Saturday, February 24, 2007

Cyclical tastes in tasting

This afternoon, looking out the window at the drizzle in the courtyard, I thought: It'd be really nice to sip a flute of champagne this evening. Maybe a Jacquesson 730 or an Henriot Brut Souverain, or a nice bottle from Pierre Moncuit.

But if you'd asked me a month ago if I wanted a glass of champagne, I might have said "yes" for the perfunctory hedonism of it all, but without much gusto. Now, the gusto's all back.

I'm hoping the same will happen for wines with a significant amount of residual sugar - Gewürtztraminers, or late harvest wines or Sauternes or Jurançon. Around holiday time, but even before then, during an oenology class I took which was strangely too canted toward vins liquoreux, I tasted more sweet wine than I'd had over the previous three years. Bonnezeaux, Coteaux du Layon, Monbazillac, Gaillac, Muscat du Cap Corse... I swore it off, and by New Year's was drinking Chinon with my foie gras. I tasted a 1996 Yquem in December with a shrug.

But now, seeing this renewal of interest in bubbles, I'm hoping to ease back in to the sweetness. An excellent, aged Pineau des Charentes I tasted last weekend in the Charentes-Maritimes region was a good start... So who knows, we may just open a bottle of Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh sometime in the not-too-distant future...

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