While popping away the wine from my weekly shop recently I noticed that my very modest six-space wine rack was, for the very first time, completely full of bottles of wine. On closer examination I was rather pleased to realise that I had what I think passes as a well-balanced selection. Continue reading “In My Wine Rack”
Accessories! Whether it’s gadgets or handbags, we can never get enough of them, and the line between ‘need’ and ‘want’ is often blurred. The world of Oenophily is no exception, and a quick wander around the web will expose you to a vast array of things which you simply must have in order to make your wine-drinking life complete.
So, what do you really need? Based on what I have floating around my house, here’s a list of my Top 5 wine accessories. Continue reading “Wine Tasting 101 (Part Five: Accessories)”
Okay, so it’s actually ‘oenophily’ (‘loving wine’), but I like my version better. Two years after I started The Culture Project, people seem to believe three things about me:
- I know a lot about wine.
- I’ve read a lot of books, listened to a lot of classical music, and generally know a lot of stuff.
- I know what I’m talking about.
Here’s the thing: I don’t, I haven’t, and much of the time the things I say represent the sum total of all my knowledge on that particular subject. Oh, and I absolutely could not write this blog without Google and Wikipedia. So, how does one go from actually knowing nothing about wine to giving the appearance of knowing something about it? Continue reading “Wine Tasting 101 (Part Four: Oenophilia!)”
Apart from confirming whether the aromas you identified at Stage Two of your wine tasting are reflected in the flavour, there are five basic elements to look for once you actually take that first mouthful of wine: the sweetness, the acidity, the tannins, the alcohol, and the body.
It can be helpful to hold that first sip of wine in your mouth before you swallow, moving it around and letting it coat your entire tongue. This doesn’t have to be an ostentatious, somewhat gross swishing – it isn’t mouthwash – but can be done subtly and discreetly without undue display. Continue reading “Wine Tasting 101 (Part Three: The Five Basic Characteristics of Wine)”
In the first post in this series, I talked about the five stages of wine tasting. In this post I’m going to focus on Stage Two: Smell.
You may have noticed that regardless of their size many wine glasses share a common ‘tulip’ shape, being wider at the bottom and narrowing slightly at the top (they also have a stem, which I’ll hopefully remember to talk about in another post), and that they are much bigger than the 100mls which is a standard drink. This is quite deliberate: the extra space in the glass allows the wine to interact with the air, releasing the aroma, while the tapered shape then concentrates that aroma close to the drinker’s nose and mouth. So, what should you be smelling? Continue reading “Wine Tasting 101 (Part Two: Name That Smell)”
Some time back I said I’d write a post about wine-tasting, and then never got around to it. In this short series of short posts (I’m planning on keeping it as simple as possible) I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned about how to taste wine. Today is Part One: The Stages of Wine-Tasting. Continue reading “Wine Tasting 101 (Part One: The Stages of Wine-Tasting)”
I was fortunate enough to be invited away on holiday over New Year’s this year, to stay with friends in Wellsford just north of Auckland. As well as offering the opportunity to catch up with people I hadn’t spent time with in far too long, the Auckland region offered a number of interesting activities, some of which are relevant to this blog. One of the first on my list was a visit to a winery, and on this trip I chose Brick Bay Winery in Matakana. Continue reading “Summer Holidays #1: Brick Bay Winery”
Summer is only reluctantly making its presence known in New Zealand this year, which means that I’ve yet to fully transition away from my warming winter reds and oaky Chardonnays to the lighter, crisper whites which I favour during the summer months. Rosé seems set to spend another summer in fashion here, but Riesling (Reessling) has also been gaining a following.
It’s been a busy few weeks, but I’m finally back in a space where I feel like I have time to start blogging again.
I won’t go into everything that’s been going on, except to say that it’s all good, positive stuff, just stuff that’s kept me too busy to a) sit down and type, or b) do much that was worth typing about, at least in the context of The Culture Project. Continue reading “I’m Back”
I haven’t said anything about wine in a while, so just in case you thought I was on the wagon (yeah, nah), here’s a post about why New Zealand champagne isn’t champagne.
It all comes back to the giant of global winemaking, France. In the early twentieth century the French government began laying the legislative groundwork for what would officially become, by the middle of the century, the Appellation d’origine contrôlée, the ‘Controlled Designation of Origin.’ Here in the New World we identify our wines by the grape varietal or varietals used to make it, which is why most of my wine-related posts concentrate on profiling the varietal wines most commonly found in New Zealand. Back in the Old World (i.e. Europe) wine is identified by its place of origin. Continue reading “Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC)”