An ugly word and it drives us wild with contradictions, evolutions and challenges. For us it is the art of using senses– sight, smell, taste and touch - to describe a wine.
It’s a dodgy business at the best of times and we constantly try to streamline our collective opinions into a readable shape for you. We search for a phrase or descriptor which is both true and meaningful. Something which will let you see into the wine and tempt you to try it with an open mind.
I have tired of using technical notes, but the full gamut of pH, total acidity and residual sugars etc are on the website under each wine. They have little meaning to many of us, but possibly offer joy to the select group of winemakers and geeks. I am neither...
Instead I try to put the wine in a drinking context – when would I drink it, with what and with whom? To offer some light and shade,and I hope some intrigue.
I sit and face our year’s work and try to turn the wine into words. I am helped by our tasting crew who offer some terrific anthropomorphisms –plus lots of motorhead analogies – “heart of a Ferrari,” “great torque” and names of stunning women have been bandied about.
Matching these wines with food is a reckless pursuit but provides great entertainment. We recently set up a“worst foods” tasting at Neudorf. I lined up four wines (not Neudorf) An oaky old blokes style Chardonnay, a tannic Cabernet for the brave palate, a middle of the road Pinot Gris and a late harvest Riesling. Then I provided plates of blue cheese, hard boiled eggs, rollmops, raw salmon and artichokes in oil.
I was prepared to recoil with disgust. I was wrong. Along with the rest of the team we found all matches were ”doable” but some were more doable than others.
The lesson is RELAX. And when in doubt go with Pinot Gris.
It might just be delicious. Let me know when you find the wine you enjoy with Kimchi.