The Special Allure of Wine (With Apologies to OJ)

The Sebastiani name is synonymous with winemaking in Sonoma County, just as the Mondavi name defined Napa Valley wine for a couple of generations.

Today, Sam Sebastiani remains extremely active in the wine world, and is considered an icon of the Sonoma Valley. And he writes one of the more enjoyable and informative wine blogs. Definitely educational, too.

In his most recent blog, Sebastiani quoted a column written by the late wine writer, Paul Gillette. Wrote Gillette:

“No newspaper publishes a weekly column about orange juice or shoes or automobile tires. Why wine? Because it is not merely a food or refreshment. Given the right combination of grapes, weather, winemaker, aging and other factors, it can be a work of art as complex as a symphony, painting or novel — and can be, to those who have learned what to look for in it, as gratifying as any of these other art forms are to people who have learned to appreciate them.”

How true. In my own case, I love listening to a symphony orchestra play an iconic classical tune, although I’ve never had the desire to educate myself about art or found the time to sit down with many great novels. (I’m too busy writing my own blogs and drinking wine!)

But Gillette’s observation about wine was spot on. Here at Vinesse, we’ve always said that every wine has a story, and that story may involve the grape variety or varieties used to make it, to what degree Mother Nature cooperated during the harvest season to help ensure full ripeness, the winemaking style of the vintner, and so many other factors.

French oak, American oak, Hungarian oak… or no oak?

First-fill barrels providing a lot of their own aromas and flavors, or “neutral” barrels that serve strictly as holding vessels for the wine?

Grapes from a single vineyard, multiple vineyards in a growing area, or multiple growing areas?

The list goes on and on, and all of those questions… and the answers to those questions… are what make wine so interesting to write about.

And, we hope, so interesting for you to read about.

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Posted in Editor's Journal

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