It’s time for our annual checkup — or check in. I need to make sure we understand each other. What do all my words mean? What do you expect from my recommendations?
Just how does a writer decide upon a wine worth recommending? Usually it’s based on assessing how well the wine is made or put together and deciding if a good job has been done. Often the writer will tell you about attractive fragrances and flavours to be found in the wine. And whether the finish is long or short. This is no different than the salesperson telling you about how a dress was constructed or what’s under the hood of a car.
The upshot of all this is the belief that if something is well made you should like it. The shirt has a reliable label or the car has twin carbs — you’ll love it. And you might. Especially if you like labels or specs.
When I taste wines I focus on quality and value but I also look for the moment/mood factor. For me there can be no talk of a “good” wine until it’s attached to a situation. That may be a mood, food or season. While it’s true that wine delivers a relaxing hit of alcohol, its main purpose is to heighten a moment. Just like music.
All my wine recommendations are therefore mood/situation dependent. For me, they are ONLY good in the situation I describe. You have to put context with them to get the benefit — they won’t deliver out of context. For example, the Chardonnay recommended this week is a good house wine. Something to sip as you prepare supper, enjoy favourite tunes, TV shows or just chill out. Taken this way it should satisfy you. It’s like a good friend — lively, comforting and easy to be with — pleasant company.