Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tears of Wine or Wine Legs

Last night I finally was able to grasp the term, 'Tears of Wine'. I am not talking about getting all melancholy when you drink either. What I have always known as wine legs, other people call tears of wine. A bit like eggplant and aubergine. I was at Maha Restaurant in Melbourne to celebrate and embrace the installation of a brand spanking new Enomatic machine. This is a device which helps open bottles of wine keep fresher for longer, enabling establishments greater flexibility with their wines by the glass.
Maha Restaurant, 21 Bond St Melbourne
As I am not a professional wine reviewer or critic, (my notes for the 2005 Le Cinciole Chianti Classico say "berries and bark"), I'd rather highlight a couple of Wine Appreciation 101 points. Firstly, the flavours that any one individual can taste in wines are based on previous experience and memories. I have never tasted gooseberries, nor fresh mulberries, so I would not be able to pick those flavours out of a wine.
Berries & Bark
Along with the memory triggers, come thoughts, feelings and emotions. Sometimes, wine critics say that a wine "moves them". When this happens to me, the wine goes straight to the top of my favourites list. I now have a new favourite thanks to the fabulously innovative technology of the Enomatic machine at Maha. I was able to sample a wine that you could normally only buy by the bottle, for $420. A half-glass goes for $45, a much more affordable way to try wish-list wines. The 1909 Domaine Sainte Croix Rivesaltes. 16%.
Yes, that is the year, 1909
Here's my blurb:
Bright red, with rust-coloured edges. A bright, fresh nose of understated Christmas plus alcohol- but in a good way, not the beer-soaked pub-carpet kind of way.) Smells of sugar and spice and all things nice. I detect ginger, allspice, cinnamon, clove, sultana, raisin, currants, warmth and hugs. It has rippa legs and a lighter mouth feel than I expected. It tastes warm, fruity, spicy and yum.
{yum is THE most advanced wine tasting jargon on the planet}
A late harvest grenache, partially fortified and aged in large oak tanks for 98 years.

The next thing I tasted was boiled pineapple fruitcake which made me squeal on the inside. My most treasured recipe from my Grandfather- who was taken from this life far too soon, is for his boiled pineapple fruitcake. We used to make it together in the lead up to Christmas. As this truly fond memory came to me I held up the glass. I noticed that the wine legs were moving incredibly slowly. So slowly that the beginning of each leg formed the shape of a tear and then rolled off the Maha logo. I had to check that it wasn't me who was crying, then looked at the glass again. The tears of wine were forming and rolling steadily now. I finally understood where the term came from.

For interest's sake, Jancis Robinson, MW says the 1909 is one of the few wines that happily partners chocolate. [ Purple Pages] I would enjoy this with a mild to medium flavoured hard cheese or even some pressed pork belly!
Enomatic machine, top left of photo.

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