Friday, March 16, 2007

Wine Balance and Harmony

Just like a pleasing piece of music or a captivating work of art, wine evokes an emotional response when it is well balanced and harmonious. The great thing about wine is that it is a living entity and therefore is constantly evolving. It has a birth at bottling and then ages and unless consumed, dies. Somewhere during it's peak is when all the elements of the grape's varietal characteristics and the winemakers skill provide us with that "WOW" moment.

That is why the gustatory aspects of wine, all it's organoleptic properties of color, aroma, flavor, acidity, tannins and even alcohol content need to have balance and harmony. No one individual component should overshadow another.

But everyone has a unique palate and sense of what they perceive as balanced when drinking wine. Take for instance, my husband. He has always liked wines with higher tannins, spicy aromas and a fuller bodied wine. Can you say, "That sounds like a young Australian Shiraz"?

Over a year ago, we started a wine club to learn, train our palates, and be open to new experiences. We are just plain folks of various ages and tastes. Some had certain preferences at the beginning as to what they enjoyed drinking. Many of us have, including my husband, have seen a change in these preferences. Although much of the wine that is produced is meant to be consumed "young", age does have it's allure. (It better, both the wine and our members are getting older!)

Unfortunately, none of us have deep cellars or pockets so our "aged" wine is a bottle of Fleur du Cap 2003 Pinotage from the coastal region of South Africa. We all enjoyed it at a tasting and agreed that the member with the best cellar conditions would hold it like a time capsule until we determine it has reached it's peak. It will be fun to see how our notes differ and if we can determine the changes that age brings to wine.

Harmony and balance are important in wine and in our lives. Keep your conditions stable, reduce vibrations and remember that life is too short to drink "bad" wine.