Friday, March 25

A side note on grapes and wine

General Okanagan wine tasting info. They rate everything on a 0-3+ Dryness Scale 0 - very dry, 1 - dry, 2 - semi-sweet, 3+ very sweet

Like artichokes and asparagus, grapes take several years of growing before they start producing fruit. Then as the years go on the fruit continues to improve but eventually begins to decline in quantity. So at some point, for cost reasons, the growers will tear old vines out.

Pinot Noirs have no shelf life. Once you open a bottle, you'd best finish it that night. Never a problem for Martin and I.

Most of your light, white wines, Ehrenfelser, Gew├╝rztraminer and Reisling are released the year or winter after they're picked. The vast majority of the ones we tasted were 2004s.

Syrah/Shiraz. These are the same grape. The French tend to call the grape syrah, shiraz is generally used in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Syrah can also be used to indicate an old world style, use of French or European oaks. Shiraz is in the new world style.

Meritage - a contest was held in 1988 US to name wines created from the blending of grapes from the Bordeaux varietals. "Merit" and "heritage" led to meritage, rhymes with heritage. There are white and red mertiages and no single variety of grape can make up more then 90% of the blend.

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