Saturday, 9 February 2008

Terra Organica - Bonarda Sangiovese

I had a really interesting wine the other day. It was interesting because it made me change the way I thought about wine. This happens every few wines I drink at the moment, as I have decided that I don't know enough about wine (although I know a fair bit about cocktails and spirits) so am very early on in my learning 'adventure'. In fact I had a couple of really interesting white wines today as well, but I'll mention that later.

It was a Bonarda Sangiovese from Argentina.. and somerfield. I had decided I would go above the usual £5-7 mark but then this one caught my eye (at a fiver I think) and so I thought, what the hell, I know nothing about either of these grapes.

First taste and I thought, hmm this is interesting - it's not got much of an obviously apparent taste, but it is very drinkable. I couldn't put a name to any of the tastes I was experiencing so I had to look the wine up. I looked up Sangiovese in the Matt Skinner book, as it didn't have bonarda. He described it as earthy, which I could agree with, but it isn't a flavour you can grab hold. Let me explain that until now I have been a fan of really big, fruity wines - my favourite being big Australian Shirazs.

I looked up this particular wine on the web and discovered a great site called love wine which allows me to look up the particular wines in my local supermarket. It described it as a having cherry flavours, which I can accept but wouldn't jump to automatically, but more importantly said that it was great with something like a steak, as it cut through the fats. This I could see as completely true, of course that was what this wine was for, how could I have not seen it before?

So my revelation, sort of, was that different wines can be like completely different drinks. I wouldn't make the same cocktail to sit and drink on its own than I would make to say, accompany a steak, or a salad or whatever. Wine is like this too and so now, after this one wine, I have started to look at the wines I drink as completely different drinks, as opposed to in contrast to each other.


P.S. The whites that I mentioned at the start of this post were two very fruity (one overwhelmingly strawberry and the other peachy), not sweet but very well balanced ones that I tried while watching the sun set across the Firth of Forth (as always, setting is at least half of the experience). This experience made me stop thinking of white wine as something that I had tried but just didn't see the attraction and start thinking of it as a drink as complex and interesting taste wise as red wine.

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