Thursday, 31 March 2011

Wine Tunes

We understand that an Austrian winemaker, a certain Markus Bachmann (perhaps the clue is in the name?) has invented a special speaker that exposes fermenting grape juice to classical, jazz or electronic music. The sound waves, he claims, produce better-tasting wine. Aside from the fact that he is a former French horn player (although brass players are normally reputed for their beer prowess) he says the wines seem to get more fruity - as, it must be admitted, many of us do when we listen to music.

Mr Bachmann has teamed up with six other Austrian wine growers to produce so-called Sonor Wines, priced - and maybe this is the clue - north of 19 euros a bottle and including a 2010 pinot blanc "infused with Mozart's 41st Symphony". Whilst the sound waves may indeed have an effect on the fermentation, the waves created by the price might be of a different kind - especially when across the Atlantic a Mexican producer also claims to use music, but he says he cannot be sure any of it works but is completely confident that it does harm.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Sweet or Savoury?

A wine critic, one Eric Asinov, writing in the New York Times has suggested that detailed tasting notes are a waste of time because "one critic’s ripe raspberry, white pepper and blueberry is another’s sweet-and-sour cherries and spice box". This contains a considerable element of truth and is one of the reasons why we at WineDrop towers do not indulge in too much florid prose in our own tasting notes. He continues "But the general character of a wine: now, that’s another matter. A brief depiction of the salient overall features of a wine, like its weight, texture and the broad nature of its aromas and flavours, can be far more helpful in determining whether you will like that bottle than a thousand points of detail. In fact, consumers could be helped immeasurably if the entire lexicon of wine descriptors were boiled down to two words: sweet or savoury." He goes on to say that rather than actually requiring sugar in "sweet" wines or none in "savoury" they should be applied to the tasting impression and that wines with lots of weight would count as sweet and lean and minerally wines would count as savoury. An interesting idea that has erm, legs, but perhaps "heavy" or "light" might be an easier description?