The wine-blogosphere has been crackling over the past several days with discussions on Terroir.
Let's back up just a bit. Aside from the somewhat abstract concept of terroir, I believe one big style dichotomy exists in the wine world: Old world style vs. New world style (although modern wine-making techniques are beginning to erase much of these differences).
The typical Old world wine can be described with the following words: subtle, earthy, restrained, delicate. On the other hand, the typical New world wine might be described with these words: bold, fruity, exuberant, concentrated. As with most things, seeing, sniffing , and tasting are believing. So give this taste experiment a go.
1. Order/buy/make a pepperoni pizza
2. Purchase, open, and pour yourself a glass of Bogle's Petite Sirah ($11)
3. Purchase, open, and pour yourself a glass of Taurino's Salice Salentino Rosso Reserva ($12)
4. Alternately take a look at and sniff each wine. What do you see? What do you smell?
5. Take a sip of each wine. What do you taste?
6. Take a bite of pizza and a sip of one wine. Repeat with the other wine
Simply put Bogle's Petite Sirah is intensely purple, dense, fruity, and lush. The Salice Salentino is orange-red, lighter-bodied, earthy, and quite dry. With the pizza, Bogle PS acts as more of a palette cleanser. It erases all but the strongest salty and spicy flavors in the pizza. It doesn't clash, yet it definitely acts as a taste-reset button. On the other hand, Taurino SS acts as a taste enhancer. It actually has the effect of turning up the flavor volume on the pepperoni and tomato sauce. So what does all this mean? Perhaps this little experiment will allow you to discover your palette affinities. Are you a New world wine lover, an Old world wine lover, or both?
Ah, the miracles of science.