to talk about organic and inorganic characteristics in wine. There are a variety of ways in which the term “organic” can be used to reference wine. We’ve touched on a few of the Organic wine making methods and what that means, and we will absolutely delve more into that subject, but at a later date. What this post is going to discuss is the narrow section on a W.S.E.T. tasting sheet that refers to the nose and the palate and organic versus inorganic materials. As we’ve already discussed, wine is made up of more than just fruit. Sunlight, soil, water, and wind all play a huge part in the end product. These key players often add their own distinctive flavor characteristics to the final production. Being able to pull out those characteristics and interpret them could allow a sommelier to determine origin, vintage or even growing region. I would love to be that good, for now I’ll settle for picking out flavors and guessing at growing regions and varietals. Continue reading

Tasting Fruit and Fruit conditions: Wine Lessons in Action

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Earlier this month we talked about fruit and fruit conditions in wine. Meaning, we discussed the different fruits you can smell and taste in a wine, differentiating between ripe, underripe, cooked, stewed and other such conditions, and what that means in regards to the wine’s age, production style, and region. It was a lot to go over in one blog post, and so I thought it would be great to give you some examples. I had the opportunity to visit one of my favorite local vineyards, Blenheim Vineyard, this past weekend with a good friend of mine, and we spent a good deal of time noting the different fruit qualities in the different wines and what secrets those notes held. It felt like a perfect example to share with all of you. Continue reading

Detecting Fruit and Fruit Conditions in Wine

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I was at a winery this past weekend enjoying a casual tasting with my husband and best friend (two separate people) when I overheard another pair discussing the tasting notes. I am normally terrible about minding my own business, but especially at wineries, because it has always been my job in some capacity to explain the wines to the guests. This conversation started off pretty normal, “I don’t taste plum, or mint…” and I almost shrugged it off, and went back to my own conversation, but then I hear something I hear more frequently than you would expect: Continue reading

Nose Intensity and Age Assessments: In Action

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I’m super excited about this post today. You know how I love my experiments, and my wine, and getting the opportunity to combine those two things and maybe learn a bit as well. Well, today I get to share that with you, again. I took my post from earlier this month and decided to show you exactly what I meant about being able to the age of wine by the nose. I may point out some other age identifying tricks as well. Continue reading

Nose Intensity and Age Assessments in Wine

Hey readers!

Recently I had the opportunity to taste a 2006 Malbec from the Maipu region of Argentina. I have had plenty of opportunities to taste old wines between vertical tastings, library tastings, and the opportunities I have had with my jobs. These are some of my favorite outings, because I get to see how time alone changes the flavor profile of my favorite wines. Time impacts the mouthfeel and the color of wine, but it also changes the nose or bouquet. That is what I want to talk about today. Continue reading

The Faults in Our Wine

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I’ve come across a few faulted wines lately in my adventure around town and even at home. This sparked a discussion with my husband and a few less experienced industry friends about different wine faults, what causes them, and how to spot them. Since even those closest to me have questions about this This will be a coursey glance with a few tips and descriptions and even possible resolutions if you come across one of these uglies. Continue reading