Muscat: Not Sweet!

Muscat(s)! A two thousand year old name (Persian muchk, Greek moskos) for the fragrance derived from the gland of the male musk deer, and so synonymous with perfume: ‘muscat’ can be one of over 200 distinct white, pinkish, or black-berried varieties grown all over the world.   They were selected because you could smell them justContinue reading “Muscat: Not Sweet!”

Chile’s Dark Side of the Moon

The people writing the histories of Chilean wine usually start the clock in the 19th century, in the Central Valley south of Santiago, where titled families who got rich through crown concessions for silver and copper mining went into politics and then retired as gentlemen farmers, on big irrigated haciendas where they planted Bordeaux varietiesContinue reading “Chile’s Dark Side of the Moon”

Languages of Taste

How do we talk about wine, and to what end? Is it to remember what we’ve tasted, or to describe our experiences to others? To give, or receive, recommendations for something that the person asking might like? To to communicate luxury or prestige, to sell a product? To evaluate quality? Here are some (genuine) examplesContinue reading “Languages of Taste”

One Grape 3 Ways: Cinsault

One of those red grapes that sloshed around the western Mediterranean for a few hundred years and always seems to end up in blends, cinsault isn’t an obvious candidate for a class all to itself. It wasn’t until I’d had enough single-variety expressions of the grape that I really loved that I started to getContinue reading “One Grape 3 Ways: Cinsault”