What is required to be a wine blogger? Well a palate comes in handy. So does the ability to string words into at least semi-comprehensible sentences. A working knowledge of varietals gives an important frame of reference. All of those are important to the wine blogger, but I don’t think any of them are as vital as a deep and vital passion for wine. Josh Hermsmeyer, the Pinot Blogger, sponsored a wine blogging contest to inspire conversation and passion about wine, asking bloggers want is their wine passion and should bloggers address the process of wine making as well as reviewing the wine.
I enjoy a multi-faceted passion when it comes to wine. I love the taste of wine. I am also an unabashed a science geek. I love to learn how things work and are made. I admit that I get passionate about things like malolactic fermentation and what wines are aged in. I love the magic that happens when food and wine are paired and create something special together that elevates both components to higher levels of deliciousness.Most of all, I get off on the talking with winemakers about their passion and craft.
MS is slowly eroding my senses, but my sense of taste has remained mainly intact. That makes taste even a more precious sensation, not that I ever ignored my sense of taste but now it is treasured and treated with a great more deal of respect than in my youth. I love how the flavors of wine evolves in my mouth from the first sip to traveling over and around my tongue to the finish. It is just such an amazing journey. I love how a wine can change as it opens up. How can cassis appear in a glass 10 minutes later where there was none before?
The alchemy of food and wine is truly magical to me. I love to turn my kitchen in to a lab and convert my friends into willing guinea pigs for my magical kitchen experiments. These gastronomic adventures turn out well more often than not and sometimes are legendary. A rebel by nature, I rise to the challenge when I am told something won’t pair well. I love the science and art that goes into pairing and creating the bridge to take the food and wine to new heights. I am currently taking courses in food and wine pairing that inspire and delight me with possibilities.
Wine is more than a beverage. It is a story, from grape to my glass, that is nurtured and crafted by the earth, the vinter and the wine maker. Sometimes the story transcends generations. Sometimes the story is in the terroir, sometimes the grape. Other times it is the about the viticulture and the decisions made in tending the vines and at harvest. Sometimes the story is about the people, the families that craft the grape into wine. One of my favorite past times is to sit and drink wine with wine makers as they weave the tale behind the wine in my glass. I feel the connection to land, history, tradition and innovation.
I blog about Washington wines because I want to share my passion about wine and support the local wineries of my state. Washington has the land and opportunity to grow fantastic grapes and we have the dedicated and enthusiastice wine makers to craft exceptional wines. I want to share my experiences about the magic and stories with wine lovers in and outside of Washington State.
Josh asked if wine bloggers should prescribe the ways that wine should be made. For me, that answer is no. I am not a trained wine maker. I am a foodie that loves wine. That makes me an expert in knowing what I like, but not necessarily optimizing wine over all. One of my favorite wines last year was a Viognier by Covington Cellars. It was fruit forward and the distinct apricot flavor opened up a world of fascinating and acclaimed pairings. I loved that wine and my friends loved when I paired that wine. This year’s Viognier, the fruit is pulled way back. It is a pleasant wine. Two people today told me how much they loved this Old World style Viognier, but it lacks something for me.
I spent some time talking to Morgan, the wine maker, about it and answered him honestly when he asked me what I thought of the current vintage. I told him that I missed the luscious apricot that made last year’s vintage so unique. Morgan responded that it was too much fruit for most people last year and they corrected it. I have neither the experience, the knowledge, nor the right to tell them how to make their Viognier. My job stops at expressing my preference when asked. I am definitely qualified to state my opinion in person and on the blog, but not to prescribe to the winemaker. So, now I have a new favorite Covington Cellars wine, their Tuscan Red and I am on a mission to find the perfect pairing Viognier Washington wine for this season.
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