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How We Review Wine
The Difference Between Wine Tasting and Wine Drinking...
If you have been reading our newsletter, you will have noticed that while we use the wine reviews from Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast and Wine Advocate to choose our wines, we still give you our impressions of the wines under "What We Thought" in the reviews section every week. As opposed to the tasters at magazines... Linda and I don't taste blind, we generally pair the wine with food and usually finish the bottle. We taste "Deck Wines" on the deck and with most reds, we always open the bottle before dinner, swirl, sip and write down our impressions. After dinner we go back and add any new impressions based upon how the wine changed over time or paired with food. We think this gives us a little different perspective on the wine than simply sniffing, tasting, spiting, taking notes and moving on to the next glass. It's a little like the difference between just dating someone and living together.
This gives us a fresh perspective on the wine and accounts for the frequent differences between our descriptions of the wines and those of the magazine reviewers. Wines evolve in the decanter and the glass and can change dramatically as they absorb oxygen and change temperature. A taster generally takes a snapshot of the wine at one moment in a life that can last hours. By evaluating a wine over time, we think it allows us to take into account the changes, like the richness that a Chardonnay can acquire as it warms or the softness that a Cabernet can gain after 30 minutes in a decanter.
We like to think that our reviews compliment the magazine reviews and give you a more complete picture of the wines as you make your selections. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it. Besides it means tonight's wine is a business expense. Life is good!
January 11, 2012