Tuesday’s wine tips: Invest in the story of wine
Obviously it’s not rocket science that we love the taste of wine. In all its varieties it can stretch from lemon-zesty freshness, through to buttery peaches, and all the way to rich blackberry fruit, leather and tobacco.
While I may spend a lot of my time talking to you about the flavours, aromas and character of a wine there’s so much more depth to discover. The best way to “dive in” to wine is to look at its story: how it got to become the bottle you buy off the shelf.
Whiskey is one of the few beverages where the story is so integrated with the drink that to separate the two would be blasphemy. Unlike whiskey, wine’s story seems to have been forgotten in place of price wars and the battle between familiar “standard” grape varieties. But if you take the time to uncover what makes a bottle of wine, your drinking experience will be a world away from when you drank in ignorance.
Let me give you some examples of the stories I’ve heard recently.
While working over the weekend I heard a story about the Mirabeau Cotes de Provence rosé. This already-gorgeous, crisp pink wine was brought alive by its story. On face value it’s a simple label – clear and approachable, too.
But behind this label is the story of a British winemaker Stephen Cronk and his family who moved to France to set-up Mirabeau in 2009. The five birds on the label illustrate Stephen, his wife, and his three kids. Meanwhile the vine represents how they uprooted from England to go and start their new life in Provence.
This family story emphasises not only the love behind the wine but also the feeling of a journey and something new.
There’s a very similar feeling in other labels like English Oak as well – but you have to look for it and do a bit of reading around it. English Oak was named after the historic love affair between oak and the vine, reflecting winemakers Sarah and Andrew Pharoah’s passion that wine quality begins in – and is determined by – the vineyard.
Taking the time to visit these stories is my top wine tip for this week. I guarantee it will open up the world of wine and make your relationship with wine shine like the winemakers intended.
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