Monday, April 03, 2006

Why I can't drink White Wine

I went up to Napa valley yesterday on a wine tour. First stop was Rudd, where Jeff Morgan of Covenant Wines met us. We tasted one white, and two reds, a Rudd Cab and the new Covenant Cab. The white, as usual, tasted awful when I first sipped it. It did not smell too bad though, and when I tried the retro-nasal breathing I was able to notice a number of interesting flavors. The reds were both wonderful though.

Jeff said a number of things about wine, including that Whites are more acidic than reds. I began to wonder if that was the problem. When I was in High School a friend of mine could not drink soda. He called it "masochism juice". The bubbles from the carbon dioxide indicate that there is carbonic acid in the soda, which apparently was too much for him. I am not quite so sensitive to acid. The sugar in soda makes it palatable, and I can also drink Rieslings or dessert wines with no problem. Sauvignon Blanc, or Chardonnay are right out though. Champagne is another problem. John Maynard Keynes famously said his one regret in life was that he did not drink more champagne. My regret is that I did not drink less.

The tour continued to Honig and Hagafen. Hagafen Cellars is interesting, they use a flash pasteurizing machine like the ones used for milk to make their wine Mevushal. Mevushal used to mean "boiled" and as you can imagine boiled wine does not taste very good. Jeff Morgan does not boil or flash pasteurize Covenant wines to avoid any taint. I found the Hagafen wine to be very good.

Thanks to the San Francisco Ben Gurion Society folks for organizing a great trip!


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