Wine Talk: A view from a winemaker's girlfriend
Introducing myself as the girlfriend of Turon , or my preferred title of chief cellar hand at Turon Wines. I must disclose, I have no official wine education or title, other than working three vintages with Turon and learning to truly appreciate a good vintage dinner of a hot chook and coleslaw. I am a physiotherapist by trade, a wheat farmer's daughter and prior to meeting Turon I would prefer a vodka and lime over wine any day. The tables have since turned.
Throughout the first few years of my relationship with Turon social outings with winemakers were always super-fun wine filled experiences. But I'd have to say, they were also fairly overwhelming. Sometimes they still are. I can honestly say that half the time I had absolutely no idea what they were getting excited about and as a result I felt like a real mere mortal.
Let's set the scene: dinner with winemakers always involves bringing 'interesting' wine from their cellar that winemakers will appreciate (I'm not complaining - they are always absolutely delicious for my mortal palate). At these dinners, conversation will quickly turn into a wine buzz word frenzy as soon as they hand over the 'interesting' wine at the door. As they get more excited, whether it is simply from witnessing the array of wine lined up for the night or because they are three bottles in, buzz words will just keep coming thick and fast. It is at this point I would try my hardest to listen, learn and contribute as best I could before sitting back to sip on the delicious wine and really try to work out what the f!*k they were saying.
So I would sheepishly like to share my thoughts from these initial dinners. Here is a list of my WTF moments with 'wine talk':
A whole bunch of what?
I shiver when I'm cold.
'Malo' aka malolactic fermentation
Sounds like 'milo', which is also delicious.
Big fat old buzz word. Keeps popping up. Note: use in reference to red.
Is that a winemaking process?
Sounds like: castration, and apparently different to pre-fermentation cold maceration.
What's the point in whole bunch then?
Physio talk - I know this.... apparently not.
Blanc de Blanc / Blanc de Noir
I need to learn more french.
Strawberry, rhubarb, chocolate...
I taste red, delicious red red wine.
Cellar for 10 years
But seriously, what's the whole deal with that?
Apparently an exclusive /rare wine - making note for later conversations.
Malbec goes into that
Is that the same as Malo? or Milo?
Whole bunch pressing
So why is that different to whole bunch fermentation?
Are the happy grapes free range?
This red tastes fizzy- is it meant to be like that?
I'd like to think I have learnt a bit, but 5 years in there are still times where the wine kids are talking wine talk and it completely baffles me. But at the end of the day I'm not complaining! I will continue to enjoy delicious wine and dinner conversation!
Note: I do 100% credit these dinners with winemakers to my 'maturing' palate - so thanks guys and girls! Dinner soon? I'll cook.