Something about Wine

Blenheim, December 28th 2015

Do you see that red rose in front of the grapevine lines? I was wondering why only roses, and only red roses? Moreover, the way it's planted doesn't look like anything meant to be artistic either. It wasn't just here, but also at the vineyards we passed by along the way.

Later, from my driver in Wanaka, I learnt that the roses are meant to be pest indicators. When pest season comes, before the grapevines get attacked, the roses get their turn. Thus, prevention time available for the grapevines.

Why are the grapevines short? I mean, why aren't the grapevines made to vine over a canopy where you can walk under it? Answer: To avoid the cold air as much as possible. This, I learnt from my wine tour guide. And, of course it is cold. :D

The last winery to visit on our wine tour, Spy Valley Winery, became where I learnt the most. 

I didn't know that red grapes and white grapes could be mixed in such a broad variety. At first sight, this table reminded me of Mendeleev's Periodic Table which I had been forced to memorize while in high school. Mendeleev himself I just realized was a Russian when I took a vodka tour in St Petersburg.

The weight (body) of a wine is the sensation of fullness perceived I the mouth through tasting. Combinations of varying concentrations of alcohol, extract, residual sugars and glycerol (only in more full bodied wines) determine whether a wine is more full bodied or light bodied. Tannins levels are usually higher in full bodied wines and add ageability but not body. The weight of a wine is not qualitative: great wines can be either full bodied or light bodied.

Acidity is usually a good thing in a wine, making it refreshing to taste, especially when balanced with enough of the grape’s natural sugars. Flabby, or flat, often describes the opposite of good acid content in a wine. However, just as with body acidity is not necessarily a mark of quality: there are great wines in all ranges of acidity levels.

I can't say I am fond of wine. However, I'm always interested about the 'how to', 'how come', and 'why for'. In one source I read that Dmitri Mendeleev was not fond of vodka either. He loved tea. I love coffee.

"Are you okay?" My Australian fellow group member was suddenly standing next to me while the rest were still busy wine tasting. I myself already felt light-headed. Too much New Zealand Pinot Noir, I bet. Aye.