Stay-Cation Wine Travels

June 17, 2012

Chateau Thenac Fleur du Perigold

A review of the Chateau Thenac Fleur du Perigold 2010 and the Balblair 2000 Single Malt Whisky.

Think of wine as a portal through which to satisfy the itch for a summer vacation, but without paying the expensive airfare, trekking through awful airports or dealing with increasingly tedious and inane airport security. Through wine, one can travel far and wide, communing with the world’s varied wine regions, all from the comfort of home. Just as each country has a distinctive cuisine, so does each wine region have a unique and characteristic approach to winemaking – at least insofar as they contend with local soil and climactic conditions. So, for example, a Cabernet Sauvignon wine from California is likely to taste recognizably different from a cab produced in, say, Israel or Italy or South Africa. Different soils and climates produce different flavors in the grapes. Those regions with a long history of vine cultivation also tend to have a long tradition of wine production. In many cases, especially in Europe, these traditions are codified not only in widely accepted practice, but generally in legislative fiat. Hence, many of the world’s wine-producing regions have a certain taste profile. The sheer weight of these wine traditions has also, in many instances, determined what grape varieties will be cultivated in any particular region. With a little a sense of adventure, some decent glasses, good company and a desire to avoid the lazy indifference of “I’ll just have a glass of the white,” one can explore multiple continents in one sitting.

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Sticking To Scotland – For A Change

May 24, 2012

Balblair

A review of the Lan Zur Sauvignon Blanc 2010 and Balblair Vintage Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

The history of Chilean sauvignon blanc begins in the 16th century when Spanish explorers established colonies along the southwestern edge of the continent. Up until the mid-20th century the predominant varietals were those more associated with France rather than Spain including merlot, cabernet sauvignon, malbec, sauvignon blanc and semillon. However the quality of the wines lagged behind other countries until the mid 1980s when favorable political and economic conditions lead to a revitalization of the region’s wine industry. Chilean wines are now considered among the world’s best values for both price and quality. Chile is currently the fourth leading exporter of wines to the U.S.

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