Wine and Walnuts

A blog about eating, drinking, cooking and reading in the not so Deep South

Wednesday Dining and Wine Adventure, New York Times-Style

It’s Wednesday, oh joy!  What that means for me is, generally, two things:  the New York Times Dining and Wine section — love! — and an easy blog post, as I often choose something from Wednesday’s section to post about.  I used to buy the New York Times every week on this day without fail, so I could savor every juicy food-and-wine related article in the whole glorious Dining and Wine section, but now I just read it online.  It is a mouth-watering trek through the culinary and wine world.  Check it out every Wednesday.

In today’s section, I loved a great article by wine columnist Eric Asimov, called “Châteauneuf That’s Easy on the Jam,” about the highly rated 2007 vintage, which Robert Parker, Jr. called “truly historic and profoundly great.”  

What I love about this article, and why I wanted to blog about it is, it’s a testament to palate subjectivity in wine tasting. Asimov says he’s puzzled by the 2007s, which he calls “fruit bomb wines,” and another member of his esteemed wine panel says, “I’ve never had a vintage like this, so lacking in structure and tannins, and with so much ripe fruit at the expense of minerality and earthiness.”

But see, some folks like/love/adore ripe fruit, and minerality and earthiness, not so much.  While others, as here, are in want of the minerality and earthiness.  And it also goes to show you, Robert Parker’s professional assessment, though guided by tremendous experience and knowledge, is, after all, his own palate’s take on a wine, and you may feel differently.  

Asimov says, “Personally, I prefer more focused and angular Châteauneufs, like the 2004s, which balance spicy fruit flavors with earthiness, minerality and whiffs of flowers and herbs.”  Now, I will say that particular descriptor makes me want exactly the wine he’s describing.  It sounds flat out delicious and, in a word, perfect. On the other hand, I can also really enjoy ripe, fruit forward wines, as evidenced by my fixation with some California Zinfandels.  So at the end of the day, as always, trust your palate and drink what you like.

I have all this “subjective palate” stuff on my mind because I’ve been working on a post about flaws in the wine rating system, which is coming up very soon.  But mainly, today’s post is meant to point out what a treat the Wednesday New York Times Dining and Wine section is — enjoy it yourself sometime soon!

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About The Author

Kimberly Houston


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