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The Wine Bible

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Spending all day on a blog trying to think of something clever to write is thirsty work. But unlike most of my friends, I simply don’t like beer. Sprite doesn’t seem to have much class, either.

To make matters worse, I’ve never found a wine I liked. After watching the movie Sideways I decided that it was time to change all that. I enjoyed the movie quite a bit, and it inspired me to try my hardest to find something out there that I could stomach.

I wasn’t going to go off half-cocked, though. Wine buying can get expensive fast, particularly if you take a sip and pour the rest down the drain. That had been my experience in the past, and I wasn’t about to repeat it. Instead, I decided I needed to find a book and educate myself, first.

The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil fit the bill perfectly. The introductory chapters provide an excellent guide to varietals, locations, and history. For the beginner, such as myself, there are sections on choosing, storing, and tasting wine.

History is important to wine. This book examines the history of wine, providing excellent coverage of the major wine producing nations all over the globe. I was surprised to learn how many states in the U.S. produce wine.

However, it was the detailed descriptions of the various types of wine that led me to make my first, educated, purchase. I wondered into the local shop and purchased an Australian Traminer/Riesling.

Rieslings are described as aromatically fruity, with a scent reminiscent of water on stone. Additionally, they tend to have a low alcohol content. This sounded good to me. The book had mentioned Rosemount Estate as a good candidate.

This was an excellent wine. It was fruity and acidic, a combination that I liked considerably. A peppery finish cinched the deal. While I know I’m no expert wine critic, I do know what I like.

An uneventful and bland tasting Beringer Riesling did not impress me. I don’t know if it was the higher alcohol content or what, but it had an unsettling burning feeling going down. It didn’t seem nearly as fruity.

And then I tried a 2002 Trimbach Riesling. It’s an explosion of fruit. Melons, peach, and apple can all be tasted. This was by far the best of the three. However, it seemed to lose something quickly after being opened. By the third day, it seemed very flat, if that’s a good word for wine. The taste was not nearly as dynamic.

My goal, now, is to try various Rieslings from around the world. I’ve got Australia, France, and the Napa region of the U.S. According to the book, I really should be looking at German Rieslings. Then, I will branch out. Surely there is a red out there waiting for me to find it.

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  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    It can be a major advantage to live in wine country – you get to taste so many different kinds of wine, usually for free.

    If you don’t live near a lot of wineries, it’s worth looking for a shop or wine bar that offers “flights” of wine. For a small price (or even free), you can often taste a small amount of several different wines, so you can choose which to buy.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    Matt, if this is the same Kuehl I know – what the hell are you doing?

  • Matthew Kuehl

    I don’t think it’s the same Kuehl. There’s a few Matthew Kuehl in Chicago.
    Matt