Food

Beyond the bottle

at The Wine Rack

Thursday, January 18, 2018



You've recently “got into” wine and have tried a few bottles that you quite enjoy. You have also tried some that you swear you would never buy again. The usual next step for most wine lovers is to try and figure out why they like what they like so that they can keep buying that particular one. Sadly, some folks keep buying the very same bottles, perhaps because they are scared to try something new and not like it.

Fact is, the only way to learn more about wine and more specifically, what you like and don't like, is to taste more wines. No amount of reading books or magazines can substitute. The language of wine will begin to grow on you, and soon you will begin to speak about body, varietal, acidity, tannins, aromas, flavour profiles, and eventually you will begin to discover terroir — a magical blend of place, weather, tradition, winemaker, and soil.

I personally believe that I entered the world of wine at the right time, just before the “sameness” began. My 'aha' moment with wine was at an exclusive tasting in Miami, perhaps 15 years ago, when we tasted wines from the most storied regions in Europe and the USA. The differences were distinct. I soon discovered my love for wines from St Emilion and Pomerol in France, both of which happen to be on the right bank of the Gironde Estuary in Bordeaux. The next thing I realised was that my more advanced wine-loving colleagues spoke a lot about who the winemakers were.

 

Beyond the bottle

Casual wine drinkers are usually less interested in the grape-growing and wine-making aspects of wine. However, members of the local chapter of the Société Mondiale du Vin, the wine affiliate of the Confrèrie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, enjoy any opportunity to meet and learn from the creator of the wines or the crafted beverages that they enjoy. One such opportunity arose recently to sip, dine and chat with Evoi Wines founder and winemaker Nigel Ludlow. Ludlow was in the country for his nuptials to former Jamaican model/geologist Alexcia Gray. They agreed to host a private tasting of their premium wines before returning to their winery, located in Margaret River, Western Australia, a region that came to prominence in the 1970s.

A passionate Ludlow spoke about viticulture practices (grape growing) and the chemistry involved in making his wines, including the differences in producing grape varietals such as Semillon and Chardonnay. The Evoi wines poured for the night included the highly acclaimed and multi-award-winning 2012 Reserve Satyr, 2013 Reserve Chardonnay, 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2015 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon.

Chef Colin Hylton's menu — Duck Spring Roll with Sweet Corn, Roasted Vegetables and Red Stripe Beer Hoisin Drizzle; Charred Pork Belly with Japanese Miso and Roasted Lady Pink Apples and Shrimp-stuffed Shrimp wrapped in apple-wood smoked bacon — complemented the wines perfectly.

By sampling wines from lesser known regions like Margaret River, Western Australia, wine lovers got the opportunity to experience familiar wine varietals like Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon that, as a result of the region's terrior, do not taste the same as the big brand Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons they are used to.

 

Christopher Reckord — Information Technology Entrepreneur & Wine Enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to creckord@gmail.com. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram @chrisreckord and on Twitter: @Reckord

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