Archive for the ‘Wine Assessment’ Category
The past year’s happenings – in my professional and personal lives – have me thinking about the idea of a “differential diagnosis”. In medicine, this refers to a list of the most common possible diseases likely responsible for a particular symptom or complaint. Ultimately, to help the patient, the list must be reduced to one disease process and that must then be treated.
Thus, the title of this post: Both Gout and Gonorrhoea can present to the physician with a single swollen, painful joint. It is up to the clinician to tease out (using history, physical examination and tests) what is ailing the patient and then treat that appropriately.
I recently wrote about how environmental variables can impact the way a wine expresses its character. That concept may seem esoteric to many, but it is based on the principles of physics and chemistry. Perhaps more easily observed (and understood) is the way aromas in the tasting environment (or originating from the taster themselves) can confound wine evaluation.
I’m very stringent about the environment in which I evaluate wines for review. I make sure that the room where I taste is regularly aired out. I do not taste when Irene is cooking or has cooked recently. Air fresheners and potpourri are not allowed in the house. (more…)
People new to wine find some aromas or flavors in tasting notes exotic or foreign. They may have trouble identifying those aromas. They may simply not be familiar with the fruit being referenced. Its understandable, then, that they would find wine intimidating.
To the question: “How can a wine, made from grapes, have all these aromas and flavors?”, I offer the following: Biological diversity on this planet appears broad if it is judged on form and appearance, but there is tremendous similarity in the biochemistry and physiology of all organisms. Subsequently, compounds commonly associated with the aromas and flavors of one plant (or its fruit) are rather ubiquitous throughout nature. (more…)
The recent El Niño-spawned rainstorms hitting the Los Angeles area have caused me to suspend my wine evaluation. I do not review wines during rainy weather. I’m very particular about my wine tasting environment. The environmental factors of interest to me are: temperature, humidity, barometric pressure and ambient aromas.
While much emphasis is placed on the serving temperature of the wine itself, the temperature, humidity and barometric pressure of the tasting environment impact the way a particular wine shows by affecting the way its aromatic compounds volatilize (emerge out of the wine). (more…)