Thursday, May 15, 2008

misc rambling on taste and progress

taste...

I've been thinking a lot about wine tastes recently as we've been focusing more on what we're drinking in terms of it's relation to what we like to drink and what we'd like to make. There are a lot of opinions out there (of course - the internet does a great job of acting as an exemplifier of the old adage "opinions are like assholes...") about what wines should taste like, how much alcohol they should have in them, how much fruit, what they should smell like, what they should look like in the glass, etc, etc, etc... And to that point there are plenty examples of writings out there from critics, for critics and against critics on the value of one person's opinion on a wine, wine variety and/or wine region. Of late we've even seen writings that go so far as to suggest that a whole wine region should get busy pouring their wines down their drains. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that when someone says that they liked wine 'A' over wine 'B' that chances are they liked wine 'A' over wine 'B' and it may or may not have anything to do with the pleasure you'd receive from wine 'A' or the relative value to you it would have in comparison to wine 'B'.

Where am I going with this???

Great question! And I'm not sure.

As we've been tasting wines with our own wine goals in mind we've noticed some huge similarities in our tastes as well as some real differences. This has caused me to think a lot about what I actually like in a wine and whether I can actually qualify it in some meaningful or interpretable manner let alone reproduce it. I believe for the most part the answer is "NO", I can not honestly describe what I like in a wine because it has very little to do with my vocabulary and everything to do with my senses or taste and smell at any given time. For me this can be affected by weather, food, time of day, mood, the current state of my own pH and quite possibly history. By history I mean I have a preconceived notion of what I do and don't like and this will most certainly have an impact on how I feel about a wine when I am drinking it. To any of you that think this is not true for yourselves I'd say (in the most considerate and respectful way possible) "bullshit". If this wasn't true we wouldn't have such a thing as a blind tasting.

Where does this leave us; the novice winemakers?

Well... Optimistic!

Optimistic because chances are good that we will make a wine that one person will like just as much as another does not. Our hope, of course, is that we are the former and not the latter "someones". Towards this I'm relatively confident that we'll enjoy the wine that we create even if for nothing else than the fact that our history with this wine, like all cases of propinquity, will have much to do with the enjoyment we receive from it. This does, of course, mean that when we eventually tell you how great our wine is you should assume that we are full of shit, buy it anyways 'cause you like us and, well..., decide for yourselves.

progress...

Not a lot has changed in the last week other than the fact that I think we are leaning towards forgoing the whole custom crush idea and doing the whole thing by ourselves. There are number of reasons for this but the biggest one we keep coming back to is the ability to be hands-on during the whole process. This hands-on approach really is one primary reasons that both of us have taken the transition from just drinking to making wine and to give this up to someone else (regardless of their being forced to follow your protocol) takes a good deal of the fun, challenge, risk and learning away from us. We haven't given up completely on the idea of doing this "out-of-house" but chances are good that this will be a truly diy effort from beginning to end.

What this means - you'll see a lot more photos like this:

and a lot less like this:

7 comments:

dan-O said...

what aaron forgot me mention is how much our wives hate the pinots we are digging these days. one review was so disgusting i cannot print it on our blog.

mr aaron said...

it's true - he can't!

B-Muse said...

What kind of music were you listening to, Mr. Aaron, to give you a white man's overbite while working the grapes?

mr aaron said...

Probably The Doobie Brothers - Man those guys were funky!

davy said...

Was that trash bin NSF certified? Shouldn't you be wearing a hairnet? Do we need to call the authorities on you?

mr aaron said...

you obviously don't believe in natural winemaking!

davy said...

Is natural winemaking anything like intelligent design?